Oct. 25, 2006
The star-studded Colorado Springs Sports Hall of Fame Class of 2006 that will be inducted on October 25 at the Colorado Springs World Arena pays tribute to the city's rich sports and Olympic traditions.
The seventh annual Hall of Fame Banquet and Induction ceremonies are presented for the Colorado Springs Sports Corporation by The Gazette and American National Bank.
The athletes and teams to be enshrined have received honors and awards at every level of American sport, and each can trace much of that success to their experiences in Colorado Springs and its sports legacy.
Rulon Gardner: The Afton, Wyoming, native trained in Colorado Springs for two Olympiads, and earned a stunning gold medal at the 2000 Olympic Games in Sydney when he stunned previously unbeaten Alexsandr Karelin of Russia to win the Greco-Roman Wrestling 130 kg crown. He won a bronze medal in Athens in 2004 before retiring as one of American wrestling's most-revered heroes. His career included the 2001 Jesse Owens Award, the 2001 Olympic Spirit Award and the Sullivan Award. He won gold medals at the 2001 World Championships and three U.S. National Championships. He carried the American flag for the USA delegation at the closing ceremonies of the 2000 Olympic Games in Sydney. The University of Nebraska graduate was the celebrity spokesman for the 2005 State Games of America in Colorado Springs and is a popular motivational speaker and businessman back home in Wyoming after all the rest!
Darryl Clack: The former Widefield High School All-State and Prep All-America football and track & field star became Arizona State's 6th leading rusher in history with 2,737 yards and 21 touchdowns from 1982-85. He became the first freshman to lead the Devils in rushing in 30 years in 1983. He was drafted in the 2nd round of the 1986 NFL draft by the Dallas Cowboys and played for four seasons in the league as a tailback and kick returner. He also played in the Canadian Football League and the World League of American Football at the end of his NFL stint. He won All-PAC 10 honors in 1984 and was named the ASU football MVP when he rushed for 1,052 yards. He was ASU's MVP in that 1984 campaign and his 221 yards against Wichita State in 1983 still stands as the school's 7th all-time rushing best. A fractured right leg in his senior season ended his chance to become the school's career rushing leader. At Widefield High School, he was the state AAA champion in the 100,200 and 400-meters for three consecutive years and set state records in each as a senior (10.65, 21.22, 47.95). Clack's state marks in the 100 and 200 stood for 23 years before being broken. His Widefield track teams also won three straight state titles during his career on the cinders. He was tabbed as the Colorado Prep Athlete of the Year in 1982 and was inducted into the Colorado High School Hall of Fame in 1993. He is currently a Vice President for The Compass Bank in Tempe, Arizona.
Dave & Chuck Delich: The second brother combination to be inducted into the Hall of Fame. The Delich brothers, who are successful businessmen in Colorado Springs, are ice hockey legends and household names in Colorado and part of the legendary Eveleth, Minnesota, ice hockey tradition.
Dave is Colorado College's all-time scoring leader with 285 points (10th place in NCAA history) from 1975-79 and 2nd in career goals with 111. He is also the Tiger career assist leader with 174. His 84 points as a senior in 1978-79 remains the single-season Tiger record, and he led the WCHA in scoring during that campaign. He was drafted in the 7th round of the NHL draft in 1976 by the Minnesota North Stars after winning gold medals at the 1978 and 1979 USOC National Sports Festivals. He was a member of the 1978, 1980 and 1983 USA National Teams. The 1983 Team became World Champions and gave him a gold medal in the process.
Chuck is the all-time leader in goals (156) and points (279) for the Air Force Academy ice hockey Falcons during a career from 1974-77. He holds 14 AFA records and was named the team's MVP twice. He still ranks 13th on the NCAA career scoring list. He returned to the Academy in 1981 as an assistant coach and was the head coach at AFA from 1985-1997. His Falcon hockey teams recorded 154 wins over 12 seasons, giving him a tie with John Matchefts for the most coaching wins in school annals.
1982-1983 Air Force Academy Football Teams: The heralded 1982-83 Falcon gridiron teams compiled an 18-7-0 mark that included wins in the 1982 Hall of Fame Bowl over Vanderbilt, 36-28, and the 1983 Independence Bowl over Mississippi, 9-3. Coach Ken Hatfield's Falcon teams defeated Army and Navy in both campaigns and beat Notre Dame twice by scores of 30-17 and 23-22. Both teams were quarterbacked by Marty Louthan, who ran for 1,860 career yards and 4,997 total yards and scored five touchdowns against Navy in the 44-17 win over the Middies in 1983. Fullback John Kershner ran for 1,990 yards during the two seasons as the Falcons averaged almost 300 yards per game running the football. Current head coach Fisher DeBerry, named to the Hall of Fame last year, was the offensive coordinator for both squads.
Colleen O'Connor & Jim Millns: They won the hearts of millions of Americans by taking the Bronze medal as Ice Dancing made its debut at the 1976 Olympic Winter Games in Innsbruck. The 25-year-old O'Connor, a Chicago native, and the 27-year-old Millns, born in Toledo, had trained under Doreen Denny at The Broadmoor Skating Club at the old World Arena in preparation for their Olympic challenge. They had been U.S. Champions in 1974, 1975 and 1976, and had placed 7th, 2nd and 3rd at the World Championships as the discipline headed for its inaugural at Innsbruck. At the Games, they won a surprising bronze behind two Soviet teams to make the medals podium. It would be thirty years until another American ice dancing medal, when Tanith Belbin and Ben Agosto took the silver medal in Torino this year. Millns and O'Connor were inducted into the U.S. Figure Skating Hall of Fame in 1993.
The Colorado Springs Sports Hall of Fame, 2000-2006
Class of 2000: Cullen Bryant (Mitchell High, CU All-America, L.A. Rams football), Peggy Fleming (Olympic Figure Skating Champion, 1968), Gib Funk (prep coaching legend) Rick"Goose" Gossage (legendary relief pitcher with 310 saves), William J. Hybl (USOC President Emeritus), Ben Martin (AFA Football Coach for 20 seasons), William Thayer Tutt (Sports Civic Icon), Bobby Unser (3-time Indy 500 winner and 13-time Pikes Peak Hill Climb winner), 1950 Colorado College Ice Hockey Team (NCAA Champions)
Class of 2001: Judy Bell (Golf, Curtis Cup Teams, 38 USGA Tourneys), Earl "Dutch"Clark (1929 Colorado College football All-American, member of Pro Football Hall of Fame), Bill "Red" Hay (CC ice hockey All-American twice, Chicago Blackhawks, 1959-67, Stanley Cup Championship, 1961), Jeff Sapp (Mitchell High football, state wrestling champion, Navy football All-American, 1976), Jill Trenary (figure skating, 1990 World Champion, 1988 Olympics, 4th, Broadmoor Skating Club), 1958 Air Force Academy Football Team (9-0-2, Cotton Bowl, 0-0 tie with TCU)
Class of 2002: Alonzo Babers (Track & Field, 1984 Olympic 400-meters gold medal, 4x400-meter relay gold medal, Air Force Academy football and track star), Carlo Fassi (skating coach, Broadmoor Skating Club, coached Peggy Fleming, Dorothy Hamill, Jill Trenary and Todd Eldredge), Flo Hyman (Volleyball, trained at the Olympic Training Center and won a silver medal at the 1984 Olympic Games), Scott Johnson (gymnastics, Wasson High, All-American at Nebraska, gold medal at the 1984 Olympic Games), Col. F.Don Miller (USOC Executive Director, 1969-85), Baaron Pittenger (Former USOC Executive Director and National Sports Festival architect), 1980 U.S. Olympic Ice Hockey Team (selected in Colorado Springs, historic gold medal in Lake Placid, including the "Miracle on Ice" semifinal win over the USSR)
Class of 2003: Alison Dunlap (Cycling, CC graduate, trained in Colorado Springs, Pan Am Games gold medalist, 1996 and 2000 Olympian, 2001 World Mountain Bike Champion), Dow Finsterwald (golf, 12 PGA Tour event titles, 1958 PGA Champion, Broadmoor Director of Golf for 28 years), Ernie Jennings (AFA 1970 football All-American receiver, Heisman Trophy finalist), Harry Hoth (Colorado Springs broadcasting legend and former Mayor), Ralph Routon (father of the Colorado Springs Hall of Fame, Gazette sports editor for 24 years and inspiring sports columnist, led the effort that brought AAA baseball back to the city in 1988), 1948 Colorado Springs High football team (state champions, 11-0)
Class of 2004: Chad Hennings (AFA football All-American and Outland Trophy winner who played nine seasons for the Dallas Cowboys and won three Super Bowl rings), David & Hayes Alan Jenkins (first brother combination to participate in the Olympics for the United State. Hayes won the figure skating gold medal in 1956 and David captured a bronze in the men's competition. David completed the dream with a gold medal in 1960 at Squaw Valley. Both trained at The Broadmoor Skating Club), Bob Mathias (won the Olympic decathlon in 1948 and 1952, served four terms in Congress, and was the first director of the U.S. Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs when it opened in 1977), Joe Morgan (a pioneer who paved the way for African-American participation in sports in Colorado Springs in 1948 with his Brown Bombers semi-pro baseball team and later became the first black man to umpire in a state high school championship game in 1970), Joan Powell (legendary volleyball coach whose Palmer High teams won state titles in three divisions. Coached at Arizona and became a top NCAA volleyball official), Pikes Peak Or Bust Rodeo Ramrods.
Class of 2005: Justin Armour (Prep football and basketball star at Manitou Springs High who went on to shine at Stanford and played five seasons in the NFL with the Buffalo Bills and Denver Broncos), Fisher DeBerry (Longtime Air Force football coach who has directed the Falcons to lofty heights in his 22 seasons. He is second in career wins in the MWC and seventh nationally among active coaches), Jack Finlayson (an early Colorado Springs sports broadcasting legend who did play by play for the Sky Sox, Colorado College ice hockey, Air Force football and the Pikes Peak Hill Climb over more than two decades, as well as KKTV's nightly sports anchor), Ada Gee-DeProsse (Colorado College grad who went on to a spectacular women's basketball coaching career at Ball State, Wisconsin, Vanderbilt, Southern Cal and Nevada), Mike Moran (the USOC's official spokesman for 13 Olympic Games over almost 25 years beginning with the 1980 Lake Placid Games. He later served as the spokesman for the New York 2012 Olympic bid, and now serves as the Director of Communications for the Colorado Springs Sports Corporation), 1971 Wasson High Football Team (state champions with a thrilling 21-19 win over Denver George Washington)
Class of 2006: Rulon Gardner (Olympic gold medal (2000), bronze medal (2004) Greco-Roman Wrestling), Darryl Clack (Widefield High prep track and football star, Arizona State & Dallas Cowboys running back), Dave & Chuck Delich (Colorado Springs ice hockey stars at CC and Air Force), Colleen O'Connor and Jim Millns (1976 Olympic ice dancing bronze medalists who trained at the Broadmmor Skating Club), 1982-83 Air Force Football Teams (ran up an 18-7 mark including a pair of wins against Notre Dame, Navy and Army...played in and won two bowl games against Vanderbilt and Ole Miss, coached by Ken Hatfield).