Colorado Springs Sports Hall of Fame Announces Details of Event
21 Oct, 2019
The powerful, undefeated 1995 Doherty High Girls Basketball Team, legendary Colorado College ice hockey coach Don Lucia, the late, distinguished Air Force athletic directorJohn Clune, Colorado Springs prep greats Steve Bartalo and Aleisha Latimer, and decorated Paralympic athlete Allison Jones are the headliners in the Colorado Springs Sports Hall of Fame Class of 2019.
Also honored will be the winners of the prestigious Sports Corp Special Awards, the Col. F. Don Miller Sports Service Award to Carl Fetters and the Thayer Tutt Sportsman Award to David & Chris Jenkins.
The Class of 2019 will be formally inducted and honored on Monday, October 21, at The Broadmoor World Arena. The 20th 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.
This celebration of the city's rich sports history and the famed inductees honored has made it one of the most popular events for hundreds each year to attend. The Sports Hall of Fame has honored greats like Peggy Fleming, Goose Gossage, William Thayer Tutt, Bobby Unser, Nobuhiro Tajima, Bob Mathias, Bonnie Blair, the 1980 USA Olympic Ice Hockey Team, Bill Hybl, Marty Louthan, Ben Martin, Amy Van Dyken, Ken Hatfield, Fisher DeBerry, Earl "Dutch" Clark, David and Hayes Jenkins, Chris Fowler, Rulon Gardner, and many great high school and collegiate championship teams and athletes.
"It's remarkable that we are celebrating the 20th anniversary of the Colorado Springs Sports Hall of Fame," said Sports Corp President and CEO Tom Osborne. "This class is a great one, and it underscores the city's rich sports history, and the women, men, teams and contributors who will be recognized in years to come with our wonderful event."
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Don Lucia, Colorado College Ice Hockey Coaching Legend
Don Lucia arrived at CC in 1993 from Alaska-Anchorage and took his first Tigers team to a 23-11-5 record and WCHA regular season crown that began a Golden Age for Colorado College ice hockey that lasted for years.
Colorado College had struggled to an 8-28 record the previous season and had not experienced a winning season in the previous 13 campaigns. The WCHA title that season was Colorado College's first league title in 37 years. His CC teams went 166-68-18, won three WCHA regular season crowns, went to five NCAA Championships, including a heartbreaking 3-2 loss to Michigan in the Frozen Four title game, and propelled CC into the nation's top five programs in total home attendance annually. Lucia's Tiger teams won 33 and 30 games, respectively, in 1995 and 1996. Lucia was honored at the conclusion of the 1993-94 season as the 44th recipient of the Spencer Penrose Award as National Coach of the Year by the American Hockey Coaches Association.
He left CC for the University of Minnesota in 1999 and chalked up a fabulous 457-247-73 record and two NCAA Championships with the Gophers. His Minnesota teams won 14 conference titles, and his 457 wins are the most in the storied Gophers history on ice. His career mark at three schools was 736-403-102, the eighth-best in NCAA history. Two of his sons also played NCAA Division I hockey, Tony (at Minnesota) and Mario (at Notre Dame).
Allison Jones, Paralympic Superstar
Allison Jones is one of the world's greatest Paralympic athletes, with eight medals (2 gold, 3 silver, 3 bronze) won in eight Games, summer and winter. This extraordinary record makes her only the second American woman to earn gold medals at the summer and winter Paralympic Games, joining Paralympic skier and wheelchair basketball player Alana Nichols.
The mechanical engineer is a Paralympian in both cycling and alpine skiing and was the USA flag bearer at the 2016 Paralympic Games Opening Ceremony in Rio. Jones also collected 22 medals at the world championships, 10 gold, 4 silver, and 8 bronze.
She's a 2007 graduate of Denver University with a degree in Mechanical Engineering. She lives in the Portland, Oregon, area and puts her engineering skills to use by designing precision automation equipment. She developed a love of engineering from her late father, Jay Jones, who was an athlete for many years and built and raced Formula One airplanes for almost two decades.
Jones fell in love with bicycle racing the day she saw a man with no hands or feet climb aboard a track bike and race at the velodrome in Colorado Springs. She had become an accomplished skier by age 14, but she needed something to do in the summer. "In 1998 the Para-cycling World Championships were held in Colorado Springs," she said. "I lived a stone's throw away. My mom brought me down to the races. I told her,'This is what I want to do.' And I learned to ride a track bike before I learned to ride a road bike."
She was born with the birth defect proximal femoral focal deficiency (PFFD), which left her without a right femur. She underwent surgery at age 7 months to amputate her right foot, allowing her to more easily wear a prosthetic leg. She received her first prosthetic leg at 9 months of age.
Aleisha (Latimer) Heier, Palmer High/University of Illinois Track Star
After starting her track career at the age of seven, Aleisha Latimer became one of Colorado's greatest all-time track and field athletes, winning state prep titles at Palmer High in Colorado Springs, setting two national high school records in 1997 and named the state's Gatorade Player of the Year and Colorado Female Track Athlete of the Year.
Latimer won the Colorado 5A state titles in the 100 and 200 meters in '97 and set a classification mark of 11.37 in the 100 meters. She set two national high school records in the '97 season and was a bronze medalist in the 60 meters at the U.S. Indoor Championships with a clocking of 7.22. Track & Field News named her as its 1997 U.S. High School Indoor Athlete of the Year.
She earned a scholarship at the University of Illinois and was the Big Ten 55-meter champion as a freshman, earning NCAA Division I All-America honors. In 1999, she won the Big Ten 100-meter championship for the Illini. She still holds the national high school record in the 55 meters and the 60 meters at sea level.
Steve Bartalo, Doherty High/Colorado State Football Star
Bartalo followed his prep career at Doherty as a quarterback and went to CSU as a walk-on. What followed is the stuff of legends.
Bartalo came to CSU in 1982 with very little. He had no scholarship, and he was lacking the physical gifts - size and speed - that most everyone considering playing big-time college football possesses. But the former Doherty star - all 5-foot-9 of him - was convinced that he could play, and was willing to run over anyone who doubted him.
Bartalo made the CSU roster and quickly became a scout-team legend for a very simple reason: no one could seem to tackle him. He was extremely strong, and his relentless running style made him a nightmare for would-be tacklers. When he finally got his chance to play as a redshirt freshman in 1983, he was CSU's most reliable offensive weapon, twice recording a mind-boggling 47 carries in a single game. He went on to put together a remarkable career.
He led the Western Athletic Conference in rushing four consecutive years, and was a three-time all-league pick, finishing his senior year as the Offensive Player of the year for the conference. He finished his career in 1986 with 4,813 yards - still tops on CSU's all-time rushing list 33 years later by nearly 1,200 yards. He carried the ball 1,211 times in four years, and still ranks second in the history of college football behind only Wisconsin's Ron Dayne, who had 1,220 carries while gaining an NCAA-record 7,125 yards. He went on to be named a second-team All-American, was drafted by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and played one season in the NFL and two more in Europe as part of the World League.
John Clune, Air Force Athletic Director and Revered Leader
John Clune graduated from the Naval Academy in 1954 and was an All-American basketball player. After graduation from Annapolis, he cross-commissioned into the Air Force.
A native of Jersey City, N.J., Clune came to the Air Force Academy in 1975 and served as the Athletic Director until 1991. One of the most respected athletic administrators in America, he spearheaded Air Force's successful move into the Western Athletic Conference in 1980, becoming the first service academy to join a conference. He was an active administrator in the WAC, serving on the compliance, finance and extra events committees. He initiated a comprehensive 10-sport women's program at the Academy at the AIAW level in 1976 and then moved the women's program to Division II in 1983. Clune served as the president of the National Association of Collegiate Directors of Athletics (1984-85), was the chairman of the Board of Directors for the College Football Association in 1988, the association's president in 1989 and was the chairman of the Division I-A football committee. He was instrumental in working with Colorado Springs officials to bring the Olympic Training Center, Olympic House and two U.S Olympic Festivals to Colorado Springs. He worked with the Air Force Academy Foundation in 1986 to build the Visitor Center. He also served as president of the Air Force Academy Athletic Association and was one of the 10 board members designated by Congress to serve on the Academy Board, the governing body of the Academy.
Among his military decorations are the Legion of Merit, two Meritorious Service Medals and the Air Force Commendation Medal. In 1993, the Cadet Field House basketball arena was dedicated in his honor (Clune Arena). He was honored by the National Football Foundation and College Hall of Fame in 2003 as the recipient of the John L.Toner Award, given annually to an athletic director who has demonstrated superior administrative abilities and shown outstanding dedication to college athletics and particularly college football. Clune was a member of the first class of the Air Force Athletics Hall of Fame in 2007.
Colonel Clune died of cancer in 1992 after serving 16 years as the director of athletics at Air Force. He is survived by his wife Pat, who currently resides in Colorado Springs.
1995 Superpower Doherty High School Girls Basketball Team
This team may be the best squad in Colorado girls basketball history. Coach Carl Krug's powerful squad went 25-0 and defeated Heritage, 39-32 for the state 6A title.
The team featured several players who averaged between eight and thirteen points per game in a balanced attack. Doherty was among USA Today's national top five during the entire season and finished third. The team won by an average of almost 40 points per game.
Point guard Stephanie Frisch was a first team All-Colorado selection and went on to play at the University of Colorado Colorado Springs after transferring from New Mexico State. At UCCS she became the all-time scorer for the Mountain Lions at the time. She was the first Mountain Lion to earn All-RMAC honors in women's basketball history, and did it twice in the 1996-97 and 1998-99 seasons.
She was named to the UCCS Athletic Hall of Fame after her career ended. Dena Koskovich later went on to become a star at Regis University in Denver, where she led her team in three-point field goals for three seasons and twice for rebounds. Nikki Swagger ultimately played at the University of Colorado and Arizona State. Jacque Johnson played at Colorado State, and was with a Rams team that made it into the NCAA Elite Eight in her junior year. Chelsea Richardson played for the University of San Francisco. Mandy Gonser played for Wyoming. Karen Rants went on to play for UCCS from 1996-1999, where she scored 941 points and led the team in rebounds in 1997 with 149 grabs. The team's assistant coaches were Joe Trujillo, Dawn Valentine, John Shalongo and Don Wallace.
Col. F. Don Miller Sports Service Award: Carl Fetters
Carl Fetters was a head coach in high school sports for 44 years in Colorado Springs and for nine years at CSU-Pueblo as linebackers coach. He was named to the Colorado High School Coaches Association Hall of Fame in 2014, and was the first inductee to
Cheyenne Mountain High School's Hall of Fame in 2011.
At Cheyenne Mountain High, Fetters was the head football coach with over 200 wins, and also coached girls basketball, boys basketball, and baseball while teaching physical education for 32 years. He graduated from Cheyenne Mountain in 1956, where he earned All-State honors in football, basketball and baseball. He enrolled at Adams State, where he gained NAIA All-American honors in 1962 as a football running back and also played baseball. His 1962 Adams State team went 9-1 under head coach Darrell Mudra and defeated Northern Illinois in the Mineral Water Bowl.
David and Chris Jenkins: Thayer Tutt Sportsman Award
The father-son team of David and Chris Jenkins has set a new standard for community support in Olympic City USA and the city's coveted sports reputation has been significantly enriched by their contributions and significant efforts. Their Nor'wood Development Group's impact on the community in the sports arena includes providing headquarters for a number of the USOC's National Governing Bodies, USA Cycling, USA Triathlon and USA Volleyball.
A huge contribution by the Jenkins duo and Nor'wood is the donation of the land near downtown for the gorgeous U.S. Olympic Museum and Hall of Fame, slated to open in 2020.
The company is the largest real estate developer and owner in the Colorado Springs area. With a local focus, the company and the Jenkins family are key leaders in the community and view their development activities with a sense of mission and stewardship. The company has adopted a mission to make Colorado Springs "the number one middle-weight city in the United States" through its investments in both real estate and community assets.
For more information about the event and to view past inductees, go here: Sports Hall of Fame Info and Past Inductees