2005 Hall of Honor
“In my 28 years of coaching, I’ve never had a player who had more of an impact,” is the lofty praise Beloit Coach Ed DeGeorge voices about Steve Dixon. Building upon his credentials as football team captain, three-year letterman, and all-conference selection on both offense and defense at Big Foot High School in nearby Walworth, Wis., the powerful running back immediately started to pile up yards and records as a Buccaneer, finishing with monumental accomplishments. Dixon held or shared 18 Beloit records while twice earning Champion All-America honorable mention. He became Beloit’s all-time leading rusher with 4,792 yards, which at the time was a state collegiate record on all levels, and was only the third player in NCAA Division III history to gain more than 1,000 yards in each of his four seasons. He remains Beloit’s career leader in touchdowns (45) and rushing attempts (986), holds the season record for total yards (1,388), and claims the game mark of 274 yards on 49 carries. While leading the Bucs to three Midwest Conference North Division championships and a 26-13 over-all record, Dixon was an all-conference first-team selection four times, the league’s Offensive Player of the Year as a senior, and its top rusher as a junior and runnerup in his first two years. The three-time Buccaneer leading scorer and two-time MVP won the Janssen Award as the top junior-class scholar-athlete and captained the ’93 team. Dixon, who is a police officer in Harvard, Ill., and his wife Ann reside in Walworth with their two sons.
A two-time high school all-conference basketball player, Karen Walker arrived at Beloit College ready for challenges in the classroom and on the hardcourt. In her first season as a Buccaneer, she established the college record for steals with 84, averaged 14.4 points per game, and led the team in assists with 128. Karen again demonstrated she had the strength, talent, and tenacity required of standout athletes as a sophomore, but equally as important, her career total of 274 assists at season’s end underscored her determination to be a true team player. In her final two years, she shouldered more of the scoring burden and on January 30, 1993, in a game against Cornell, she netted a layup to join the Buccaneer 1,000-point club, eventually finishing with 1,110. Karen is Beloit’s career leader in assists (532), steals (292), and free-throws made (335); her 95 thefts as a senior are a season’s top mark. Before she graduated, this four-year starter in basketball and three-year regular in softball also was a three-time team MVP, won all-conference recognition three times in basketball and as a senior in softball, earned Buc Defensive Player of the Year honors, and served as team co-captain. Karen, who lives in Chicago with her husband Fred and their four children, is assistant varsity basketball coach at her prep alma mater, Maine South High School in Park Ridge.
In an interview appearing in the April 5, 1985, edition of The Round Table, Jon Reitman was characterized as one of the College’s super athletes. Considering the impressive statistics he accumulated as a Buccaneer free-style swimmer, Reitman was well deserving of the accolade. This sprint specialist, who started swimming in a fledgling high school program and developed into a state qualifier, transferred to Beloit as a sophomore in search of a small-school experience. His motivation and hard work paid off as he made a name for himself in the pool, going undefeated in dual-meet competition. As a junior, he was Midwest Conference champion and record-holder in both the 50- and 100-yard free-style events and earned All-American honors by placing ninth nationally in the 100. Reitman closed out his college career by repeating as conference titlist in the 100, finishing second in the 50 to a swimmer who broke the NCAA Division III record, and capturing 12th in the national meet to again win All-American recognition. Bob Nicholls, his coach and Hall of Honor member, once described the Janssen Award recipient as an exceptionally gifted individual who was a hard-working, reliable, and loyal leader, a respected role model for his College and teammates. A former firefighter and paramedic, Reitman is a member of the Rockford (Ill.) Fire Department’s fire prevention bureau. He and his wife Kathy live in Rockford with their three children.
Tom Snapp was a major contributor to a remarkable basketball heyday that found the Buccaneers winning three consecutive Midwest Conference championships and national tournament invitations, earning the No. 1 ranking in NCAA Division III in 1981, and posting a 76-23 record during his four-year career. Of the 6’-4” forward from Mundelein, Ill., Bill Knapton, his Beloit coach and Hall of Honor member, says, “Tom was a dependable scorer, terrific defender, and outstanding rebounder and ball handler; there were no weaknesses in his game.” His teammates recognized him as a patient, team-oriented, and humble player who never clamored for the spotlight, eschewing personal statistics for team success. Exactly 100 seconds remained in his collegiate career when Snapp, who had passed up many shots to feed more-open teammates, scored on a nice inside move to reach the 1,000-point plateau,–this in an era without a three-point line or shot clock. He also totaled 420 rebounds and shot .741 from the free-throw line while earning team MVP honors and all-conference recognition twice, the coveted Janssen Award as a junior and Buc Defensive Player of the Year kudos as a senior. A former Mundelein police officer, Snapp has been an FBI special agent since 1990. He, his wife Gail, and their three children live in Bristol, Tenn., where he coaches girls’ basketball in East Tennessee Pride, an AAU organization.