Natalie Willer, an All-American on and off the track, earned her degree on May 5.
Photo by BreAnna Haessler/NU Media Relations

All-Americans Lead Class of 82 Husker Grads

By NU Athletic Communications

Lincoln - Four CoSIDA Academic All-Americans, including three Nebraska Student-Athletes of the Year from the track and field program, headline the Huskers' huge graduating class of 82 student-athletes who earned their bachelor's degrees from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln during commencement exercises at the Bob Devaney Sports Center on Saturday morning.

Nebraska's 82-member graduating class includes 11 individual All-Americans in their respective sports, led by six from Coach Gary Pepin's men's and women's track and field program. Nebraska's 2012 Student-Athletes of the Year Tyler Hitchler and Ashley Miller have both claimed All-America honors in competition and in the classroom. NU's 2011 Student-Athlete of the Year Natalie Willer was a two-time CoSIDA Academic All-American and an All-American in competition as well for the track program. Adam Dailey also claimed All-America honors on the track and in the classroom for the Huskers during his career.

Overall, the track and field program made up more than one-quarter of NU's May graduating class of student-athletes with 21, including track and field All-Americans David Adams, Luke Pinkelman and Audrey Svane. Other All-Americans in the May graduating class include women's gymnasts Kathryn Howard and Maddie Steinauer and Husker bowlers Jasmine Laugerman and Kayla Johnson.

Coach Bo Pelini's Nebraska football program added 17 members to the graduating class, including two-sport standout Khiry Cooper, who was also part of a four-player class from Coach Darin Erstad's Nebraska baseball program. Coach Connie Yori's Husker women's basketball program featured five graduates, led by 2011-12 Nebraska Student-Athlete Advisory Committee President Kaitlyn Burke.

The Nebraska soccer and softball programs each added six graduates to NU's total, including former softball letterwinner Andrea Casella from Cupertino, Calif., who is earning her bachelor's degree in sociology 30 years after helping the Huskers to the first-ever NCAA Women's College World Series in Omaha in 1982. The soccer team featured twin-sister graduates Colleen and Katie Goetzmann - one of two sets of twins in the NU graduating class, joining Blaire and Brooke Dinsdale from the track program.

The men's and women's gymnastics teams and the men's golf team each contributed three graduates, while the men's basketball, women's golf, bowling, swimming and diving, and men's and women's tennis programs each added two graduates. The volleyball, wrestling and rifle programs each managed single graduates.

Overall, each of Nebraska's 23 sports was represented by at least one student-athlete, in a class of Nebraska May 2012 graduates who came from near and far to call Nebraska home during their collegiate careers. Nebraska's class came to Lincoln from 16 states, including 38 native Nebraskans from 19 communities around the Cornhusker State. Members of the graduating class also came from four foreign countries, including Australia, Canada, France and Germany.

Nebraska continues to feature one of the highest graduation rates in the country, while leading the nation in the number of CoSIDA Academic All-Americans (294) and NCAA Top Eight Award winners (16) across all sports.

May 2012 Nebraska Student-Athlete Graduates (82)

  • Adams, David (Track & Field/Cross Country) York, Neb., Electrical Engineering
  • Adams, Jesse (Track & Field/Cross Country) Ogallala, Neb., Finance
  • Auge, Sam (Men's Gymnastics) Mahtomedi, Minn., Mathematics Education
  • Birtles, Rachel (Track & Field) Perth, Australia, Mathematics Education
  • Boney, Taylor (Men's Tennis) Lincoln, Neb., Speech-Language Pathology & Audiology
  • Brechtel, Julie (Softball) Fullerton, Calif., Business Administration/Marketing
  • Burke, Kaitlyn (Women's Basketball) North Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, Advertising/Business Administration
  • Burleson, Cory (Baseball) Midland, Texas, Finance
  • Bussel, Breanna (Track & Field) Jefferson City, Mo., Psychology
  • Casella, Andrea (Softball) Cupertino, Calif., Sociology
  • Coatman, Mike (Men's Golf) Lincoln, Neb., Sociology
  • Cooper, Khiry (Baseball/Football) Shreveport, La., Advertising & Public Relations
  • Dailey, Adam (Track & Field) Wahoo, Neb., Architectural Studies
  • Dinsdale, Blaire (Track & Field) Traer, Iowa, Business Administration
  • Dinsdale, Brooke (Track & Field) Traer, Iowa, Accounting
  • Doering, Brad (Track & Field/Cross Country) Yuba City, Calif., Social Science Education
  • Drake, Madison (Softball) Lincoln, Neb., Marketing
  • Eastman, Will (Men's Gymnastics) Martinez, Ga., Criminology & Criminal Justice
  • Ebke, Jim (Football) Lincoln, Neb., Mathematics Education
  • Engel, Aaron (Track & Field) Centennial, Colo., Electrical Engineering
  • Evans, Stephanie (Women's Tennis) Lebanon, Tenn., Biochemistry/Biological Sciences
  • Falcon, Peter (Track & Field/Cross Country) Bellevue, Neb., Psychology
  • Foland, Heidi (Softball) Grand Island, Neb., Nutrition, Exercise & Health Science
  • Franssen, Luke (Track & Field) Lincoln, Neb., Mechanical Engineering
  • Fulmer, Michaella (Soccer) Lee's Summit, Mo., Accounting
  • Fyffe, Kristin (Women's Gymnastics) Cincinnati, Ohio Accounting
  • Giehl, Julie (Swimming & Diving) Boulder, Colo., Accounting/Finance
  • Giesselmann, Matt (Track & Field) Fremont, Neb., English
  • Gilleylen, Curenski (Football) Leander, Texas, Civil Engineering
  • Goetzmann, Colleen (Soccer) Omaha, Neb., Business Administration
  • Goetzmann, Katie (Soccer) Omaha, Neb., Business Administration
  • Goosen, Brittany (Soccer) Olathe, Kan., Sociology
  • Grushecky, Kelsey (Swimming & Diving) West Newton, Pa., Biological Sciences
  • Gulizia, Todd (Track & Field/Cross Country) Omaha, Neb., International Business/Spanish
  • Hacker, Chris (Wrestling) El Reno, Okla., Psychology
  • Higgins, Suzanne (Track & Field) Grand Island, Neb., Biological Systems Engineering
  • Hitchler, Tyler (Track & Field) Fremont, Neb., Nutrition Science
  • Howard, Kathryn (Women's Gymnastics) Houston, Texas, Advertising & Public Relations
  • Jackson, Justin (Football) Roca, Neb., Business Administration
  • Jacobs, David (Men's Gymnastics) Lincoln, Neb., Finance/International Business
  • Johnson, Kayla (Bowling) Washington, Ill., Art
  • Jorgenson, Scott (Track & Field) Brookings, S.D., Social Science Education/History
  • Kelley, Dominique (Women's Basketball) Lincoln, Neb., Broadcasting
  • Klingelhoefer, Faron (Football) Amherst, Neb., Agricultural Education
  • Knopik, Kayla (Women's Golf) Papillion, Neb., Finance
  • Laugerman, Jasmine (Bowling) Brooklyn Center, Minn., Marketing/Management
  • Legate, Tyler (Football) Neligh, Neb., Elementary Education
  • Linke, Kelli (Softball) Lincoln, Neb., Sociology
  • Mahloch, Sheena (Rifle) Plymouth, Neb., Criminology & Criminal Justice
  • May, Mathew (Football) Imperial, Neb., Business Administration/Marketing
  • Meginnis, Sam (Football) Lincoln, Neb., Economics
  • Miller, Ashley (Track & Field/Cross Country) Tipton, Iowa, Dietetics
  • Molek, Josh (Football) Omaha, Neb., Management
  • Moravec, Brent (Football) Grand Island, Neb., Biochemistry
  • McClure, Mychael (Football) Wisner, Neb., Fisheries & Wildlife
  • McCray, Toney (Men's Basketball) Missouri City, Texas, Sociology
  • Nymeyer, Brett (Men's Golf) Stratford, Ontario, Canada, Finance
  • Okafor, Collins (Football) Omaha, Neb., Biological Sciences
  • Osborne, Courtney (Football) Garland, Texas, Ethnic Studies
  • Paar, Calin (Men's Tennis) Munich, Germany, Economics/Management
  • Parsloe, Tyler (Men's Golf) Littleton, Colo., PGA Golf Management
  • Periago, Jessica (Women's Basketball) Toulon, France, Biochemistry/International Studies
  • Pinkelman, Luke (Track & Field) Cozad, Neb., Criminology & Criminal Justice
  • Redmon, Catheryn (Women's Basketball) Grand Prairie, Texas, Animal Science
  • Richardson, Brandon (Men's Basketball) Los Angeles, Calif., Sociology
  • Root, Brigette (Volleyball) Grand Island, Neb., Nutrition, Exercise & Health Science
  • Schorgl, Carolyn (Women's Golf) Leawood, Kan., Accounting
  • Sidhu, Harleen (Women's Basketball) Surrey, British Columbia, Canada, Nutrition Science
  • Siegel, Jade (Track & Field) Hastings, Neb., Speech-Language Pathology
  • Slapper, Blair (Soccer) Prairie Village, Kan., Marketing
  • Spitsnogle, Dexter (Baseball) Odell, Neb., Mechanical Engineering
  • Steinauer, Maddie (Women's Gymnastics) Omaha, Neb., Biological Sciences
  • Svane, Audrey (Track & Field) Tioga, Texas, Computer Science
  • Tate, Khris (Baseball) Carthage, Texas, Communication Studies
  • Thomsen, Kevin (Football) Elkhorn, Neb., Nutrition, Exercise & Health Science
  • Thompson, Brandon (Football) The Woodlands, Texas, Business Administration
  • Thorson, Brian (Football) Omaha, Neb., Criminology & Criminal Justice
  • Tyson, Tori (Softball) Corona, Calif., Communication Studies
  • Ward, Lester (Football) Brenham, Texas, Criminology & Criminal Justice
  • Weatherholt, Mary (Women's Tennis) Prairie Village, Kan., Business Administration
  • White, Jaclyn (Soccer) Long Beach, Calif., Accounting/Finance
  • Willer, Natalie (Track & Field) Elkhorn, Neb., Biological Sciences/Psychology


More News Sponsor - First National Bank


Tickets Sponsor - StubHub