The Judson University Athletic Department will celebrate their annual Hall of Fame class this year on Saturday, September 30 at 11:30 a.m. with an induction banquet, as well as recognition throughout the homecoming weekend festivities. The inductees encompass Judson’s athletic history and will be honored throughout the Homecoming and Family Welcome weekend. For the 2023 induction, here are the elected recipients who will be honored inside the Lindner Center.
This year marks the 21st year of the induction of a Judson University Athletic Hall of Fame Class. Nominees were selected keeping in mind the need to have a balance of eras represented in the Hall of Fame.
This year’s first inductee is Sarah Dede from Cross Country/ Track and Field. Sarah Dede is one of the most prominent members of the return of Track and Field to Judson University. During her freshman year, she became the first Eagle to qualify for the NAIA Outdoor National Championships in the triple jump. She also won the NCCAA National Championship in the triple jump. She was a conference champion in the triple jump and was the runner up at the long jump. Dede was a first-team NCCAA All-American.
In her sophomore campaign, Dede was the triple and long jump NAIA indoor national qualifier and had an eighth-place finish in the triple jump. In the outdoor season, she was the CCAC triple jump champion and an NAIA Outdoor Qualifier in the triple jump. For the second consecutive year, she was an NCCAA All-American.
In 2011-2012, Dede was named Judson University co-female athlete of the year as she won the conference triple jump and long jump titles. She was an NAIA Indoor Nationals qualifier, and she was an NCCAA National runner up in triple and long jump. For the third straight year, she was an NCCAA All-American. During her senior year, she was an NAIA qualifier in the triple jump.
The second inductee is Concetta Lampugnano, a softball athlete from 2009-2012. Lampugnano started to cement her Judson legacy during her sophomore season where she had 11 home runs, 70 hits, 48 runs scored, 55 RBIs, and 201 total at bats. All of these are top 5 single season marks in program history.
In her senior season, Lampugnano had 66 hits and 19 doubles in 182 at bats. These marks are top 10 in single season program history. She is a two-time CCAC All-Conference team member and a two-time NCCAA All-American.
Lampugnano is first in program history in walks (79) and career at bats (696). She is third in career hits (227) and runs scored (160). Lampugnano finished fourth in career doubles (42), fifth in home runs (21) and sixth in RBI (110).
This year’s final inductee is the late Coach Joel Popenfoose. Under “Coach Pop’s” leadership from 2013 to 2021, the Eagles established 140 school records, produced 46 All-Conference performers, and 17 Conference Champions. The Eagles also made their presence felt on a national level as they qualified at least one athlete for every NAIA National Championship since Popenfoose began in 2013. From 2013 to 2021, the Eagles celebrated 34 NAIA National qualifiers, 18 NAIA Daktronics Scholar-Athletes, 13 NAIA All-Americans, and 5 NAIA National Champions. Eight different Eagle teams placed at NAIA Nationals during this time as well.
Under Coach Pop, the Women’s team produced three top 20 finishes including an 8th place finish at the 2019 Indoor Nationals. In addition, 6-time National Champion Anali Cisneros recorded a 4th place finish at the 2018 USATF Outdoor Championships.
Coach Popenfoose received several awards of outstanding achievement from the Elgin Sports Hall of Fame for his programs earning national championship appearances. Popenfoose also served as an adjunct professor in the Exercise and Sports Science Department, and he was also the Eagles Athletic Director as well. Coach Pop’s legacy was spending a lifetime helping people develop, and he loved every minute of it. Tickets to attend the Hall of Fame Luncheon are available for $30 for adults and $10 for children (4-12) at www.judsonu.edu/homecoming. The Homecoming festivities conclude that same evening at the Homecoming Football Game played at 7:00 p.m. at Streamwood High School where the Eagles will battle conference opponent Olivet Nazarene University.