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17th Annual Colorado Springs Sports Hall of Fame
Tuesday, October 25, 2016
The Broadmoor World Arena
Prices- $2,500.00 for a VIP table of ten seats, $1,250.00 for a patron table of ten seats; $250.00 for a VIP seat, $125.00 for a patron seat. VIP seating includes priority seating location, complimentary wine, and VIP pre-event reception and early (5:30) start for the famed sports silent auction.
The Class of 2016 will be inducted on Tuesday, October 25, at the The Broadmoor World Arena with dinner at 7:00 p.m. following a reception at 5:30, along with the popular sports silent auction, which has been a highlight of all 16 previous induction ceremonies starting with the inaugural Class of 2000.
The Sports Hall of Fame is presented by ANB Bank and The Gazette.
Meet the Sports Hall Of Fame Class of 2015
1985 Air Force Academy Football Team
The Greatest Football Season in Air Force History
The 1985 Air Force Academy Football Team is one of the greatest football teams in U.S. Air Force Academy history. Setting the standard for Falcon football, the team finished the season with a school record 12 wins (12-1 overall) and finished 7-1 in the Western Athletic Conference, setting a record for conference wins. The team ended the season ranked #5 in the Coaches Poll and #8 in the Associated Press Poll, while defeating the Texas Longhorns 24-16 in the 1985 Bluebonnet Bowl.
Led by 1985 Bear Bryant National Coach of the Year, Fisher DeBerry, the team exhibited immense brotherhood and loyalty on and off the field, winning the school’s first conference championship, a WAC co-title and tied the school record for consecutive weeks ranked in the top-10, reaching as high as #4. Together this brotherhood defeated Notre Dame, 21-15, to notch the fourth straight win over the Fighting Irish.
Notable players included All-Americans Scott Thomas, Mark Simon and Chad Hennings, who later became a consensus All-American and played nine seasons for the Dallas Cowboys including three Super Bowl wins. Scott Thomas, Tom Rotello, John Ziegler, Terry Maki, Kraig Evenson, Bart Weiss and Mark Simon were named First Team All-Conference. Rusty Wilson, Ken Carpenter, Hugh Brennan, Chad Hennings, Mike Chandler and A.J. Scott were named Second Team All-Conference.
The 1985 Air Force Academy Falcon Football Team included: Coach Fischer DeBerry, Steve Allen, Tyler Barth, Hugh Brennan, Derek Brown, Peter Browning, Larry Bruce, Ron Bryant, Brian Bullard, Rip Burgwald, Marlon Camacho, Ken Carpenter, Mike Chandler, Gary Chandliss, Bob Collins, Roger Creedon, Scott Curtis, Dick Clark, Jerry Duhovic, Pat Evans, Kraig Evenson, Chris Findall, Steve Flewelling, Chris Forseth, David Gaines, Roy Garcia, Blake Gettys, Brady Glick, Ashley Glitzke, David Goldstein, Scott Haines, Ty Hankamer, Bruce Hawkins, Steve Hendrickson, Chad Hennings, Doug James, Forrest James, Tyrone Jeffcoat, Elijah Jones, Randy Jones, Joe Jose, Chuck Kinamon, Brian Knorr, Derick Larson, Mike Loughman, Terry Maki, Pat Malackowski, Tom Manion, Kevin Martin, Frank Martini, Grant Morris, Marc Munafo, Greg Myers, Kevin Palko, Eric Pharris, Trent Pickering, Kelly Pittman, Greg Pshsniak, Matt Rathsack, Tom Rotello, Tom Ruby, Alton Scott, Bradford James Shwedo, Steve Sigler, Mark Simon, Johnny Smith, Steve Spewock, John Steed, Pat Stoll, Dave Sutton, Tim Sweterlitsch, Marty Tatum, Roger Teague, Scott Thomas, Mike Toliver, James Tomallo, Chris Vellanti, Rod Vernon, Mike Walker, Jeff Weathers, Bart Weiss, Dwan Wilson, Russell Wilson, and John Ziegler.
The AdAmAn Club
Climbing America's Mountain in the Harshest Winter Conditions
The AdAmAn Club has answered the challenges of America's Mountain and maintained the cherished tradition of an annual fireworks show from the 14,115’ summit of Pikes Peak, since 1922. This unique group of mountaineers climbs the icy slopes of Barr Trail, on the east face of world famous Pikes Peak, each December 30 and 31. At the stroke of midnight on New Year's Eve, AdAmAn members and their guests ignite a spectacular fireworks display from the summit to launch the New Year across the region.
The club is dedicated to the memory of its founders, the original "Frozen Five," Ed Morath, Fred Morath, Fred Barr, Willis Magee and Harry Standley. Their tradition of adding one new member annually suggested the name AdAmAn (add-a-man) with the name spelled using capital A’s to represent mountains. In spite of the name, the club includes both male and female members and each year the club chooses one new member from a list of qualified applicants.
For 90+ years, the club has grown, thrived and become part of the rich heritage of the Pikes Peak Region. Unlike most mountaineering endeavors, the AdAmAn Club climbs regardless of the conditions, not waiting for optimal weather. The club's unique achievement is a celebrated occasion for residents and visitors every year.
Professional Endurance Triathlete, Runner and Cyclist
Michelle Blessing's athletic accomplishments began at Palmer High School where she was a record-setter in both track and cross country. Since then, she has made her name as a professional endurance triathlete, runner and cyclist.
Locally, Blessing is an accomplished Pikes Peak Marathoner, consistently placing at the top of her age-group and often the top overall female. She is one of the few female runners to complete the "Double," finishing both the Pikes Peak Ascent and Pikes Peak Marathon back-to-back, a Herculean achievement in endurance running.
Blessing was on the first Team USA at the World Mountain Running Championships in Scotland, finishing as the second fastest American in 1995. That same year, she won the Empire State Building Run-Up in New York City.
Blessing competed nationally in 14 races for Team Saturn in 1996 and by 1998, she transitioned into coaching, initially working as the Junior National Teams coach for USA Triathlon. In 2000, she was selected as the inaugural USA Olympic Triathlon Coach for the men's and women's teams for the Sydney Olympic Games. She was also named the U.S. Olympic Committee’s National Triathlon Coach of the Year in 2000 and 2001. In 2014, she finished the year ranked second in the world for her age group in the Half Ironman out of nearly 2,000 women.
Outstanding Local, State and National Sports Official
A Colorado Springs native, Greg Burks graduated from Mitchell High School in 1973 after competing in baseball, football and wrestling and serving as captain of the hockey team, earning All-League honors.
Burks began his professional career as Supervisor of Youth Sports for the City of Colorado Springs from 1985-1997. He also served as Head Baseball Coach at Coronado High School (1991-1994) and Sierra High School (1995-1996).
In 1983, Burks began officiating as a high school baseball umpire, then as a basketball and football official. Burks has officiated on local, national and international levels, including league tournaments, high school state championships, NCAA tournaments and renowned events such as the Hawaii Rainbow Classic, Alaska Shoot Out and Puerto Rico Classic.
Burks joined the Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference in 1990 and the Big Eight Conference in 1992. He’s officiated the Big 12 Conference since its 1996 inception and served as the Official's Association President from 2005-2015. As of 2015, he has officiated 15 bowl games, four Big 12 Championship games and the inaugural College Football Playoff National Championship. He accepted the Coordinator of Football Officials position for the Mountain West Conference in 2015 to oversee the training and assigning of football officials for all Mountain West football games.
Avid Hill Climb Supporter, Sponsor and Promoter
Bob Gillis became involved in hill climb racing when he sponsored Larry Carnes in the 1979 Pikes Peak International Hill Climb (PPIHC). He became part of the newly formed Colorado Hill Climb Association in 1979 and was Vice President in 1981 and President in 1982, 1983 and 1986. As President, Gillis resurrected the Lands End Hill Climb in Grand Junction after a 40 year hiatus.
As Gillis' passion for racing grew, he promoted races and drivers at Los Alamos in New Mexico, Buffalo Peaks near Buena Vista and the Continental Divide Auto Hill Climb near Salida. These events were good for racing and created economic benefits for these communities. With the addition of these races, teams had an improved competition schedule, and more opportunities to practice which created more opportunities to promote the PPIHC.
Gillis was involved with the PPIHC for more than 35 years, serving as a sponsor, member of the Board of Directors and Board President, first in 1996 and again from 2008-2011. Since 1979, he has demonstrated commitment to the sport by supplying tires and major sponsorships allowing more teams to compete and ultimately saving the PPIHC during difficult times. Through his involvement with BF Goodrich and Tire Centers Incorporated, Gillis has supported hill climb racing teams and brought national and international attention to these events.
Major League Outfielder Leading the Sky Sox to the 1995 Pacific Coast League Championship
Trenidad (Trent) Hubbard is one of Major League Baseball's great journeyman outfielders. A 1986 alumnus of Southern University in Louisiana, he was acquired by the Houston Astros in the MLB draft the same year.
As a Sky Sox outfielder in 1993, 1994 and 1996, Hubbard was one of the team’s leaders and helped carry the team to the Pacific Coast League Championship in 1995. His timely hitting, great speed and base running ability showcased a batting average in the 1995 season of .340 with 163 hits, including 29 doubles, 7 triples and 37 stolen bases. He was described as the "spark plug" of the team as his speed and threat of stealing bases kept opposing pitchers off balance as he led the Sky Sox to the pennant. His other three seasons with the Sky Sox were equally impressive, hitting .314 in 1993 and 1996, and an amazing .363 in 1994.
After gaining tremendous experience in Colorado Springs, Hubbard went on to play for nine Major League teams including the Colorado Rockies. Hubbard also spent 15 seasons in the winter baseball circuit and was part of four League Championships and two Caribbean World Series Championships. He last played professional baseball in 2005 with the Chicago Cubs and continued to infuse his work ethic, passion and experience into baseball as the Colorado Rockies' Outfield/Base Running Coordinator from 2006-2012.
William "Bill" Wright
Legendary Role Model, Teacher and Coach
William “Bill” Wright was born and raised in Richmond, Indiana but later transplanted to Colorado where he earned his master's degree in 1961 from the University of Northern Colorado (UNC). His early coaching career in Colorado Springs began at Taylor and Stratton Elementary Schools and Palmer High School. Wright later served Mitchell High School for 28 years as a physical and driver's education teacher, and coach of 9th grade football, junior varsity basketball and varsity baseball. He was Mitchell's head basketball coach for 27 years and head golf coach for four years.
During his coaching career, Wright coached 1,188 games, winning his 300th game in 1990. He was named Coach of the Year and selected to coach the South Team in the All-State Basketball game in 1970-1971 and his teams won the State 3A Basketball Championship in 1971 and 1973. He received the Tom Sutak Award from the Colorado High School Coaches Association in 1990-1991 and the Jim Ransom Service Award in 1993. Wright was inducted into the Colorado Coaches Hall of Fame in 1995 and the UNC Hall of Fame as a player on the 1955 and 1957 baseball teams.
Alongside his brother, Thurman Wright, he established the Thurm and Bill Wright Men's Athletic Scholarship at UNC in 2012 which provides students the opportunity to achieve success in their academic and athletic careers.
Sports Corp Special Awards
Thayer Tutt Sportsman Award
The Thayer Tutt Sportsman Award is presented annually by the Colorado Springs Sports Corporation to an individual in recognition of exceptional philanthropic and community sports support, as well as on the national sports stage.
Bill Daniels, one of the great business visionaries of the twentieth century, achieved success by working hard, acting with ethics and integrity, and treating everyone with respect and fairness.
Born in Colorado in 1920, Bill’s family moved to Hobbs, New Mexico, where he attended the New Mexico Military Institute. During this time, Bill earned the title of New Mexico’s Golden Gloves welterweight boxing champion. He went on to prove himself a fine naval officer and fearless combat pilot in World War II.
Bill began his business career in Casper, Wyoming, where he learned that many small towns did not have access to TV. As a result, he built Casper’s first cable system in 1952. One of the earliest pioneers in cable TV, Bill owned hundreds of systems across the country. His company, Daniels & Associates, operated these properties and brokered many deals that shaped the industry.
An avid sports fan, Bill was one of the first in cable to generate sports programming, clearing the way for today’s regional sports networks. He sponsored professional boxers, was a founder of the United States Football League and an owner of professional sports teams, including the Utah Stars and the Los Angeles Lakers.
The respect Bill earned for his achievements in business was matched by the admiration generated by his philanthropy. When Bill passed away in 2000, his estate transferred to the Daniels Fund, which continues Bill’s legacy of compassion and generosity by providing grants to nonprofit organizations, and scholarships to students, in Colorado, New Mexico, Utah, and Wyoming.
Col. F. Don Miller Award
The Colonel F. Don Miller Award is presented annually by the Colorado Springs Sports Corporation to the person who best reflects the commitment exemplified by Colonel Miller in providing a lasting contribution to the Colorado Springs sports community. The presentation of this award to those locally dedicated to the importance of sports in building young lives is a fitting tribute to Colonel Miller and the thousands of young men and women who benefitted from his unparalleled service on behalf of our nation's youth.
A native of the San Francisco area, Darryl Laye came to Colorado Springs after attending college in South Dakota and obtaining his master's degree from Adams State College. He began his teaching career at Cheyenne Mountain Junior High School in 1967 and spent the next 35 years there teaching and coaching football, wrestling and track. He also coached football, wrestling, soccer and swimming at Cheyenne Mountain High School. He was drafted into the U.S. Army in 1968, served as a medic in Vietnam and returned to District 12 in 1970. His coaching career also included stints at the Colorado Springs Country Club and the Colorado Springs Parks and Recreation Department.
In 2012, Laye was selected as a member of the Cheyenne Mountain School District 12 Hall of Fame. He received the Carl Fetters Memorial Award for dedicated service to Cheyenne Mountain Athletics in 1995 and was named Teacher of the Year at Cheyenne Mountain Junior High School in 1996. Laye was involved in numerous league, conference and state titles for both the junior high and high school levels. Most important to him, above athletic accomplishment, was the development of potential in student athletes at the junior high level and instilling the highest level of sportsmanship in each student.
Special Recognition Award
Colorado Springs Youth Hockey Pioneers
Youth hockey plays an integral part in the youth sports landscape in Colorado Springs, contributing to the rich heritage of ice sports in our community, including high school, collegiate and Olympic-level hockey competitions by U.S. Figure Skating and USA Hockey. While many individuals and organizations have played key roles since the movement began in the late 1940's, the initial development of the sport can be attributed to several key "pioneers" who dedicated their lives to the development and growth of many of the programs and tournaments thriving in Colorado Springs today.
The Colorado Springs Youth Hockey Pioneers include: Don Bates, former Colorado College hockey player, coach and later a high school and collegiate official; Art Berglund, former Broadmoor Ice Palace (later renamed The (original) Broadmoor World Arena) Manager and retired Senior Director of International Administration at USA Hockey; Tommy Brennan, former Program Coordinator with the City of Colorado Springs Parks & Recreation Department, spearheaded the youth hockey program that later became the high school hockey program; and Sandi and Tim McConnell, former Directors of the President's Day Youth Hockey Tournament, one of the largest and most successful youth hockey events in North America attracting 80+ teams to Colorado Springs annually.
Each of these individuals, along with many others, dedicated years of service to the grassroots development of hockey, helped establish youth hockey in the Colorado Springs sports community and developed many champions and major stars who emerged from subsequently established programs.
Previous Award Winners
Col. F. Don Miller Award - The Colonel F. Don Miller Award is presented annually by the Colorado Springs Sports Corporation to the person who best reflects the commitment exemplified by Colonel Miller in providing a lasting contribution to the Colorado Springs sports community.
Thayer Tutt Sportsmans Award - This award is presented to an individual in recognition of exceptional philanthropic and community sports support, as well as on the national sports stage.
Col. F. Don Miller Award Recipients
Thayer Tutt Sportsmans Award
2015 - Darryl Laye
2014 - Mark Beranek
2013 - Mike Provenzano
2012 - Frank Aires
2012 - Phil Johnson
2011 - Sam Dunlap
2010 - Dick Westbay
2009 - Paul Ransom
2008 - Joe Sisneros
2007 - George Rykovich
2006 - Gregg Stinson
2005 - Horst Richardson
2004 - Ray Lutz
2003 - Sandi McConnell
2002 - Shirley Snyder
2001 - Jim Hartman
2000 - Carolyn Kruse
1999 - Mary Polaski
1998 - Chuck Lacy
1997 - Joe Gentry
1996 - Tom Falgien
2015 - Bill Daniels
2014 - Dave Palenchar
2013 - Jim Warsinske
2012 - Tom James
2011 - Jim Johnson
2010 - Dr. Jamieson Kennedy
2009 - Jeff Smith
2008 - Pete Susemihl
2007 - Hal Littrell
2006 - Carolyn Kruse
2005 - Fred Whitacre
2004 - Gary Loo
2003 - Bill Tutt