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Wrestler and UFC star Justin Gaethje named to Northern Colorado's Athletics Hall of Fame

By UNC Athletics | June 30, 2020, 9:49 a.m. (ET)

GREELEY - The University of Northern Colorado Athletics Hall of Fame welcomes six new members in its 2020 class. The group of six achieved greatness to be elected including being All-Americans, conference champions and groundbreakers while at UNC. They have gone on to be at the top of their sports and bring great recognition to the university and athletic department after leaving Greeley.

UNC Athletics is excited to welcome Justin Gaethje, Adrienne Jordan, Dr. Jim Kadlecek, Bill Kenny, Jed Roberts and D'shara Strange to the Athletics Hall of Fame.

The newest class will be inducted in a ceremony in early 2021 with further details to be announced at a later date.

Justin Gaethje, Wrestling, 2007-11
Justin Gaethje was the wrestling program's first NCAA All-American in 2010 since the program rejoined the Division I ranks at the 157 weight class. A three-time NCAA qualifier, he ended up as the No. 14 ranked wrestler in the NCAA RPI in 2010. As a freshman, he was a first team All-Western Wrestling Conference member and was the NCAA West Regionals champion. Gaethje is currently the Interim UFC Lightweight Champion.

Justin Gaethje UFC biography

Adrienne Jordan, Soccer, 2012-15
A four-year starter for UNC, Jordan earned first team All-Big Sky honors three times, she is just one of 13 players in the conference's history to do so. She was the two-time Defensive Player of the Year as well. Jordan was a first team NSCAA All-Pacific selection her junior year and second team her senior. Jordan played a key part in helping the program to its first DI NCAA Tournament in 2015 as the Bears beat top seed Idaho in penalty kicks by making the All-Tournament team. The lone year she did not make first team All-Big Sky was her sophomore season when an injury ended it early, she still made second team despite playing only half of the conference games. After graduating from Northern Colorado she became the first Big Sky player drafted in the NWSL, going 35th overall to Chicago. She spent time in camp with Chicago before going overseas for the past four years. Jordan was recently on Birmingham City of the Women's Professional League (WPL), the top division of English soccer. She is currently playing for the OL Reign in the NWSL. Jordan also played for the United State's U-23 team in the 2017 La Manga Cup.

Dr. Jim Kadlecek, Soccer Coach, 1979-90
Dr. Jim Kadlecek was the first varsity soccer coach for the Bears, taking the team from the club ranks to varsity status in 1985. He began coaching the club team in 1979 and had an impressive record of 83-20-1 from 1979-1984. Significantly, Jim took the Bears to the first-ever AIAW National Championship tournament in 1980, finishing sixth. Kadlecek was instrumental in helping elevate the program to varsity status in 1985. In 1986 the team was ranked in the top 20 and in 1987 beat Stanford and finished in the regional rankings of all Division I as Division II soccer did not start until 1988. He helped Lisa (Jacobsen) Loptien earn a National Player of the Year finalist honor in 1998. She ended up the first soccer player inducted into the UNC Hall of Fame. Kadlecek not only coached at Northern Colorado but earned his BS, MA and doctorate from UNC. Not only was he the soccer coach, but he also worked administratively in the UNC athletic department from 1985 to 1989. He later served as the Director of Athletics at Greeley Central High School. He also worked for a few years in Marketing for the Denver Broncos and has worked as a professor at the University of Mount Union since 1997.

Bill Kenney, Football, 1976-78
Bill Kenney came to Northern Colorado as a junior college transfer and first played at tight end before an injury made him the starting quarterback. He played his way to All-GPAC honors. He went on to play for the Kansas City Chiefs for 10 seasons after being drafted by the Miami Dolphins and 11 overall in the NFL. Kenney earned one Pro Bowl honor and was a seven-year starter for the Chiefs thanks to quarterback coach and UNC Hall of Fame member Kay Dalton. After his playing career ended, Kenney went on to be a Missouri senator.

Jed Roberts, Football, 1985-89
Jed Roberts was a first team All-NCC linebacker as a junior and finished his UNC career tied for 14th in sacks. He went on to play linebacker and defensive end for the Edmonton Eskimos from 1990-2002 in the CFL. Roberts was a part of the 1993 Grey Cup championship team. He set the Edmonton Eskimos single-game record for most special teams tackles in a playoff game with four in 1999. Roberts set the Eskimos' franchise record for most special teams tackles in a game with five against the BC Lions in 2000. He holds the franchise record for most special teams tackles in a career with 163. Since retiring from the CFL Jed has dedicated his life to serving as a mentor and caretaker for at-risk youth in Edmonton and currently serves as an ambassador for the Edmonton Eskimos.

D'shara Strange, Women's Basketball, 2010-15
A starter from day one D'shara Strange was a Big Sky MVP, two-time Big Sky Defensive MVP and Big Sky Freshman of the Year. After earning All-Big Sky honorable mention her freshman season, she was a first team All-Big Sky member her remaining three years. She is the only player in program history to record over 1,000 points and grab 1,000 rebounds. She ranks second for scoring at 1,891 points all-time holding the record until 2018-19 when Savannah Smith passed her and has 1,039 career rebounds. She is the program's leader in steals as well with 346, that also ranks her first in Big Sky history. She is 10th in scoring and sixth in rebounds for the Big Sky. Strange ranks in the top 10 in career field goals made (1st), free throws made (2nd) and assists (7th). While at UNC, Strange helped the program to four postseason tournaments including making it to the Sweet 16 of the 2015 WNIT. In three of her four seasons as a Bear, the team advanced to the Big Sky Championship game. She was a three-time All-Big Sky Tournament selection and three-time Academic All-Big Sky member. She played two years professionally in Europe before coming back to the US and getting into coaching. Strange is currently the Director of Operations for Fresno State women's basketball.

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