By BEN JOHNSON
Northeastern State has been a competitor at the NCAA level for 18 years. It made the leap from NAIA athletics in 1996-1997 and has been a part of the Lone Star Conference and the Mid-America Intercollegiate Athletics Association ever since — also toss in a year an independent while going from one conference to the other.
The ground work for all of its credited to Gil Cloud, NSU’s athletic director from 1994 to 2000. And for his guidance and leadership, Cloud will be inducted into the NSU Hall of Fame in February.
“I’m very humbled by the honor,” said Cloud, who will be inducted alongside four former All-American athletes — Shelbie Allison Glover, Micah Lomas, Alli Toomer Moore and Wes Pitcock.
“It’s all because of the outstanding people that have gone through the university. I’m even more humbled without being a graduate.”
While his degree is from the University of Tulsa, Cloud’s legacy certainly lives at NSU.
During his time at NSU, oversaw the renovation of Jack Dobbins Field House, which was the home of NSU basketball until this season when the RiverHawks moved into the new event center on the north end of campus. He also helped lead a redesign of the soccer complex, which included bleachers and fencing, and he also helped acquire corporately-funded scoring systems for the baseball, softball and basketball facilities.
Cloud also served time on a countless number of committees, most notably the Lone Star Conference Executive Committee, the NCAA Division II Athletics Directors Association and the National Association of College Director of Athletics.
“I was tickled to death when Tony called me,” Cloud said of current Director of Athletics Tony Duckworth. “I’m really humbled to be a part of that group. It was a great six years for us while we were there. I really enjoyed it.”
Since residing over NSU athletics, Cloud has also served in the same position at Arkansas Tech University and Upper Iowa University. He is currently at Tulsa Public Schools, serving as the athletic director for the entire metro school district.
“NSU is a great university,” said Cloud, who also hired both current basketball coaches — Randy Gipson (women) and Larry Gipson (men).
“The things that we did helped set the school on a different path athletically and academically. And then going from the NAIA to the NCAA.”
As for the other inductees, the most recent to compete at NSU was Moore, a four-year letterwinner on the women’s golf team. She was an NGCA All-American in 2004 and 2006.
Another women’s golf inductee will be Glover, who helped lead NSU to two Lone Star Conference titles in 2001 and 2002. She also won an individual championship in the Lone Star Conference in 2001.
On the men’s side, Lomas will be inducted after ending his football career in 2003. He was named to the D2football.com All-American First Team in both 2001 and 2002.
Pitcock will be honored for his basketball prowess, which included becoming the school’s all-time leading scorer (he has since fallen to No. 3). He was a NABC Third Team All-American in 2001.
The five inductees will be enshrined on Feb. 15 at 11 a.m.