General News

Jun 5, 2008
Steve Hammer, Dave Lorenz, Diane & Carl Schmitt, Dr. Scott & Laura Stevens, Dr. Mike Walsh and Dave Walter Named Noel Olson Volunteer of the Year Award Recipients

[Click Here for PDF Release]

Steve Hammer, Dave Lorenz, Diane & Carl Schmitt, Dr. Scott & Laura Stevens, Dr. Mike Walsh and Dave Walter will be honored with the Noel Olson Volunteer of the Year award during the NCC Celebration Dinner Saturday, June 21 at the Ramkota Hotel in Sioux Falls, S.D.

The award, in its tenth year, recognizes the singular commitment of former NCC Commissioner Noel Olson to the advancement of NCC visibility, credibility and excellence throughout the nation during his 1984-1997 tenure in office. It will be presented periodically to honor individuals who, as a volunteer, have made significant contributions to the NCC as a whole. The award recipients are selected by the institutional representatives at each of the league's seven member schools.

Tickets to the NCC Celebration Dinner are available until June 11th for $50 each by contacting the North Central Conference office (605-338-0907) by Wednesday, June 11 or online at and clicking on the Celebration Dinner banner at the top of the page. Visa, Mastercard, Discover and American Express are accepted.

Here is a look at the honorees:

Steve Hammer (St. Cloud State University) - Steve Hammer has served as the St. Cloud State University football and men's basketball public address announcer for over 20 years. In addition, he emcees the annual Men's Basketball Banquet and Husky Hoopsters Golf Tournament. Hammer has been involved in many facets of Husky Boosters, serving as the president of Husky Boosters, a board member for Husky Hoopsters, and a Gridiron Club member. 

Dave Lorenz (University of South Dakota) - Dave Lorenz has provided many contributions to The University of South Dakota and the North Central Conference. He is most recognized for his long tenure of service as Dean of Students at The U. Yet, he has been one of the school's most loyal volunteers for the past 30 years.

Lorenz has volunteered in nearly every manner possible at a track meet. He has handled announcing, timing and even run individual events during the meets. Lorenz has worked as an announcer or timer at nearly every NCC Indoor Meet held at the DakotaDome. Originally of Avon, S.D., he was also a volunteer when USD hosted the NCAA Division II Indoor Nationals in the late 1990s. He has volunteered as a public address announcer at Coyote men's and women's basketball games, sometimes working both games on the same night.

Beyond that, Lorenz has helped student organizations with various measures of support. In terms of his contributions to the USD Athletics Department, he helped create USD's Coyote Crazies and the U-Dance, one of the popular performers at Coyote games.

After leaving the Dean of Students after eight years, he did not go quietly into retirement. Instead, he took on the role of the athletic academic advisor at USD, where he provides academic and emotional support to student-athletes. He spends several nights a week mentoring student-athletes.

Diane and Carl Schmitt (St. Cloud State University) - Diane and Carl Schmitt have been the main basketball statisticians for Husky men's and women's basketball for the last ten years, and have rarely missed a home date. Their enthusiasm, enjoyment, and support of Husky Athletics has been tremendous. In addition, they have assisted the media relations staff in securing computer monitors, and keeping us up-to-date with computer stats technology. Carl is the Coordinator for the SCSU Computer Store and Diane serves as the HuskyNet Accounts Coordinator in Technology Support Services.

Dr. Scott & Laura Stevens (Minnesota State University) - Dr. Scott Stevens' involvement with MSU Athletics dates back to 1991. A familiar behind-the-scene face at MSU Athletics, Scott has donated his time and energy providing onsite medical coverage at innumerable athletic events.

He's played a key role in the education of MSU's athletic training students, operated on and provided treatment regimen for our student-athletes and provided phenomenal communication to ensure that Maverick student-athletes receive the best care we can provide in Mankato.

Dr. Stevens was presented with the Schaffer Service Award in the fall of 2007 for his dedication to Minnesota State Athletics.   Laura Stevens is the wife of Dr. Scott Stevens. Laura has been a dedicated committee member on two of MSU's most successful fundraisers for women's athletics. Laura has served as a Team Captain for the Maverick Walk for Women's Scholarships in 2006, 2007, and has committed to serve in this role in 2008. Laura has also served on the Women's Sports Class committee in 2006, 2007, and has also committed to be an active member again in 2008. 

Dr. Mike Walsh (University of Nebraska at Omaha) - Dr. Mike Walsh is in his 28th year as a volunteer for the University of Nebraska at Omaha athletic department. Dr. Walsh serves as the program's team physician and is the medical director of the athletic training program at UNO. He has been the orthopaedic surgeon for all of the teams at UNO since 1980.

In 1980, Dr. Walsh came to Omaha to start the Sports Medicine Program at the University of Nebraska Medical Center. He directed that program until 1990 when he became one of the original partners in the Sports Medicine Center, a comprehensive sports injury clinic. The partners in that practice ultimately became the nucleus of the current group, OrthoWest, P.C.

In addition to his duties as the team orthopaedic surgeon, Dr. Walsh has been a member of the Maverick Council and the UNO Chancellor's Club since 1996. He also served on the UNO Head Football Coach Search Committee in 1993 and was named the UNO Wrestling Booster of the Year in 1996. 

Dave Walter (University of Minnesota Duluth) - Dave Walter has been the emcee for Bulldog Club luncheons and the Annual Athletic Hall of Fame banquet. His signature greeting ,"It's Great to be a Bulldog", marks the start of all these events and typifies Dave's passion for the UMD athletic program. He has been an active fundraiser for the UMD scholarship fund, was a member of the Bulldog Club Board of Trustees for six years, and was on the organizing committee for the inaugural Walk for Women's scholarships.

Walter has been in the radio broadcasting business for over 40 years, and has served as "The voice of the Bulldogs" as the UMD football, volleyball and men's and women's basketball announcer for the past 10 years. While he was on the air, hosting his radio show on both KDAL and WEBC, Walter always made it a point to interview UMD coaches and players on a daily basis. He brought great human-interest stories about UMD student-athletes into the homes of people in Duluth.