McPherson resident Jamie Piper recently was inducted into the Spring Arbor University Athletic Hall of Fame.
Piper played three seasons under legendary coach Hank Burbridge and while at Spring Arbor, he led the Cougars to an impressive 82-36 record.
Piper, a Northwest High School, Jackson, MI., graduate, was a heavily recruited prep star and signed with the University of Michigan. He pitched for the Wolverines and went 3-0 with a 0.80 ERA during his freshman year. Wanting to do more than just pitch, he contacted Burbridge and became a Cougar.
In Piper’s first year, he played a pivotal role in the Cougars winning the NCCAA National Championship in the 1983-84 season, and was named the NCCAA Tournament MVP.
He was selected to the NCCAA All-Tournament Team in 1984 and 1985. Piper was also part of an outfield during the 1985-86 season that combined for 161 putouts in 36 games and threw out 17 base runners. He contributed to a current team record batting average of .345 by being one of two players hitting over .400. He was All-Conference and NAIA Honorable Mention All-American in the 1984-85 and 1985-86 seasons.
Piper’s sons have followed in his athletic footsteps. Oldest son Josh played baseball for Johnson County, while younger son Joel currently plays quarterback at Washburn University. Both were outstanding athletes for McPherson High School.
He resides in McPherson with his wife, Jill.