Betty Jane (Rychener) Rahrer g87

Betty Jane (Rychener) Rahrer g87

Betty Jane (Rychener) Rahrer grew up in Archbold, Ohio, the ninth of ten children.  Her parents, Lloyd and Marie Rychener, took the family to the Archbold Evangelical Mennonite Church, where she became a Christian in 1973 and was baptized the following year.

Betty was a superb High School athlete who competed for state titles in three sports. In volleyball, her sophomore (1979) and junior (1980) teams were State Runners-up and her senior (1981) team won the State Championship. Her senior year (1981-1982), the basketball team was a State Semi-Finalist, while that spring (1982) her softball team also won a State Championship. She was also an exemplary student in the classroom. 

In the fall of 1982, Betty enrolled at Fort Wayne Bible College (FWBC), where her older brother Calvin had been an All-American basketball player. While at FWBC, she played volleyball three years (1982-1984) and basketball all four years (1982-1986). After two knee surgeries, she skipped her senior season in volleyball to improve her chances of finishing out her career in basketball.

Her freshman year (1982), the volleyball team went 12-7, defeating Huntington along the way.  The next year (1983), they went 12-5 (matches)/31-18 (games), with victories over Tri-State, Bethel, and Earlham. During her final year in volleyball (1984), she maintained the best service percentage and was named the Most Valuable Player (MVP) of a team that went an amazing 26-1, winning the National Christian College Athletic Association (NCCAA) Regional Championship, although there was no national tournament at that time. 

Betty was the outstanding female basketball player of her era, helping lead her team to some of its best records, including 15-3 after a 14-0 start in her junior season, and 14-7 her senior year. The following are just some of her awards and accomplishments:

  • Field goal percentage leader 1982-1983, 1983-1984, 1985-1986
  • Free throw percentage leader 1982-1983, 1985-1986
  • Assist leader 1982-1983, 1983-1984, 1984-1985, 1985-1986
  • Defensive player of the year 1985-1986
  • MVP 1982-1983, 1983-1984, 1985-1986
  • Team captain 1985-1986
  • Falcon record for career assists 1982-1986
  • NCCAA Division II Regional Champions 1983-1984
  • NCCAA Division II Regional Runners-up 1984-1985, 1985-1986
  • NCCAA Division II National Tournament 1983-1984, 1984-1985 (4th), 1985-1986
  • NCCAA Division II National Tournament record for steals in a game 1985 (6/tie)
  • NCCAA Division II All-Region 1984-1985 (2nd team), 1985-1986 (1st team) 
  • NCCAA Division II All-American 1985-1986 (1st team) 

Falcon jersey #30, one of three jerseys retired when the Gerig Activities Center opened on September 23, 1989, the only one from women's basketball.

Betty also continued to excel in the classroom, winning such honors as the Alumni Scholarship, the Haller Scholarship, and Academic All-American, as well as being recognized with co-curricular awards in her freshman and senior years. She graduated from FWBC in 1987 with a degree in Elementary Education.

Since graduation, Betty has been deeply involved in her home congregations, first at Grabill Mennonite Church, then Brookside Church in Fort Wayne. She has also taught either third or fourth grade at Price Elementary School in the Fort Wayne Community Schools for nearly two decades. Her community contributions have included coaching Paw Ball at Leo Elementary in 1996 and serving as President of the Northrop High School Volleyball Booster Club. But her major concern has been for her own family, whom she has supported ceaselessly in their various activities.

Betty is married to Gregory James Rahrer, a former Falcon basketball player (1981-1985) and a FWBC graduate (1986). He coaches varsity women's basketball at North Side High School in Fort Wayne. They have two children, Brittany Marie, who plays volleyball for Seton Hall University, and Brett Matthew, who plays basketball for the University of St. Francis.

Betty's passion for life, her students, her family, and God are an inspiration to all who know her.

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