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A trio to be immortalized: Eckhardt, Heid and Gatt to be inducted to Chargers Athletic Hall of Fame


From the Hillsdale College athletics Web site

In April, the Hillsdale College Athletic Hall of Fame will welcome three new members as part of its Class of 2010.

Former women’s basketball All-American Stephanie Heid, former quarterback Mike Gatt and longtime radio broadcaster Jim Eckhardt will be inducted at a ceremony to take place on the Hillsdale College campus on Sunday, April 25.

Heid was the first Charger women’s basketball player to ever earn Division II First-Team All-American honors, which she did for effort during the 2002-03 season. A highly-decorated player from her freshman season forward, Heid ranks in the career top 10 in virtually every statistical category on the Chargers all-time lists.

After being named the GLIAC Freshman of the Year in 1999-2000, Heid went on to put together one of the most prolific careers in Hillsdale College basketball history. She led Hillsdale to the 2002 GLIAC Tournament championship, and was the leading scorer on the first two women’s basketball teams to ever qualify for the NCAA Division II Women’s Basketball Regional Tournament, in 2002 and 2003. As a senior, she led the GLIAC in scoring average (20.7) as well as steals per game (4.6).

Heid remains Hillsdale’s all-time leader in assists (634) and steals (464), and has the top four single-season steals totals in school history. She also ranks second in career points (1,963), third in field goals made (710), second in free throws made (431) and fifth in rebounds (712), remarkable for a guard who stood 5-feet-5-inches tall.

Mike Gatt, M.D., was the quarterback behind Hillsdale’s 1985 NAIA national championship team and at the time of his graduation, the holder of most of the school’s passing records.

His 2,664 passing yards, 201 completions and 355 pass attempts were all single-season records that stood for 22 years.

He was a three-year starter for the Chargers and was named Academic All-American in 1984 and 1985. He was also the senior class president and was honored as the Senior Man of the Year.
Gatt was named an NAIA All-American following that 1985 season, when he threw 25 touchdown passes. After graduating, Gatt earned his M.D. from Michigan State University in 1990 and served his residency at Providence Hospital in Southfield, Michigan.

He is currently the chairman of the OB/GYN department at St. Mary Hospital in Livonia. He and his wife Maureen, also a Hillsdale College graduate, have four children: Meredith, Nickolas, Mitchell and Carson.

Eckhardt has been a fixture at Hillsdale College sporting events for more than 20 years, and has handled color commentary for close to 1,000 football and basketball games in his career.

A lively and energetic personality, Eckhardt lends a wonderfully lighthearted, but informed touch to all of his broadcasts.

He called his first Charger football game in 1975, and has approached every game since then with the same passion and love that have made him synonymous with Charger athletics. A former registered game official and father of a Hillsdale College alumn, Jim has also been a valued contributor and consultant to the Hillsdale College athletic department through the years.

He has served on several coaching search committees and has been an important part of the Charger Club, actively involved in fundraising efforts for the department.

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About rjwalters

I am what you think I am — a journalist. Actually when I was hired at my current job, which by the way is Sports Editor of the Hillsdale Daily News in Hillsdale, Mich., I applied for a position titled "Wordsmith", so at my best I'll call myself a writer attempting to be a wordsmith extraordinaire.

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