The NJCAA Women's Basketball Coaches Association announced its 2016 Hall of Fame class Monday. This year's inductees include former Jefferson (Mo.) student-athlete Danielle Adams, former Kalamazoo Valley (Mich.) head coach Ronald Welch and former Lake Region State (N.D.) head coach Duane Schwab.
Player – Jefferson (MO)
Before she won an NCAA national title, was the 20th overall selection in the WNBA draft and had the chance to play professionally in France to Israel, Danielle Adams was an integral part of Jefferson's success from 2007-09.
During her two years with the Vikings, Adams led the team to an impressive 66-4 mark and an appearance in the championship game of the NJCAA DI Women's Basketball tournament. Following 2008-09, Adams finished the season averaging 22.1 points and 2.8 blocks. As a result of her numbers and ability to influence a game, the Jefferson starter received Women's Basketball Coaches Association NJCAA Player of the Year honors. Adams was also twice recognized as a NJCAA First-Team All-American.
After receiving offers from many of the NCAA's prestigious programs, Adams decided to finish her collegiate career at Texas A&M. Over the course of the next two seasons for the Aggies, Adams continued to collect individual accolades as she became a recognizable name on the national landscape.
Of the awards Adams received while at Texas A&M, none was more prominent than being chosen the Most Outstanding Player (MOP) for the 2011 NCAA Final Four as she tallied 30 points in the championship game and helped the Aggies secure the university's first-ever basketball national title. The performance by Adams is especially notable as she joined Sheryl Swoopes as the only other MOP award-winner to come from the NJCAA. Swoopes also holds the record for most points scored in an NCAA championship game, with Adams in second.
Coach – Kalamazoo Valley (MI)
For more than two decades, Ronald Welch guided the Kalamazoo Valley women's basketball program to prominence and amassed a career mark of 432-178. In that time, his teams claimed three Michigan Community College Athlete Association (MCCAA) championships and advanced to the title game six times.
Welch also steered the Cougars to 11 outright or shared conference crowns, six NJCAA DII Women's Basketball District G championships with appearances in the NJCAA national tournament in 2001, 2002, 2004, 2006, 2009 and 2011. During the 2003-04 season, Kalamazoo Valley entered the national tournament ranked No. 1 in the final regular season poll. The Cougars advanced to the semifinals before losing and subsequently finishing fourth in the polls.
The longtime Kalamazoo Valley head coach garnered a number of coach of the year awards, including three from the MCCAA, nine from the MCCAA Western Conference, two from NJCAA Region 12 and four from NJCAA DII Women's Basketball District G. In 2000, 2004, 2009 and 2015, Welch was honored by his peers in the Basketball Coaches Association of Michigan (BCAM) as he was named JUCO Coach of the Year.
Aside from his usual coaching duties, Welch was an active participant in the MCCAA despite never holding an office position and also served as regional director for BCAM. Welch could still be found on the court during the summer months as he served as the director for the Cougars youth basketball camps. Although now retired, Welch still serves in an advisory capacity for both Kalamazoo Valley's men's and women's summer camps in addition to other youth camps across Michigan.
Coach Welch continues to be involved with the KVCC community as an adjunct professor in the Wellness & Physical Education Department.
During his 21 seasons at the helm, Welch produced three NJCAA All-Americans and 35 NJCAA Academic Student-Athlete Award winners.
Coach – Lake Region State (ND)
Originally as a student-athlete then followed by various coaching positions for an assortment of teams from, to being the head coach of the men's basketball program for two seasons till his retired in 2014, Duane Schwab's service and tenure with Lake Region State spans over 30 years.
The majority of Schwab's tenure with Lake Region State was spent as the head coach of the women's basketball team, a position he held for 25 seasons. Over that stretch, he guided the program to nine NJCAA Division I Women's Basketball Championship appearances and finished the season with 20 or more wins 16 times.
Schwab has been recognized several times during his coaching career as a result of his success. Such awards include being named the North Dakota Female Coach of the Year in 1991-92 and Coach of the Year in 1991-92 and 2004-05 by the North Dakota Associated Press Sportscasters & Sportswriters Association. Schwab was also named Mon-Dak Conference Coach of the Year in 2013-14.
In addition, Schwab was honored by Lake Region State in 2012, as they inducted him and his 1989-90 team into the institution's hall of fame after it posted a 31-4 record and reached the NJCAA DI Women's Basketball Championship.
Aside from his coaching duties, Schwab also served as the athletic director for the Royals from 1990-2014.