1998 Football team named to Colorado Springs Sports Hall of Fame
April 21, 2018

Colorado Springs, Colo. --- The 1998 Air Force football team has been selected for induction into the Colorado Springs Sports Hall of Fame. The Class of 2018, which will be formally introduced on October 23 at the Broadmoor World Arena, includes Pikes Peak International Hill Climb legend Nobuhiro "Monster" Tajima, Sierra High & Pittsburgh Steeler great Aaron Smith, USOC media services chief Bob Condron, amateur golf legend Barbara McIntire and the late Colorado College athletic trainer Rosie Collins.


The 19th annual banquet and induction ceremony is presented by the Colorado Springs Sports Corporation and sponsored by The Gazette and ANB Bank. The gala evening will begin with a reception at 5:00 p.m. and dinner at 7:00 p.m. Also on the menu is the popular sports silent auction, a feature of the event since its inaugural year in 2000. For more If you have any information, please contact: Rebekah Bressler at (719) 634-7333 ext. 1003 or via email at
rebekah@thesportscorp.org

Colorado Springs Sports Hall of Fame Class of 2018

 

Nobuhiro "Monster" Tajima - The Broadmoor Pikes Peak International Hill Climb

 

Tajima has almost singlehandedly put a face on the world's most famous motorsport hill climb, and established himself as one of the event's legends in a made-for-TV career on America's Mountain. 

The Japanese driver was the first in history to break the elusive 10-minute mark when he piloted his twin-turbo Suzuki SX4 to the summit of the 14,115-foot peak with an historic time of 9:51.278 in 2011. He made his debut on the Peak in 1988, taking third in the Showroom Stock Division in a Mazda 323 4WD auto, and that launched a brilliant relationship with the race that now spans three decades.

The 67-year-old driver/businessman, Chairman and CEO of the Tajima Motor Corporation, dominated the prestigious Unlimited Division from 1992-2011. He won the division eight times, including six times in a row from 2006-2011, placing himself among the great drivers of past years who won this race-Michele Mouton, Bobby Unser, Ari Vatanen, Walter Röhrl, Rod Millen, David Donner, Romain Dumas and Sébastien Loeb. Tajima has four sub-ten minute finishes, the best being his 9:32.401 in 2015 when he took second to Rhys Millen in the Electric Modified Class. Tajima has been named King of the Mountain seven times and has recorded nine wins. He was inducted into the Pikes Peak Hill Climb Museum Hall of Fame in 2016.

 

Aaron Smith - Sierra High School/Pittsburgh Steelers Football

 

Smith was one of Sierra's High School's premier athletes in the early years of the school's history, winning all-state or all-conference honors in football and basketball. He extended that success in the college ranks with two NCAA Division II Championships at Northern Colorado in 1996 and 1997, then to a sparkling career as a defensive lineman with the Pittsburgh Steelers over 13 seasons before retiring in 2012. 


Smith was drafted by the Steelers in the 4th round, 109th pick overall, of the 1999 NFL draft and played in every Pittsburgh game at left defensive end from 2000 through 2006. He was considered the ideal defensive end in Pittsburgh's 3-4 defense. The Colorado Springs prep star won a Super Bowl ring with the Steelers in Super Bowl XL, a 21-10 win over Seattle, recording four tackles against the Seahawks. After the 2008 season, Smith won another ring with the Steelers in Super Bowl XLIII, a 27-23 win over the Arizona Cardinals. With that victory, the Steelers became the first team to win six Super Bowl championships. Sports Illustrated honored him with selection to its 2000s All-Decade Team.

He chalked up 44 Quarterback sacks and 453 tackles during his marvelous career with the Steelers. When he retired, after being part of the Steelers for 13 years, he bought a full-page ad in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette to say goodbye to the organization and its fans.

 

The 1998 Air Force Academy Football Team

This magnificent team remains one of the finest in the history of Falcon Football. Coached by the legendary Fisher DeBerry, the Falcons ran up a 12-1 mark, a WAC Championship, a 45-24 win over Washington in the Oahu Bowl, and a No. 13 ranking in the final Associated Press poll. The lone loss was a 35-34 heartbreaker against TCU in Fort Worth on September 26.

The team won the prestigious Commander-in-Chief's Trophy with wins against Navy (49-7) and Army (35-7), and the league crown with a riveting 20-13 win over BYU on December 5. With Air Force's vaunted option offense shut down by Brigham Young, the Falcons used a 59-yard pass play from Blane Morgan to Matt Farmer late in the fourth quarter to beat the favored Cougars. On the season, Morgan ran for 15 touchdowns and threw for 1,144 yards and 10 touchdowns in a banner campaign. Farmer caught 35 passes for 650 yards and three touchdowns. Defensive tackle Bryce Fisher was named the WAC Defensive Player of the Year and Morgan was the league's Offensive Player of the Year

 

Bob Condron - U.S. Olympic Committee Director of Media Services

After serving as Assistant Athletic Director and Sports Information Director at Southern Methodist University from 1971-84, Bob Condron joined the USOC staff in January, 1984, the first hire by Mike Moran. He retired in 2012 after serving as the architect of the world's premier media services system at the Olympic Games.

At the Games, winter or summer, his USOC press office was not only the destination for beleaguered American journalists and broadcasters needing something, but for international media as well. Condron loved American athletes first and foremost, and his efforts put them into the spotlight. He was the Director of Media Services for the USOC for 28 years and 15 Olympic Games for Team USA and various championships and international events around the world until he packed up his office and retired, having earned the lasting respect of countless writers and broadcasters around the world.

Since then he has helped wrestling return to the Olympic Games, serving in 2013 as the Communications Officer for the international federation in Switzerland for eight months as the sport won a return to the games in IOC voting. After the return to the program Condron served as the manager of press operations for United World Wrestling and was at the press chief for the World Wrestling Championships in Las Vegas in 2015. He later served for two and a half years as an International Advisor for the 2015 Pan American Games in Toronto. In 2016 he managed the media for the Rio 2016 Olympic Organizing Committee for golf's return to the Games after a 112 -year absence.

He has been a member of the US Golf Association staff for seven US Men's Opens, and a Women's Open, US Amateur and Senior Open. During his work with the USOC, he was selected by the International Olympic Committee to be a member of the IOC's Press Commission, a spot he held for a decade. During that time Condron served on a five-person IOC committee to award media accreditation to the 205 National Olympic Committees in the Olympic Family.  He was presented the Spirit of the Springs Award by Colorado Springs Mayor Steve Bach in 2012

 

Barbara McIntire - Amateur Golf

 

When Barbara McIntire was a nine-year-old in Toledo, Ohio, she caddied for her parents when they played golf. It wasn't long before she was playing with her own set of clubs. She nearly made history just a few years later in Duluth, Minnesota, when the 21-year-old McIntire came within a stroke of winning the U.S. Women's Open as an amateur. "It was like going to college before graduating from high school," said McIntire about the 1956 U.S. Open, her most memorable moment in a long career of golfing. She tied with

Cathy Cornelius at the end of regulation play, but lost to Cornelius in an 18-hole playoff.

McIntire played competitive amateur golf for nearly three decades and has numerous amateur titles to her credit, including the 1959 and 1964 U.S. Women's Amateur Championship. She was a member of the USA Curtis Cup team six times and came close to becoming the first amateur to win the U.S. Women's Open. In 1957, she won the first of her six North and South Women's Amateurs, then in 1959 at the U.S. Women's Amateur she defeated the reigning champion, Anne Quast, in the quarter-finals and went on to win the tournament. The following year she won the 1960 British Ladies Amateur, becoming one of eight women to simultaneously hold the American and British titles and earning her the cover of Sports Illustrated magazine. She also won the Women's Western Amateur in 1958 and 1963.

She was named to the Colorado Golf Hall of Fame (1960) and selected for the Bob Jones Award in 2000, the highest honor given by the United States Golf Association in recognition of distinguished sportsmanship in golf. McIntire moved to Colorado Springs in 1962 and opened a clothing business at The Broadmoor Hotel with Judy Bell, a longtime friend who is also a member of the Colorado Springs Sports Hall of Fame

 

Theodore Roosevelt "Rosie" Collins - Colorado College Athletics

 

Even now, years after his death, whenever Colorado College athletic alumni convene, invariably, someone invokes the name of Roosevelt "Rosie" Collins. He arrived in Colorado Springs in the middle of the Great Depression from his home in Louisville, Kentucky, after borrowing $50 to pay his travel expenses. He came to accept the position of athletics trainer and equipment manager for the Tigers in 1935, a position he held until 1970.

Besides being the first African American employed in a staff position at CC, Collins was a pioneer in the field of sports medicine. He was also one of the founders of the National Athletic Trainers Association. He accomplished all this with extreme nearsightedness (his Coke-bottle glasses and fedora were his trademark). In fact, many believe his impaired vision may have actually helped him earn such renown as a physical therapist. Oddly, in the days before CAT scans, magnetic resonance imaging and ultra-sound, touch was often the best method of diagnosis.

Collins also extended his helping hand beyond the walls of the training room. He took in several CC athletes as boarders. He found part-time jobs around town for athletes on partial scholarships or employed them in his part-time catering company. Because of Collins' lauded work with CC's athletes, his reputation as a healer also spread through the community. Prominent downtown businessmen came to Collins to have kinks massaged out of their backs, and in 1952, he treated the sore neck of then-vice presidential candidate Richard Nixon, and the two formed a lifelong relationship.

Throughout his career at CC, Collins also sat on the board of the Rocky Mountain Rehabilitation Center, and was also active in the Elks Lodge, St. John's Baptist Church and Republican Party in El Paso County. He received many lucrative offers to be a trainer for organizations such as the Air Force Academy, Brooklyn Dodgers and Denver Broncos, but declined them all, opting to stay in the community that had he had so warmly adopted as his own. Rosie passed away in March, 1978. The "Roosevelt Collins Scholarship" is given by the college each year in his memory and on October 9, 1982, a bronze plaque, located in the College Sports Center was dedicated in his honor


 

 

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