The Creighton University Athletic Hall of Fame will add two alumni to its ranks on Monday, April 9, at the DoubleTree Hotel in downtown Omaha. This year’s inductees are Jody Schwartz Longballa and Ross Paule.
Longballa, a 1989 graduate of the College of Arts and Sciences, was a first-team All-American in 1988, the year the senior first baseman led the team with a .340 average, 10 doubles, four home runs and 36 runs batted in, while also posting a .989 fielding percentage. She twice led the team in home runs and slugging percentage, and in total bases, three times. She finished her years at Creighton as the Bluejays’ career leader with 36 doubles and 78 walks in a school-record 222 games played, all of which still rank in the Bluejay top-10.
Noted as a leader off and on the field, she and her husband Ken live in Reno, Nev., where she has been active in sports instruction for more than 20 years.
Paule played only three years at Creighton before being drafted into professional soccer, but he made significant and lasting contributions to the sport. He remains the only soccer player in school history to have earned first-team all-Missouri Valley Conference (MVC) honors in his first three seasons and one of only 10 players overall to have earned the honor three times.
He was also a finalist for the Hermann Trophy and the Missouri Athletic Club (MAC) Player of the Year award (before the two were combined) in 1996, the year he led Creighton to its fifth straight MVC regular-season title and its first College Cup. Following his junior season, he was drafted 11th overall by the Colorado Rapids in the second round of the 1997 Major League Soccer (MLS) draft. He played for Colorado, Columbus and N.Y./N.J. during a nine-year MLS career, in which he was named twice to MLS All-Star teams.
He also was an assistant coach for the Columbus Crew, served as the National Soccer Director for the Fellowship of Christian Athletes and currently is the Technical Director of Tennessee Rush Soccer. He resides in Lakeland, Tenn.