2001 Hall of Honor
A hometown hero while attending Rockford West Illinois High School, Charles Ellis arrived at Beloit College with impressive credentials as a star in football, wrestling, and baseball. It became clear very quickly that this versatile young man would continue his legendary athletic performances once he donned a Buccaneer uniform. After goin undefeated as a heavyweight wrestler as a freshman, Wllis topped his sophomore year in that weight class by winning the Midwest Conference title and placing fifth in the NCAA College division and by compiling the best record on the Buc team. He did not compete the following year in order to participate in an off-campus program, then returned to repeat as league champion his senior year. His career on the gridiron was equally impressive as that on the mat. A three-year varsity letter winner in football, he was an all-state selection and two-time all-conference offensive lineman on varsity teams, posting a 14-10 record. He was also recognized as a member of the best offensive-guard pair in the league and for his play in key defensive situations. A veteran educator, Ellis was the recipient of the Golden Apple Award and received a citation for Outstanding Educator by the UW-Madison Minority Engineering Program. Currently Ellis resides in Rockford, Illinois, where he is Assistant Principal at Lincoln Middle School.
In the spring of 1975, while concluding a stellar basketball career at Lake Oswego High School in Oregon, Mark Hanzlik made his decision to come to Beloit College and play for Coach Bill Knapton. The 6-4 forward quickly proved he was a hardcourt standout with his accurate shooting, solid rebounding, clever ball-handling, effective defense and overall athletic ability. He contributed to a great era of Beloit basketball by totaling 1,005 points and 535 rebounds in 83 games as the Buccaneers won two Midwest Conference championships, and he was a two-time Midwest Conference selection, an NCAA all regional performer, and the Bucs’ 1979 MVP. “Mark made things happen,” said coach Knapton, adding “He probably would have been an even better player in a less-structured offense.” As a senior, Hanzlik was the first recipient of the Ron Bontemps Award, an honor recognizing outstanding athletic achievement, and also won the prestigious Pat Dawson Award and a “B” blanket. He, his wife Ann Whitmore Hanzlik ’80, and their three daughters live in Pickerington, Ohio, where he teaches mathematics in the junior high school.
Whether the arena was the classroom, football field, swimming pool, or tennis court, Bob Nicholls’ dedication to and affection for Beloit College’s student athletics was unmatched. A native of Nagaunee, Michigan, “Coach Nick” was an outstanding quarterback at UW – La Crosse and an Army veteran before arriving here in 1952 with the experience and desire to make a difference. This soft-spoken mentor wore many athletic hats during his 43-year tenure, serving as head coach of men and women’s swimming, men’s tennis and wrestling, and assistant for freshman basketball. In 1976 he stepped down from his position as Athletic Director to become head football coach. In coaching more than 3,000 Buccaneer athletes and logging thousands of miles on busses and cars traveling to sporting events, “Coach Nick” not only taught proper techniques and values but also was an influential role model. The coaching legacy of Bob Nicholls isn’t measured in team and individual championships; rather, more than his coaching, it was his manner, sense of sportsmanship and competitive pride that make him an inspirational leader. Likewise, it was Coach Nick’s ability to relate to athletes as individuals and his degree of commitment that helped student athletes succeed in their sports, the classroom, and post-college life. His peers in the College Swimming Coaches Association of America also recognized his many achievements when, in 1973, they named him a Master Coach.