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Leatherneck Men's Basketball Receiving Votes in Mid-Major Top 25

Western Illinois men's basketball received 13 votes in the first Mid-Major 'Top 25' poll of the 2013-14 season.

The Leathernecks made 10 appearances in the poll last season with their highest ranking being #18 on January 14, 2013.

Three other Summit League team made an appearance in the poll with North Dakota State (#7) and Denver (#9) were ranked in the 'Top 10', while South Dakota State received votes (8).

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Ashley Luke Projected as First Team All-Summit League

Ashley LukeAshley Luke received Preseason First Team All-Summit League honors, the conference announced as it released its preseason poll on Tuesday morning.

Luke earned the league's 'Newcomer of the Year' kudos in 2012-13 after averaging 10.6 points per game and 7.2 rebounds per game as a redshirt-freshman.

She was also the only underclassman selected to either the First or Second Team, as all other recipients are heading into their junior or senior seasons.

Additionally, the Western Illinois women's basketball team is projected to finish sixth in the Summit League preseason poll.

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Michael Jones Named Assistant AD for Development

Michael JonesWestern Illinois University Athletics Director Tommy Bell announced the hiring of Michael Jones. He will take over as Assistant Athletics Director in charge of Development, starting on Monday (Oct. 14).

Jones will be responsible for fundraising activities for all 20 Leatherneck sport programs and donor management in conjunction with the Leatherneck Club.

No stranger to the University and Athletics Department, Jones previously served as the radio play-by-play voice of Leatherneck football and basketball for 10 years (1999-2009). He worked for more than two years as assistant alumni director at Western and the past two years worked as the development director for the Centennial Honors College, School of Distance Learning/International Studies/Outreach and University Libraries.

"I am thrilled and honored to join the Leatherneck Athletics family. Western Illinois Athletics has been a huge part of my life for as long as I can remember, going back to my late grandfather Frank Jones, who was a member of the very first Athletics Hall of Fame class. To now work in the building where his plaque is displayed is truly special,” said Jones. “I look forward to working with Tommy Bell, our outstanding coaches, staff members and student-athletes. Tommy has a new vision for Leatherneck Athletics, which includes growing the Leatherneck Club and increasing funding for facility projects, so this is definitely an exciting time for WIU Athletics.”

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Leatherneck Basketball Season Tickets Available for Renewal

The Western Illinois ticket office announced that season tickets for the 2013-14 men's and women's basketball seasons are available for renewal, and new season ticket holders will be able to purchase season tickets beginning October 21st.

Season ticket holders can renew their season tickets online for the men HERE and for the women HERE, or by calling the ticket office at 309-298-1190.

The athletics department is also announcing a new challenge for Western Illinois supporters in the Leatherneck Assist Challenge. The referral program will reward season ticket holders for recruiting new members. When two referrals purchase season tickets you receive an official Leathernecks adidas jacket.

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Trenton Norvell Named to Jerry Rice Award Watch List

Trent NorvellWestern Illinois redshirt-freshman quarterback Trenton Norvell (Daytona Beach, FL/Seabreeze) played his way onto a spot for the Jerry Rice Award watch list. The award, sponsored by The Sports Network, goes to the top overall freshman in the country.

Norvell was one of two from the Missouri Valley Football Conference, as he is joined by running back Martin Ruiz from Youngstown State. It’s the second such honor in as many weeks for Norvell, who was selected to the College Football Performance Awards ‘National Freshman Performer’ watch list.

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Leatherneck Athletics Inducts 2013 Hall of Fame Class

Hall of Fame Inductees

Western Illinois University Athletics held its annual Hall of Fame induction ceremony Friday night (Oct. 11) in the Grand Ballroom of the University Union. Four individuals and the back-to-back NAIA national championship gymnastic teams from 1964 and 1965 were enshrined as part of the 2013 class.

Those receiving the highest honor by Leatherneck Athletics were: Fred Adair (contributor), Russ Michna (football), Kathy Orban (administrator), Becky Tyo (women’s basketball) and 15 members of the gymnastics teams. Coached by Robert Clow (Hall of Fame Class of 1982), the members included: Gerry Aldrich, Dave Donaldson, Bill Downing, Dennis Hallett (deceased), Ray Ingersoll, Ray LaFrancis, Loren Michaels, Tom Muraoka, Gerald (Gerry) Peterson, Jack Peterson, Jerry Polacek, Mike Rogers, Howie Sokol, Gene Swanson (deceased), and Mac Weeks (deceased).

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