Franklin Announces 2019 Athletic Hall of Fame Class

L-R: Roger Schroder, Bill Schwab and Craig Bland
L-R: Roger Schroder, Bill Schwab and Craig Bland

FRANKLIN, Ind. – The Franklin College athletic department is pleased to announce the three individuals who will make up the 2019 Athletic Hall of Fame class.

Former student-athletes Roger Schroder, Bill Schwab and Craig Bland will be inducted into the Franklin College Athletic Hall of Fame on Thursday, October 10 as part of the homecoming week festivities.

Schroder, Class of 1958, is being inducted as a coach. He suited up for three different programs during his time with the Grizzlies. He would go on to be a four-year starter for the Franklin baseball team while earning a pair of varsity letters in basketball and one letter in track.

Following graduation, Schroder moved into a long, fruitful tenure as a math teacher and a coach in basketball, baseball and golf, earning numerous Coach of the Year awards. He was bestowed the Franklin College Alumni Association Athletic Achievement Award in 1992 and has since been inducted into the Indiana Basketball Hall of Fame (2015), Ripley County Basketball Hall of Fame (2017), John Marshall High School Hall of Fame (2008) and the Indianapolis Senior Softball Hall of Fame (2017).

Schwab, Class of 1977, starred on the football team as a starter for all four years of his career. A stalwart in the trenches, Schwab was named an Honorable Mention All-NAIA defensive lineman in 1975 and was a First Team All-NAIA selection in 1976 for his performance on the line.

During his time with the program, Franklin rolled to four consecutive winning seasons and Schwab played a major role in the team's success. He was voted team MVP in 1976 and won the team's Mental Attitude Award and Defensive Star Award that year while serving as one of the team's co-captains.

Bland, Class of 2003, was one of the most decorated players to represent the baseball program. A three-time HCAC first team selection, Bland was selected as the league's most valuable player in 2002 after leading Franklin to its first conference championship and a then-program record 32 wins. Additionally, he was named a College Baseball Magazine pre-season All-American in 2003.

When his playing career concluded, he held the program's career records for batting average, hits, doubles, triples and home runs while ranking second in runs scored and fourth in runs batted in. Bland also finished with the best individual seasons for batting average, runs scored, at-bats, hits, doubles and home runs.

This year's three inductees will also be honored at halftime of the homecoming football game on Saturday, October 12. Kick-off for the contest against Anderson is set for 1:30 p.m. from Faught Stadium