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SAVE THE DATE
16th Annual Colorado Springs Sports Hall of Fame
Tuesday, October 27, 2015
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.
Reservations for tables or seats can be made by calling Aubrey McCoy at The Sports Corp (719) 634-7333 ext. 1006 or by email at
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 finished 12-1 (7-1 Western Athletic Conference) and is remembered as one of the greatest football teams in U.S. Air Force Academy history. The team finished the season ranked #5 in the Coaches Poll and #8 in the Associated Press Poll while defeating the Texas Longhorns in the 1985 Bluebonnet Bowl, 24-16.
Led by 1985 Bear Bryant National Coach of the Year, Fischer DeBerry, the team exhibited immense brotherhood and loyalty on and off the field. The 1985 team raised the standard for Falcon Football for set Academy records for victories, points scored, and interceptions. Many of the team's players later became majors and colonels, including the team's quarterback, Bart Weiss, who directed a record-setting offense and is now a Colonel and Vice Commander at McConnell AFB in Derby, Kansas.
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 Siegler, 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 Pikes Peak AdAmAn Club
Climbing America's Mountain in the Harshest Winter Conditions
The Pikes Peak AdAmAn Club has challenged America's Mountain and upheld a cherished Pikes Peak Region tradition, the annual fireworks show from the top of Pikes Peak, since 1922. This unique group of mountaineers climbs the icy slopes of Barr Trail, on the east face of the world famous Pikes Peak, each December 30 and 31 annually. At the stroke of midnight on New Year's Eve, AdAmAn members and their guests ignite a spectacular fireworks display from the summit of the mountain to usher in the New Year across the region.
The club is dedicated to the memory of the original "Frozen Five," Ed Morath, Fred Morath, Fred Barr, Willis Magee and Harry Standley and adds only one new member to the club annually, hence the name AdAmAn (add-a-man) was coined. In 1997 the first female member was added to the group and each year members continue to choose one new member from a list of 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 leading attraction 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 top overall female. She is one of the few female runners to complete the "Double," completing both the Pikes Peak Ascent and Pikes Peak Marathon back to back, a herculean achievement in endurance running.
Blessing competed internationally in cycling for Team Saturn and was on the first Team USA at the World Mountain Running Championships in Scotland, finishing as the second fastest American in 1995. By 1998, Michelle 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 2000 Olympic Games in Sydney, Australia. She was also named the U.S. Olympic Committee 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 of nearly 2,000 women for the half Ironman distance.
Outstanding Local, State and National Sports Official
Greg Burks is a Colorado Springs native and graduated from Mitchell High School in 1973 after competing in baseball, football, wrestling and serving as the captain of the hockey team, earning All-League honors.
Burks began his professional career serving as the Supervisor of Youth Sports for the City of Colorado Springs Parks and Recreation from 1985 to 1997. During this time, he also served as the 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 later a basketball and football official. Since then, Burks has officiated on local, national and international levels, including league tournaments, high school state championships, NCAA tournaments and renowned events including the Hawaii Rainbow Classic, the Alaska Shoot Out and the Puerto Rico Classic Tournaments.
Burks joined the Rocky Mountain Conference in 1990 and the Big Eight Conference in 1992. Burks refereed in the Big 12 Conference since its inception in 1996 and served as the Big 12 Official's Association President from 2005-2015. As of 2015, he has officiated 15 bowl games, four Big 12 Championship games and the inaugural 2015 College Football Playoffs National Championship Game. In 2015, he accepted the Coordinator of Football Officials position for the Mountain West Conference 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 - and there has been no stopping him since. He became involved with the newly formed Colorado Hill Climb Association (CHCA) and served as President in 1982, successfully resurrecting the Lands End Hill Climb in Grand Junction after 40 years.
Gillis' passion for the sport grew and he successfully promoted races for team owners and drivers at Los Alamos in New Mexico, Buffalo Peaks near Buena Vista and the Continental Divide Auto Hill Climb near Salida, which was not only good for racing but also had a positive economic impact to these communities. By adding these races, teams had a better annual competition schedule, more opportunity to practice and more events to help promote the Pikes Peak International Hill Climb.
Gillis was integrally involved with the Pikes Peak International Hill Climb, the nation's second oldest auto race, for more than 35 years, serving as a sponsor, member of the Pikes Peak International Hill Climb Board of Directors and Board President, first in 1996 and again from 2008-2011. Since 1979, he has demonstrated commitment to the sport of hill climb racing by supplying tires and major sponsorships allowing more teams to compete, and ultimately saving, the Pikes Peak International Hill Climb during difficult times in the event's history. 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. He is a 1986 alumnus of Southern University and was drafted by the Houston Astros in the MLB draft the same year. Hubbard made his debut with the Colorado Rockies on July 7, 1994.
As a Sky Sox outfielder in 1993, 1994 and 1996, Hubbard helped carry the team to the 1995 Pacific Coast League Championship. 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 and 7 triples, along with 37 stolen bases. He was described as the "spark plug" of the team as his speed and the threat of stealing bases kept opposing pitchers constantly off balance as he led the Sky Sox to the pennant. His other three seasons with the Sky Sox were equally impressive, as he hit .314 in both 1993 and 1996, and an amazing .363 in 1994.
Hubbard spent 15 seasons in the winter baseball circuit which spanned Mexico, the Dominican Republic, Venezuela and Puerto Rico. He 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, experience and drive into baseball as the Colorado Rockies' Outfield/Base Running Coordinator from 2006-2012.
Legendary Role Model, Teacher and Coach
William Wright was born and raised in Richmond, Indiana but later transplanted to Colorado when he earned his master's degree in 1961 from the University of Northern Colorado.
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 education and driver's education teacher, and coach of swimming, 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, with a reputation of being ethical and a great role model to both students and coaches alike.
During his coaching career, Wright coached 1,188 games, winning his 300th game in 1990. His teams won the Colorado 3A State Basketball Championship in 1971 and 1973 and he was selected to coach the South Team in the All-State Basketball game and named Coach of the Year in 1970-1971. He also received the 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 into the University of Northern Colorado 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 the University of Northern Colorado, which provides students the opportunity to achieve success in both 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 was widely considered one of the great business visionaries of the twentieth century. He achieved phenomenal success by working hard, passionately following his instincts, acting with ethics and integrity, and treating everyone with respect and fairness.
Born in Greeley, Colorado in 1920, Bill's family lived in Nebraska and Iowa, then moved to Hobbs, New Mexico, where he attended the New Mexico Military Institute (NMMI). During this time, Bill earned the title of New Mexico's Golden Gloves welterweight boxing champion. After four years at NMMI, he went on to prove himself a fine naval officer and fearless combat pilot in World War II.
Bill began his business career by opening an insurance agency 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, served as president of the American Basketball Association, 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. Bill made countless charitable contributions and supported his community in meaningful ways. While money was an important part of his contributions, his visible support of charitable causes also served as an inspiration for others.
When Bill passed away in 2000, his estate transferred to the Daniels Fund, making it one of the largest foundations in the Rocky Mountain region. The Daniels Fund continues Bill Daniels' legacy of compassion and generosity by providing grants to outstanding nonprofit organizations, and scholarships to deserving students, in Colorado, New Mexico, Utah, and Wyoming.
- In 2013, the Daniels Fund surpassed $520 million in grants and scholarships awarded since 2000.
- 65% of Daniels Fund grant making is done specifically in Colorado.
- $42 Million has been granted to the Pikes Peak Region over the last 10 years.
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 Parks and Recreation.
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 the Cheyenne Mountain Junior High School Teacher of the Year in 1996. Laye was involved in numerous league, conference and state titles for both the junior high and high school levels. Most importantly to him, above athletic accomplishment, was the development of potential in student athletes at the junior high level working to instill 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 overall rich culture of ice sports in our community, including prep, collegiate and Olympic-level hockey competition 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, Colorado College hockey player, coach and later collegiate and high school official; Art Berglund, former Broadmoor Ice Palace Manager (later renamed The (original) Broadmoor World Arena) and retired USA Hockey Senior Director of International Administration; Tommy Brennan, 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 level of hockey, helped build youth hockey in the Colorado Springs sports community and developed many champions and major stars who emerged from subsequently established programs.
The Class of 2015 will be inducted on Tuesday, October 27, 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 15 previous induction ceremonies starting with the inaugural Class of 2000.
The Sports Hall of Fame is presented by ANB Bank and The Gazette.
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
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
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