Archive for Bluffton

Bluffton University Introduces New Head Football Coach

Dorrel, pictured above. 
(photo cred: Marietta College)

Denny Dorrel was introduced as Bluffton University’s new head football coach on Thursday afternoon at a press conference in front of local media outlets, university employees, and current players.

Dorrel comes to Bluffton from Hanover College in Indiana, a rival within the Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference (HCAC). At Hanover, Dorrel served as defensive coordinator. He is also a 2001 graduate of Hanover. Last season, Hanover finished one game in front of Bluffton in both HCAC play (5-3 vs. 4-4) and in overall record (5-5 vs. 4-6).

Dorrel said that as a head coach, “the main goal is to graduate players, period.” Bluffton University Athletics Director, Phill Talavinia, said that this was one of the factors that stood out about Dorrel to the search committee for a new head coach. Talavinia said that the search committee was impressed with Dorrel’s organization and passion, along with his “focus on the student-athletes as being students first; completing their education, and winning both in life and on the field.”

“From this point forward…you are going to see a passionate program,” Dorrel said. Dorrel said that his players will be individuals who are energetic, who fly around, and who do things the right way. Dorrel also expressed that he wants the football program to be “heavily involved in the community and the campus itself.”

Dorrel expressed that he is excited to get started on getting the program “where we all expect it to be, which is winning championships.” He went on to say that “we are so excited to take Bluffton University football to unprecedented heights.”

Dorrel said that his coaching style and philosophy originates from the personalities of his parents. “My father was very tough…and demanding,” said Dorrel. Dorrel said that his father demanded discipline and understood how those traits could be positive when raising a young man. On the other hand, Dorrel explained that his mother was a very nurturing person “who would let you know how important you are.” “I combine those two (personalities) very well, I’m a perfect mixture of my parents,” Dorrel said.

“Bluffton football, from now on, is all going to be about family,” Dorrel said.

Dorrel has also served in previous coaching roles at Marietta College in Ohio and Thomas More College in Kentucky, but Bluffton is his first head coaching role at the college level. Dorrel is filling the open head football coaching vacancy at Bluffton due to the departure of Tyson Veidt, who held the position since 2008. Veidt accepted the position of linebackers coach and recruiting coordinator at the University of Toledo earlier this year. Veidt posted an overall record regular season record of 20-40 as head coach at Bluffton, but was 17-15 in HCAC play since 2010. Despite a winning record in conference play since 2010, four of Veidt’s losses in that span came against Hanover.

Originally from Brookville, Ind., Dorrel said that he felt like Bluffton was home on the day he drove into town for his interview. Dorrel is married to his wife, Sarah, they have three children.


Miss America 2014 to Visit Bluffton

Nina Davuluri in Sept. 2013
(photo credit: @MissAmerica | Twitter)

Miss America 2014, Nina Davuluri, will be the keynote speaker for Bluffton University’s Civic Engagement Day on Wednesday, April 9.  Her speech, which will be at 7:30 p.m. in the Sommer Center, is titled “Circles of Unity: The Celebration of Diversity through Cultural Competency.”

As the first Indian American to be voted Miss America, Miss Davuluri’s experiences are both unique and relevant to this year’s theme of race and ethnicity in America.

Tuesday morning Forum speakers have been addressing the topic throughout the school year, and Civic Engagement Day will continue to do so.

Students are excited for Miss America’s visit to Bluffton’s campus. One male student, who wishes to remain anonymous, said, “I can’t wait to see her in person. I might even ask her out if I get the chance.”

The event is free and open to the public.

Insight on Ukrainian Crisis at Bluffton

Ukrainian native and current resident Gala Korniyenko spoke about the situation in her home country to an audience in Bluffton University’s Kreider Room on Wednesday evening. IMG_0890

Korniyenko said that the recent demonstrations in Ukraine began because of the government’s refusal to join the European Union. “Ukraine was supposed to sign an agreement with the European Union” based on political and economic issues, but the government would not do so and the demonstrations started, Korniyenko said. This decision was heavily influenced by Russian President Vladimir Putin who has pressured Ukraine to join the Customs Union, which is the Russian controlled equivalent to the European Union.

Korniyenko went on to show pictures of the lavish mansion that Former President of Ukraine, Viktor Yanukovych and his workers lived in. Korniyenko said that in addition to political and economic reasons, Ukrainians also wanted to join the European Union because of the “injustice” they saw in their government.

Young Ukrainians have especially expressed desire for their country to be a “democratic and prosperous” one, Korniyenko said. A strong Russian interest in Ukraine is nothing new. Korniyenko said that Russia has tried to portray Ukraine as their “younger brother” for many years, claiming that they need to look after the country.

Currently, Ukrainians are starting to boycott goods from Russia. In some stores, there are flags put on goods which were made in Russia as a notice for Ukrainians not to support their oppressor, Korniyenko said. Korniyenko also said that Ukrainians were not happy that their current interim President, Oleksandr Turchynov, for letting Crimea be invaded and eventually annexed by Russia.

Korniyenko said that “Ukrainians see the United States as their biggest ally” as “there is a possibility” of a Russian invasion. Speaking on the sanctions placed on Russia by the United States, Korniyenko said that “what America has done already, means a lot to Ukrainians.” Korniyenko stressed that Ukrainians do not want the tensions between Russia and United States to escalate to the point of war. The Ukrainians that Korniyenko is speaking of primarily reside in the Western part of the country, while the Eastern population has a strong Russian influence.

The possibility of Russia cutting off gas from Ukraine and other European countries is behind the hesitation for heavier sanctions against Russia. Korniyenko explained that “some parts of Ukraine could go without Russian gas and could use coal instead,” while other parts of the country are highly dependent on Russian gas. Korniyenko currently lives in Cherkasy, Ukraine and she said that this is one area that could go without Russian gas.

From the Russian perspective, Vladimir Putin has said that the overthrowing of former Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych was an “unconstitutional coup and a military seizure of power.” Putin also has defended the referendum vote for the annexation of Crimea, saying that “more 96 percent of voters spoke for reunification with Russia” (from The Kremlin).

The United States and other European Union member countries have not recognized the Crimean referendum as legitimate because there were no international monitors to examine the validity of the election. President Barack Obama met with European Union leaders in Brussels, Belgium on Wednesday to discuss further sanctions against Russia.

Korniyenko is visiting Bluffton University this week through a connection to Professor of History, Dr. Perry Bush. Bush went to Ukraine in 2012, while there he taught American studies at Zaporozhe National University as a Fulbright scholar.

The DAM Roundup

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Beavers Football Downs Rival Yellow Jackets, 17-10

The Beavers Football team capped their 2013 campaign with a big win at rival Defiance College on Saturday, Nov. 16, after Bluffton outscored the Yellow Jackets 14-3 in the second half and led to a 17-10 victory. The win moved the Beavers to 4-6 this season with a 4-4 mark in the HCAC thanks to a third straight win. It was also the first time since 1985-90 that Bluffton has beaten Defiance four consecutive years. Donovan Brown finished the day with four catches for 71 yards, moving him to 7th all-time in the Bluffton University record book for receiving yards in a season with 676 yards. With his 65-yard performance, Frost moves in behind Brown in the ninth place with 661 yards this season. Brown and Frost also sit one and two in the record book for touchdowns in a season with 10 and eight, respectively. Paul Shroyer led the Beavers with 13 tackles, including nine of the solo variety.

Men’s Basketball Starts 1-1

The Bluffton University men’s basketball team took a 47-27 into the half that led to a season-opening victory over Knox College on Friday, Nov. 15, 2013. The Beavers kicked off the Illinois College Tip-Off Tournament with a convincing 86-65 win thanks to a dominating 54-22 edge on points in the paint. Will Pope picked right up where he left off last season, leading all scorers with a career-high 29 points on 13-of-21 shooting from the field. He added five rebounds and three assists for the victors. Recker hit for 16 points on 5-of-7 from the field and he pulled down six boards while draining all six of his free throw attempts. Kinn and Chambers added 13 points apiece.  Kinn also grabbed a game-high seven boards for the Beavers. The Bluffton University men’s basketball team was the victim of a late-game run and fell to the Illinois College Blueboys, 87-82, on Saturday, Nov. 16, 2013. The home team was able to close the game on a 6-0 spurt to earn the victory over the Beavers, who fell to 1-1 on the season. Bluffton was led by sophomore big man Thayne Recker who tallied a career-best 25 points, on 10-of-14 shooting, and five boards off the bench. Will Pope chipped in 19 points and eight rebounds. The Beavers will return to action for their home opener as they battle the OSU-Mansfield Mavericks on Copeland Court in the Sommer Center. Game time is set for 7:30 p.m. on Thursday, Nov. 21.

Women’s Basketball Opens Season 1-1

The Bluffton University women’s basketball team showed it is not afraid to play the best when it tipped off the 2013-14 campaign with a matchup against #9 Hope College, a team that advanced to the Elite Eight of the NCAA Division III Tournament just eight short months ago. The Flying Dutch built a 49-24 lead at the break and held off the Beavers despite being outscored by Bluffton in the second period. Hope improved to 1-0 and will play in the North Central championship game tomorrow, while the Beavers will hit the court at 1 PM (EST) for the consolation contest. Freshman Rachel Beining led the Beavers with 15 points on 5-of-10 from the field in her first collegiate action. She pulled down five boards, blocked a shot and picked up two steals. Senior Kylee Burkholder and sophomore Kaitlyn Pennekamp just missed double figures with nine points apiece.

Story by: Josh Runda

Forum Tuesday November 12 Speaker Justin Romine Spoke About Transformation

For Spiritual Life Week at Bluffton University, Justin Romine came to talk about being transformed not conformed and preached about proving God’s will on Tuesday’s forum.


Romine works with college students from around the world to teach them how to follow Jesus and shows them how to be a transforming agent in the world around them. His mission is to prove that what God has in store for us is good no matter how bad the world around us is.


Romine asks how we see the world and if the way we perceive it is a good world and is it a good place to be. Or is this world that we live in filled with evil. The passage deals with not conforming to the patterns and things of this world or the world itself, but being transformed. “Be an agent of change, be an agent of transformation,” Romine said.

Story by: Lauren Volosin

New Ensemble Puts The “Pep” into Pep Band

Pep Band

The Bluffton University Pep Band, the music department’s newest ensemble, made its debut this year playing at football games to add excitement to the game and pump up the crowd. Rob Young, a senior music education major, decided to start a pep band that would perform at athletic events, like football as well as men’s and women’s basketball games.

Under the direction of Young, the Pep Band includes a mix of music majors and non-music majors who love to play their instruments. They play popular music and stand tunes in between plays and during timeouts, as well as before the game and during halftime.

Patrick Tea, a first-year physics major, enjoys playing in the band, and knows that the crowd has enjoyed the pep band, too.

“Hearing compliments from people about doing good and knowing that they’re glad we’re there is rewarding,” Tea said.

For the future, Tea has hopes for the band and its growth.

“A bigger band and more popular music to learn would be two great goals,” Tea said.

Tea added that it would be a “better incentive” for prospective students if the band grew in the future, too.

The Pep Band practices 4-5pm on Fridays and an hour before the athletic event they expect to play at. Due to occasional conflicts, the band performs at most athletic football and basketball games.

Story by: Caitlin Nearhood

The DAM Roundup

Last Minute Touchdown Shocks #9 Grizzlies, 24-17

The Beavers shocked the HCAC and voters around the country by taking down the #9 ranked Franklin College Grizzlies on Saturday, Nov. 9, after a late 44-yard touchdown grab by Donovan Brown broke a 17-17 tie and helped the Beavers cap their first win over a top 10 opponent in school history, 24-17. 17 points are the fewest the Grizzlies offense, which averaged 51.3 points per game heading into Saturday.  Sheehan finished the day completing 23-of-38 passes for 260 yards and two touchdowns. Frost and Brown hauled in five of those passes apiece. Frost finished with 126 yards and a touchdown while Brown chipped in with 86 yards and the game-winning touchdown. Sheehan’s two TD passes helped him add to Bluffton’s single-season record as the Beavers have 22 now with one game to play. Eric Fox led the Beaver rushing attack with 26 yards on 15 carries. The junior also added 21 receiving yards on eight receptions. Mike Shroyer had a huge day for the Beavers defense with 16 stops and junior Wyatt Herman and sophomore Ryan Aelkerhad big defensive days while constantly pressuring West, racking up 10 and nine tackles, respectively. Travaun Reeves finished with six tackles and a big interception that he returned 25 yards, while Leopold, Ben Schamp and Josh Hadley also recovered fumbles for the victors.

Women’s Volleyball Captures HCAC Tournament Title, Heads to NCAA Tournament

For the first time since 2009, the lady Beavers have made their way to the NCAA tournament. The Beavers overcame two matches in the tournament down 0-2 too Mt. St. Joseph and Transylvania, before domination Hanover College in the finals, 3-1. The HCAC tournament title gave the Beavers a birth into the NCAA tournament, starting Thursday. The Beavers will travel to Calvin College in Michigan, to face the #10 team in the country, Wittenberg. The match starts are 12:30, all coverage for the tournament can be followed at Live video is available at:

Three Volleyball players Selected First Team

Three Bluffton sophomores were named First Team All-Heartland Conference for their workin the 2013 volleyball season. Jenny Brown collected her second straight First Team All-HCAC award thanks to a dominating effort for the HCAC tournament champions. Setter Brooke Ruffer also picked up her second piece of All-HCAC hardware after earning second team recognition with the women’s basketball team in 2012-13. A superb second half of the season propelled Kendra Parmenter to her first All-HCAC honor. The sophomore outside hitter leads Bluffton with 373 kills

Woman’s Soccer Players Recognized for Their Play this Season

Senior Aimee Whitmer capped her superb career at Bluffton by being named first team All-Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference for the 2013 women’s soccer season. Freshman Abby Karikas was selected honorable mention All-HCAC after anchoring the Beaver defense in her first season at Bluffton.

By: Josh Runda

WBWH Sponsored Photography Contest

25 Pictures of You and/or a Friend Photography Contest

This is a team effort! You both can be in one picture or trade off who is taking the picture. You do not both have to be in every picture.

E-mail both participant names to to enter the contest with “25 Pictures” as the subject.

You and a friend have September 26th-29th to take 25 pictures in the following locations:

1. at a set of microphones in the radio station-Founder’s Hall
2. in A dorm room
3. in Sauder Visual Arts with a piece of art
4. in the library with a news paper
5. at the FM tower-behind the baseball diamond/Emery Sears Athletic Complex
6. upper level Marbeck with a statue
7. in the Sommer Center
8. of you and your team member checking out
9. in Marbeck commons with an ice cream cone
10. at the Lion and Lamb Peace Arts Center-below Riley Court
11. with J Denny Beaver-available on blah blah blah
12. singing outside of Mosiman or Yoder Hall
13. With your favorite tree on campus
14. On top of Shoker Science Center
15. With something that says Bluffton University
16. With a professor
17. With an international flag-between Sommer and Marbeck
18. Inside or outside of Centennial Hall
19. Near the Riley
20. At the tennis courts
21. At the volley ball courts
22. In Bob’s Place
23. a picture of your choice
24. a picture of your choice
25. a picture of your choice

Each team posts their pictures to Facebook and tags 96.1 WBWH Your Bluffton Connection in each picture or in one compiled album. Optionally use Instagram and use #WBWH

All pictures must be posted by 8:00 AM Monday September 30th

Each participant receives a T-shirt. First prize receives a $50 gas cards, second prize a $25 iTunes cards, and third place gets $10 fast food cards.

We are looking for your creative shots on Bluffton campus! Have fun with a friend and you may win!

New Band Director Adjusts to Bluffton

(Photo credit: Cameron University)

Dr. Roy Couch, the new visiting band director, is getting used to life in Bluffton. This year, he will be directing the Concert band and teaching a few classes, too. Coming from Cameron University in Lawton, Oklahoma, Couch is no stranger to northwestern Ohio, though. In fact, he and his wife were born and raised in Ohio, and are glad to be back.

So far, Couch enjoys being in a small town with a small university. “I get to know people better, even though there are certain challenges with being here,” said Couch, who was an assistant professor at Cameron University for five years. “My daughter likes her school, and we all love the town and are impressed with the [school] district.”

Compared to being at his previous university, Bluffton isn’t that different. “The programs are very similar with what to do with the students”, said Couch. “Cameron University is bigger than Bluffton in total, but the music department is the same size-it wasn’t a big shock when I got here.”

In addition, Couch has several goals and expectations for the Concert band this year. “I want to bring the band to university performance by building each area of the band, with more music majors to be the centerpieces of each section,” Couch stated. “Also, I want to be able to go on tour to different high schools, to help with recruiting, and so the band experiences playing their instruments off campus.”

In general, Couch wants his band members to have fun while he’s here. “I hope to make band a wonderful experience, and so we can make music together.”

Couch received his bachelor’s degree in music education from Kent State University, his master’s from the University of Akron, and his doctorate from the University of North Texas, all in tuba performance. He was principal tuba in the Allen (Texas) Philharmonic Symphony Orchestra and the Firelands Symphony Orchestra in Sandusky, Ohio.

The Concert band’s first concert is October 13th at 2:30pm and will also feature the Camerata Singers. Come out and support each ensemble!

Story by Caitlin Nearhood