November 2, 2021
The Mars Hill University Athletic Department has named Mike Owens, Jon Stoehr, and Tony Fontanelle to the 2021 Hall of Fame Class.
Mike Owens was the head men’s and women’s cross country coach at Mars Hill for 27 years and had great success. He coached 27 South Atlantic Conference Championship teams and was named SAC Coach of the Year 24 times.
His success extended past the SAC as he led the teams to 12 Southeast Region Championships and named the Southeast Region Coach of the Year 12 times. Coach Owens led the Lions to 30 NCAA appearances.
Owens coached three All-Americans, 13 SAC Runners of the Year, 11 SAC Freshman of the Year, and 21 SAC Scholar Athletes. Seven of his runners were inducted into the Mars Hill Hall of Fame while five were inducted in the SAC Hall of Fame.
Jon Stoehr ran for the Mars Hill men’s cross country team from 2003-06 and racked up a myriad of accolades. Stoehr was named the SAC Freshman of the Year and was named All-SAC First Team all four years of his career. He was a member of the Southeast All-Region Team and a USTFCCCA Academic All-American from 2004-06 and was named an ESPN The Magazine Academic All-District First Team selection in 2005.
Stoehr was the SAC Scholar Athlete in 2005 and 2006 and capped off his individual accolades as the SAC Runner of the Year in 2006. At the time of his induction, Stoehr holds the school record in the 10K race with a time of 30:57 set in 2006.
Stoehr was a member of the SAC Championship winning team all four years of his career and was a Southeast Region Championship team from 2003-05. In 2005, Stoehr led the Lions to their highest placed finish in the National Championship race, placing 18th in 2005.
He served as SGA Treasurer and College Marshall in 2005 and was a student-assistant basketball coach during the 2005-06 season. Upon graduation, Stoehr was named assistant cross country and track and field coach at Mars Hill in 2007, serving in that position until 2009. He, along with Coach Owens, led the men’s cross country teams to SAC Championships in those seasons.
Stoehr currently teaches and coaches at Dorman High School in Roebuck, S.C. He was the assistant men’s basketball coach of the state champions from 2018-20 and is the assistant men’s cross country coach which saw them win state championships in 2019 and 2020.
Tony Fontanelle was the head volleyball coach from 2004-21 and led the team to over 190 wins. In 16 seasons, Fontanelle led the Lions to 12 SAC tournament appearances. At the time of induction, he is the seventh winningest coach in the conference’s history. In 2017, Fontanelle’s Lions led the NCAA in digs per set and team attacks per set. The teams finished in the top five in both of those categories from 2017-19.
He led the Lions to two AVCA Team Academic Awards in 2016 and 2017 as well as the team being named the Lions’ Choice Award winners for Highest Team GPA in 2018 and 2020.
Fontanelle coached the university’s first female student-athlete to be named an Academic All-American (Lauren Hochstetler, 2017). He also coached the school record holder in total blocks (SallyAnne Johnson, 2019). Along with those standouts, Fontanelle coached two All-Region selections, three All-State honorees, 22 All-SAC selections, six SAC Freshman of the Year, and three SAC Statistical Champions.
Prior to joining Mars Hill, Fontanelle saw success as a coach at Lees-McRae from 2002-04. He recorded 59 wins overall, including a 35-1 record in conference. With the Bobcats, Fontanelle coached six All-Tournament and seven All-Conference selections.
Fontanelle served as a USAV National Official and officiated the NCAA Division I Men’s Final Four in both 1998 and 1999. He was also a member of Gold Medal Squared Camp Staff.
The inductees will be honored at the annual MHU Athletics Hall of Fame breakfast on November 6 and recognized later that day at the Lions’ final regular season home football game versus Tusculum at halftime. Kickoff is slated for 1 p.m.