Art Westphal inducted into MAYBA Hall of Fame
Mankato, Minn. - Hall of Fame inductions are nothing new to Art Westphal. For nearly 30 years, Westphal has served Bethany Lutheran College in a number of capacities including athletic director, head baseball and basketball coach, admissions counselor, and his current role of chief advancement officer. Because of his impact on the Bethany community, he gained induction into the Bethany Athletic Hall of Fame in 2006.
Westphal has had an impact in the Mankato community as well. This past Sunday at the Community Fields next to Rosa Parks Elementary School, Westphal gained induction into the Mankato Area Youth Baseball Association (MAYBA) Hall of Fame.
The criteria for induction into the MAYBA Hall of Fame includes "coaches (former or present) who has distinguished himself/herself by demonstrating exceptional leadership, character, and athletic achievement during his/her tenure in the baseball community." Westphal definitely fits that criteria. He has served on the MAYBA board of directors, hosted coaching clinics at Bethany, helped develop the Bethany baseball field, and allowed MAYBA to use the field from the beginning.
"It really has been a wonderful experience to be associated with MAYBA for the past 29 years, and in particular, all those people that have dedicated so many hours to create the current program that so many benefit from," said Westphal. "I certainly gleaned a great deal from all those involved in MAYBA."
Bethany and MAYBA have had a strong connection throughout Westphal's tenure. He was hired to restart the baseball program at Bethany in 1984 after it had been dropped for 11 years. Six of the starters on the 1984 squad were from Mankato. Those starters include Joe Madson, Dan Quame, Troy Lingbeck, Jeff Brudwick, Brad Haugum, and Dan Makela.
"Those guys were instrumental in the development of the program," said Westphal. "During the time I coached here at Bethany, we were fortunate to have 32 players from Mankato and the MAYBA program."
Westphal would turn those Mankato and MAYBA athletes into a perennial power at Bethany in the National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA). He won NJCAA Region XIII Coach of the Year awards three consecutive years (1990-92).
The success Bethany baseball enjoyed under Westphal could not have been achieved if not for the association he had with MAYBA.
"During those early years, the leaders of MAYBA were very kind to me and welcomed me into the "baseball circles" in Mankato," said Westphal. "A number of previous (MAYBA Hall of Fame) inductees, like Bob Irwin, Steve Wolle, Brad Schreier, and Dave Pearson, were very helpful as we tried to build the program into a respected and successful program."