Rice University Owls track runner Mike Novelli
Black and white photograph of Rice University Owls track athlete Mike Novelli, class of 1979, headlining his achievement into the Rice Athletic Hall of Fame. Caption reads: Over the years, Rice has probably received more consistent attention for its exploits in track and field than for any other sport. It was and remains a natural for promising young schoolboy track stars, born and raised in Houston, to consider Rice for their higher education and track participation. That was the case when young Mike Novelli came out of a fine schoolboy track program a Strake Jesuit College Prep in the mid-1970’s. Since Strake Jesuit did then and still does compete in the TCIL, Micke could not compete in the big state meet competition of the University Interscholastic League in Austin. But he was widely known as a super prospect since his times in the mile run in 1974 and 1975 wer better than those of all the public school runners. Mike now vividly recalls the recruiting visit to his family’s living room by then assistant coach (now head coach) and recruiter Steve Straub. Steve, who himself had entered Rice relatively unknown out of St. Pius Catholic High to become one of the nation’s finest 880 runners, made a strong impression on Novelli. He told Mike what would lie ahead of him at the university – the sense of accomplishment of getting a degree from a school of great prestige, the worthiness of the college system for dormitory and social aspects of living, and the chance to compete against the best in the country as part of a team with a strong track program that had developed under the late, great Owl track coach, Emmett Brunson. Straub told Mike he could have all that and more if he pledged to become an Owl. He did, and now says the “more” was the lifelong friendships he made with his fellow teammates at Rice. Novelli cites such particular buddies as Larry Nettles, Mike Bonem, and a coupld more well-known distance runners in Jeff Wells and Marty Froelick. “Although I live a long way away from my pals now, I still get the glow and memories when we were on campus running and studing and having fun.” Mike lives in Wheaton, Illinois where he is a partner with the famous Tramwell Crow Company. He and his wife, Brook, moved to that Illinois city about three years ago. They are pround of two young daughters in Sarah, who is three, and Rebecca, one. Novelli qualified for that excellent post-graduate position via advanced study after Rice. He studied two years abroad at Cambridge University where he received a B.A. in Economics in 1982. He got his first degree as a B.A. in Economics from Rice, then a Masters Degree in Accounting from Rice’s famed Jones School of Business in 1980. The induction to the Rice Athletic Hall of Fame, though, is for Mike’s deeds on the track. There were so man for the vibrant and competitive Novelli that most can not be listed in a brief bio. In 1977, Novelli won the Southwest Conference Cross Country Championship, and later made all-American as the 21st American to place in the NCAA Cross Country Championships.
Rice Athletic Hall of Fame
Citable link to this pagehttps://hdl.handle.net/1911/64014
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