Click here to nominate a team or individual to be inducted into the 2016 Sports Hall of Fame. Nomination deadline is March 1, 2016.
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
Sports Hall Of Fame Class of 2015
To be Determined by April, 2015
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.
One of the NFL’s Greatest Placekickers
Don Cockroft, a graduate of Fountain-Fort Carson High School where he was a three-sport star in football, basketball and track, ended his sports career as one of the greatest punter/kickers in collegiate and NFL history. A walk-on hopeful at Adams State College, Cockroft was a varsity football letterman from 1963-1966, playing as a punter/kicker and strong safety. He led all college punters his senior year with an average of 48.1 yards per punt, earning him NAIA All-American honors.
A third-round draft choice of the Cleveland Browns in 1967, Cockroft was one of the last “straight-on” kickers and one of the last double-duty kickers in the NFL. In 1972, along with being recognized as Colorado’s Outstanding Pro Athlete, he was named to the NFL’s All-Pro Team as a punter and received the Thom McCann NFL Golden Toe Award as the NFL’s outstanding kicker. Cockroft was at his best in the clutch, making 17 of 17 kicks in game-winning situations. He retired in 1981 as the 8th leading scorer in NFL history with 1,080 points. He was inducted into the Cleveland Sports Hall of Fame in 2002 and the Cleveland Browns Legends in 2007.
50 Seasons of Coaching Winning Soccer at Colorado College
Horst Richardson’s embarked upon his 50th season with the Colorado College men’s soccer program in 2014, a milestone no other Tigers coach has come close to matching and momentous among soccer coaches nationwide. Since joining the CC program in 1965 under Bill Boddington, then taking the head coaching position a year later, Richardson compiled an amazing record of 552 wins, 300 defeats and 69 ties.
Richardson led the Tigers to the NCAA Division III playoffs 19 times and guided his teams to six conference titles in the Rocky Mountain Conference. Heading into the 2014 season, CC’s 8th year in the Southern Collegiate Athletic Conference, Richardson ranked among the top 10 collegiate soccer coaches of all-time with his 552 victories. His Tigers received four NCAA Tournament bids since 2000. In 2004, with All-American and NCAA Division III Player of the Year Patrick McGinnis leading the way, the Tigers finished 16-4-1. His teams were 144-68-16 during the 1990s, including an 18-2-2 mark and a trip to the national semifinals in 1992. He graduated from the University of California-Riverside in 1963, playing on the varsity soccer team and winning four letters. He earned a Ph. D. from the University of Connecticut and served as a member of the CC faculty in the German Department for 45 years.
All-American Scoring Star for Colorado College Hockey Teams
Pete Geronazzo came to Colorado College from Trail, British Columbia, as a walk-on and watched the 1991-1992 Tiger ice hockey team from the stands. He then proceeded to become an All-American, Hobey Baker top-ten finalist, and one of the school’s most productive players in history.
After collecting just seven goals and seven assists his official freshman season in 1992-93, when the Tigers finished dead last in the Western Collegiate Hockey Association and won only eight of 34 games overall, Geronazzo was instrumental in a remarkable turn-around that saw Colorado College soar to an unprecedented three consecutive regular-season titles in the WCHA. During those 1993-94, 1994-95 and 1995-96 campaigns under head coach Don Lucia, CC posted 86 victories in 124 outings. Geronazzo was credited with the game-winning goal in 20 of the victories.
In 1995-96, when the Tigers reached the NCAA Frozen Four title game against the University of Michigan, losing a 4-3 overtime defeat and finishing 33-5-4, Geronazzo was one of eight Colorado College players to garner All-WCHA accolades, joining goaltender Ryan Bach on the league’s elite First Team before both raked in All-America honors. Geronazzo, who tied with linemate Colin Schmidt for the CC scoring lead with 57 points (29 goals, 28 assists) as a junior in 1994-95, also led the team in scoring his senior year (1995-96) with 69 points in 42 games (36 goals, 33 assists) while leading the NCAA in power play goals and game winning goals. Pete completed his collegiate career with 91 goals and 87 assists in 146 games. As of 2014, his 178 points ranked him 13th on the program’s all-time chart.
Air Force Academy Superintendent and Basketball Scoring All-Star
Lt. Gen. Michelle D. Johnson, the Superintendent of the U.S. Air Force Academy, was appointed in 2013 and was the first female to hold that position. Johnson was a distinguished graduate of the U.S. Air Force Academy’s class of 1981 and one of the Academy’s most outstanding women’s basketball players during her career. She ended her four-year stint with the basketball team with 1,706 points, second-best in the school’s history.
She averaged 17.6 points per game during her playing days for the Falcons. In addition, she was named to the CoSIDA Academic Hall of Fame in 1995 for her performance on the court and in the classroom and was a member of the Air Force Sports Hall of Fame inaugural class in 2007. Johnson, named the Academy’s most outstanding scholar-athlete in 1981, had a 3.91 GPA and was a two-time Academic All-American.
After graduating from the Academy, she became the school’s first female Rhodes Scholar and earned her pilot wings in 1984. Johnson has held numerous command positions and returned to the Academy after serving as the Deputy Chief of Staff of Operations and Intelligence, Supreme Headquarters Allied Powers Europe, North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO).
Legendary Coach, Teacher and Community Sports Activist for Five Decades
Tom Falgien is a sports legend in Colorado Springs after five decades of service and contribution to prep sports, academics and youth in the city. His career in Colorado Springs began in 1958 when he became a teacher and coach at South Junior High and Palmer High. His coaching and teaching career includes stops at Palmer, Wasson, and Mitchell High Schools where he developed outstanding student athletes and was a tremendous administrator. Later, he also served as the Principal at St. Mary’s High School for two years.
He played a key role in the remodeling of Garry Berry Stadium, the development of the Colorado Springs Metro League and staging of numerous state high school championships in hockey, volleyball and basketball. Falgien was the District 11 athletic director from 1982-1988. He was named to the CHSAA Hall of Fame in 2000 and was the winner of the Col. F. Don Miller Award from Colorado Springs Sports Corporation in 1996.
Falgien has played an integral role in the creation, fundraising and support of The Broadmoor World Arena since 1992 and served as the Vice-President of The Broadmoor World Arena and chairman of the Arena’s Youth and Community Assistance Fund for more than 16 years, impacting more than 1,500 youth.
Colorado Springs Brown Bombers Baseball Team
Legendary All-Black Baseball Team Won City Titles in 1948 & 1949 and Challenged Racism and Segregation
The Brown Bombers, Colorado Springs City League Baseball Championships, 1949. Back row, from left: A.B. Turner (coach and manager), Clarence Banks, James Smith, Joe Morgan, John Morgan, Larry Moss, and John Moss. Front row, from left: James Wheeler, James Bell, Ellis Clements, Justus Morgan, C.W. Brown, Cecil Bass, and Marvin Brooks.
The Colorado Springs Brown Bombers baseball team of the 1940s and 1950s remain one of the most cherished parts of the city’s sports legends and history. In an era of racism and segregation, this semi-professional baseball team, made up of all-black players, won back-to-back championships in 1948-1949 in the Colorado Springs City Baseball League, a very popular league prior to the professional Colorado Springs Sky Sox coming to town in 1950.
The Bombers learned to play on their own with makeshift balls and gloves and equipment, not in organized leagues taught by experienced coaches using new equipment and uniforms as the whites enjoyed.
Several players were later honored for their achievements and courage. Sam Dunlap was the first black baseball coach for School District 11 and was a youth mentor. Joe Morgan became the first black umpire invited to officiate a state high school baseball championship. Teammate Justus Morgan was elected to the Palmer High School Hall of Fame and became pastor of Morgan Memorial Chapel Church of God in Christ, which his father started. Generations have passed, but the Brown Bombers remain an important part of the city’s sports traditions and culture.
The 1948 & 1949 Brown Bombers teams included: Manager Ed Duncan, Coach A.B. Turner, Clarence Banks, Cecil Bass, James Bell, Oliver Bell, C.W. Brown, Marvin Brooks, Ellis Clements, Don Duncan, Sam Dunlap, Minor Lee Moon, James Morgan, Joe Morgan, John Morgan, Justus Morgan, John Moss, Larry Moss, S. Simpson, Sylvester Smith, James Smith, Jesse Vaughan, James Wheeler, Bat Boys Sylvester (Les) Franklin and Henry Morgan.
Sports Corp Special Awards
Thayer Tutt Sportsman Award
Dave Palenchar remains one of the most important individuals in the growth, traditions and history of sport in Colorado Springs. He serves as a Trustee of the El Pomar Foundation, which throughout its history, has consistently played a major role in connecting Colorado Springs to sports, including the relocation of the United States Olympic Committee from New York to Colorado Springs in 1978 and the creation of the new Broadmoor World Arena.
Palenchar retired from El Pomar as Chief Operating Officer last year after more than 23 years with the organization. In addition to his current service as a Trustee of the Foundation, he is President and CEO of the Broadmoor World Arena and Pikes Peak Center for the Performing Arts and Chairman of the Colorado Springs Sports Corporation, where his efforts and support have been important to the Sports Corps’ recent growth and new programs.
In 2007, Palenchar was selected by the Greater Colorado Springs Chamber of Commerce as its Business Citizen of the Year. Additionally, he is President of the Air Force Academy Foundation and serves on the boards of the Great Outdoors Colorado Trust Fund and the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association Hall of Fame. He is a graduate of the Air Force Academy and was a career officer in the United States Air Force.
Col. F. Don Miller Award - Mark Beranek
Mark Beranek has carved out one of the most successful basketball coaching careers in Colorado high school history. His Sierra High School boys teams won the state Class 4A title in 1997 and 2000, defeating Evergreen in 1997 and Dakota Ridge in 2000. He was honored to be selected as the coach for the West Team in the 1997 McDonald’s High School All-American Game that included future college and NBA stars.
Beranek was born and raised in Lafayette, Colorado and attended Centaurus High School. He attended Adams State College in Alamosa, playing basketball, before embarking on his superb coaching and teaching career. He held positions at Harrison High School before accepting the head coaching position at Sierra High School from 1984-2000, where he became one of the top coaches in the state with his two 4A crowns and appearing in the state championships Final Four on four occasions. He received the prestigious Tom Sutak Award from the Colorado High School Coaches Association in 1994 and was honored as the Colorado High School Coach of the Year in 1997-1998.
Aside from his coaching success, Beranek served as the Assistant Principal and Athletic Director at Mitchell High School from 2001-2007 and Assistant Athletic Director for District 11 in Colorado Springs from 2007-2010. He was inducted into the Colorado High School Coaches Association Hall of Fame in 2009, and for the last three years, he has continued coaching as the head boys basketball coach at St. Mary’s High School in Colorado Springs.
Previous Hall of Fame Inductees
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