By Jack Jeffrey
ADA – The Ohio Northern University Athletic Hall of Fame inducted four new members during recent ceremonies over Homecoming weekend at the University.
The inductees in the fall 2018 class are Karlee (Kanuckel) Badenhop of Liberty Center, Ohio, a 2007 graduate who majored in business administration and competed in volleyball; Karen (Lee) Budd of Upper Arlington, Ohio, a 2005 graduate who majored in biology and competed in women's tennis; Michael Kluse of Acworth, Ga., a 2000 graduate who majored in business management and competed in men's basketball; and Matt Tepe of Cincinnati, Ohio, a 1991 graduate who majored in finance and accounting and who competed in football.
Karlee (Kanuckel) Badenhop was part of tremendous team and found individual success during her time as an ONU student-athlete. During her career, the Ohio Northern volleyball team won the Ohio Athletic Conference (OAC) regular-season championship all four years. In addition, the Polar Bears claimed the OAC tournament title three times and made four NCAA tournament appearances, advancing as far as the Elite Eight. During Badenhop's time, ONU achieved a 112-30 overall record and 34-2 mark in OAC play. She graduated as the ONU leader in digs for a career (3,672), season (1,039) and match (56). Badenhop was a third-team NCAA Division III All-American in 2006 and an honorable mention All-American in 2005. She was also first-team all-region, first-team All-OAC and Academic All-OAC in 2005 and 2006. Badenhop was named OAC Freshman of the Year in 2003 and OAC Libero of the Year three times. Away from the volleyball court, she was a member of the Sigma Iota Epsilon professional management fraternity. She is currently manager of marketing, wellness and community relations at Henry County Hospital in Napoleon, Ohio. Badenhop was previously involved in sales and marketing for organizations in Columbus, Ohio, and Laramie, Wyo. She is also involved in her community, serving as a board member and past chairperson of Symphony of Trees, which benefits children of Northwest Ohio. A native of Warsaw, Ohio, Badenhop graduated from River View High School. She and her husband, Greg, have four children.
Karen (Lee) Budd set a high standard for achievement as a tennis player at Ohio Northern. She was first-team All-Ohio Athletic Conference (OAC) in 2002, second-team All-OAC in 2004 and honorable mention All-OAC in 2005. Further, she was named an ITA Scholar Athlete in 2003 and 2004, first-team Academic All-OAC in both 2004 and 2005, first-team Academic All-District in 2005 and second-team Academic All-District in 2004. Also, she was a member of the 2002 OAC Tournament championship team, which was ONU's first conference title in the sport; the 2004 regular-season OAC co-champs; and the 2005 regular-season and tournament championship teams. The first player in school history to reach 100 career wins, she graduated as the ONU women's tennis leader in winning percentage and is in the top 10 in singles, doubles and overall matches won. Off of the court, Budd was a member of the ONU Symphony Orchestra, Northern Chimes and the Beta Beta Beta biology honor society; she also received the 2002 DeBow Freed Award for Outstanding Student Leadership. After graduating from Ohio Northern, she earned a Doctor of Optometry from Ohio State University. Budd is currently an optometrist and practices in Grove City and Dublin, Ohio. She remains active in tennis as a member of a United States Tennis Association team. Budd graduated from Mount Vernon (Ohio) High School. She and her husband, Jeremy, have two children.
Michael Kluse was always in the middle of the action, starting all 108 games during his Polar Bear basketball career. His freshman year, in 1996-97, he was part of the team that upset Louisiana Tech, a Division I member, in Ruston, La. Kluse earned first-team All-Ohio Athletic Conference (OAC) accolades in 1999-2000 and was an honorable mention All-OAC pick in both 1997-98 and 1998-99. He was also runner-up for the OAC Gregory Award. The Polar Bears won the OAC regular-season and tournament championships in both his junior and senior seasons. An all-around standout, Kluse scored more than 1,000 points during his college career, and, when he graduated, Kluse ranked among the all-time leaders in several statistical categories, including 20th in school history in scoring, fourth in field goal percentage, 10th in rebounding and 11th in steals. After earning his bachelor's degree, Kluse earned an MBA from Trident University. Kluse is currently a pilot and first officer with Delta Air Lines. He is also a major in the Air Force Reserves and was on active duty from 2003 to 2014. He served five tours in Afghanistan and Iraq, logging more than 1,000 combat flying hours in more than 150 combat sorties in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation Enduring Freedom. Kluse is a graduate of the USAF Air Command and Staff College as well as Flight Safety Officer School. Additionally, he has remained active in coaching youth sports. He graduated from Columbus (Ohio) Saint Francis DeSales High School. Kluse and his wife, Meghan, have two children.
Matt Tepe was a three-year All-Ohio Athletic Conference (OAC) selection as an offensive lineman during his football career at Ohio Northern. He was team captain as both a junior and senior in 1989 and 1990. Tepe started all 40 games during his collegiate career, was first team All-OAC as a senior in 1990, was second-team all-conference as a junior, and was honorable mention his sophomore year. Tepe was the Ohio Northern Greek Athletic of the Year in 1990-91 and ONU's nominee for the Ohio Athletic Conference Clyde Lamb Award, which honors the top student-athlete at each member school. Tepe was also the Daniel Q. Gennett "Bear Award" recipient as voted by his teammates. A true student-athlete away from the playing field, Tepe was a member of Mortar Board, Omicron Delta Kappa leadership society, Delta Mu Delta business honor society and Phi Kappa Theta fraternity. After graduating from ONU, Tepe later earned an MBA from Xavier University while embarking on a successful business career. He is currently a director with Wells Fargo Asset Management in Cincinnati, Ohio. In his spare time, Tepe has coached youth football, lacrosse, basketball and baseball teams. He is also involved in his community, having served on the parish council of Saint Jude Catholic Church. Along with his children, he volunteers for City Gospel Mission and Tender Mercies Homeless Shelter. He has been a member of the board of directors of the Cancer Support Community of Cincinnati for nearly 20 years. Tepe graduated from Cincinnati Purcell Marian High School. He and his wife, Tracy, have five children.
To be inducted into ONU's Athletic Hall of Fame, an individual must have made great contributions through athletic performance at the University or meritorious efforts made on behalf of the University. Athletes must have attended ONU at least 10 years ago. All nominees must demonstrate good citizenship both at ONU and beyond as well as serve the athletics program in any capacity that contributes to the overall program.