For the past 58 years, the Robert “Tick” Cloherty – Western Chapter of the Pennsylvania Sports Hall of Fame has honored and inducted over 735 incredible men and women who have made a lasting impact in Pennsylvania through extraordinary athletic achievement and contributions. Whether these activities have been achieved on or off the field, we honor them here.

Jenine Joyce Brown

Year Inducted:2011

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Jenine graduated from Penn Hills High School and went on to star at the University of Pittsburgh. At Penn Hills, she was the first player in WPIAL history to start on four Championship Teams. She was the MVP in the 1990 PIAA State Championship Game and the Dapper Dan Classic, was a consensus All-State performer, and graduated as her school’s all-time leading scorer with 1,664 points.

Jenine continue to shine on the hardwood at Pitt where she was a four-year starter and letter winner, co-captain of the 1994-95 Team when she was named third-team All-Big East. She graduated in the top fifteen all-time in scoring, assists, and rebounds and garnered many individual game and tournament honors.

Banquet Acceptance Speech (Video)

https://youtu.be/WQoIrrZPIbg

Don Schwall

Year Inducted:2011

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Born in Wilkes Berra, PA, Don was a three sport star at Ypsilanti High School gaining, All-State honors in baseball and basketball.

He attended the University of Oklahoma on a basketball scholarship and also played baseball. At Oklahoma, he was the highest scoring sophomore in Oklahoma history and even outscored Wilt Chamberlain in one game.

He signed as a free agent with the Boston Red Sox in 1958 and was the 1961 American League Rookie of the Year with a 15-7 record and 3.22 ERA. He was came to Pirates in 1963 in the Dick Stuart trade, He ended his seven year career with Atlanta with a 49 – 48 record and has maintained his home in Pittsburgh.

Banquet Acceptance Speech (Video)

https://youtu.be/gbZy3ytyVTg

Sean Shappert

Year Inducted:2011

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Sean is a graduate of Moon Area High School and Indiana University (Bloomington). At Moon, he excelled in Soccer and led them to the 1983 WPIAL Championship. He was the WPIAL leading scorer all three years and still holds the National High School Career scoring record with 213 goals.

He was named All-WPIAL and All-State all three years, NSCAA All-American as a junior and senior, was the Dapper Dan Male Athlete of the Year in 1983, and Addidas and Parade All-American in 1984. At Indiana, he set the school record for single season assist with 18 in 1987 and holds the career record with 46. Sean helped lead Indiana to the NCAA Division I and World Collegiate Champions in 1988. He was a member of the WPIAL Hall of Fame First Inductee Class.

Banquet Acceptance Speech (Video)

https://youtu.be/Wz9hBT3boOE

Joe Kopnisky

Year Inducted:2011

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Joe was an All-WPIAL football player at Shaler High School in 1953 who went on to become an All-Conference performer at West Virginia University where he finished his career in the East-West Shrine game and garnered Academic All-American honors. He returned to Shaler to be the assistant football coach and head up the wrestling program. He became the Head Wrestling coach at Grove City College in 1965 where he was also an assistant in football and track.

From 1973 until 1984, Joe was the Head Football Coach at Grove City College and finished his career as the defensive Coordinator at Slippery Rock. He retired in 2000 after a distinguished 44 – year career in coaching.

Banquet Acceptance Speech (Video)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9kL5PkE58xk

Dick LeBeau

Year Inducted:2011

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A native of Ohio, Dick was a three-sport athlete at London High School and was an out-standing two-way performer in football for the legendary Woody Hayes at Ohio State University.

His 1957 team was National Champions and won the Rose Bowl. He is an inductee of the Ohio State University Sports Hall of Fame. He was drafted #5 by the Cleveland Browns in 1955 and moved to the Detroit Lions where he starred for 14 years as a defensive back.

Dick holds the Lion’s All-time interception record with 62 (7th All-time in the NFL) and the NFL record for consecutive starts at cornerback with 171 games. He never missed a practice, played in three Pro-Bowls, and was selected All-Pro four times. He was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in Canton, Ohio on August 7, 2010. He began his now 38-year career as an NFL coach in 1973 as a Special Teams Coach with the Philadelphia Eagles and after stops at Green Bay, Cincinnati, Pittsburgh, and Buffalo he brought his “Zone Blitz” package back to Pittsburgh. He has been a Defensive Coordinator in six Super Bowls, two with Cincinnati and four with Pittsburgh. The City of Pittsburgh, Western Pennsylvania, and the Pittsburgh Steelers have all come to love and respect Dick LeBeau.

Banquet Acceptance Speech (Video)

https://youtu.be/orbhtWJlvHM

Thomas Tomczyk

Year Inducted:2011

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Tom is a graduate of South Hills Catholic High School in 1966 and Westminster College in 1970. An outstanding athlete, he immediately turned his involvement in sports to officiating. He has been officiating football for 43 seasons including 25 in Division I College football. He now heads a crew as the Referee in the Big East Officiating Staff.

He has worked over 250 games including the 2010 National Championship (Alternate R) and the following Bowls; two Rose, Gator, Citrus, Alamo, Peach, Copper, and two New Orleans. He has officiated two Army/Navy Games, Pitt/Penn State, and Pitt/WVU. Tom has also officiated high school and college basketball for over twenty-five years.

Banquet Acceptance Speech (Video)

https://youtu.be/8V0pmxiIrjQ

Ross Fichtner

Year Inducted:2011

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Ross was a two-year starting QB at McKeesport High School and was named MVP in the Western PA Dapper Dan All-Star Game in 1956.He was a three-year starting QB/DB at Purdue University, voted the MVP in the 1959 Blue-Grey Game, and was a starting DB in the 1960 College All-Star game.

Ross was drafted the 31st overall pick by the Cleveland Browns, led the team three times in interceptions, and was twice named All-Pro in his eight year playing career. He was the Brown’s MVP Defensive Player in 1966 and played on the 1964 World Championship team. After playing one year with New Orleans, he ended his playing career with 27 interceptions and three TDs. His 21.5 yards per interception (NFL minimum of 25) is still the highest average in NFL history. He coached nine seasons in NFL with the Bears, Packers, and Vikings.

Banquet Acceptance Speech (Video)

https://youtu.be/4WeXRnZLIvQ

Neil Gordon

Year Inducted:2011

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Neil was a football player at Central Catholic High School and Indiana University of Pennsylvania who went on to become one of the most respected high school football coaches in Pennsylvania. Beginning as a graduate assistant at IUP, he was an assistant at Penn Hills High School and contributed extensively to the great championship teams of the seventies and early eighties. These included nine Conference Championship, four consecutive WPIAL Championships, and a #1 State ranking.

As the head Coach, Neil’s teams reached the WPIAL Playoffs 19 times registering eight Conference Championships, one WPIAL Title, and one State AAAA Championship. In 1978, Neil led the Penn Hills Baseball Team to WPIAL and PIAA Championships – the first WPIAL Team to win a State Title. He has been the recipient of numerous “Coach-of- the- Year” Awards in Football and Baseball and many other honors. As Head Football Coach at Shaler Area School for the past three years, Neil has led the Titans to 22 wins and two WPIAL Quarterfinal appearances.

Banquet Acceptance Speech (Video)

https://youtu.be/PSfRERQ-g_o

Carl Pacacha

Year Inducted:2011

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Carl graduated from Duquesne High School and went on to star in Basketball and Baseball at Duquesne University.

He was a star on Chick Davies’ team that included Chuck Cooper and played in the NIT and NCAA Tournaments in 1952. Both squads were ranked in the top Ten Nationally. He led the Dukes in scoring his junior year and was named to the Pennsylvania All-College Team.

He also played three years of baseball at Duquesne, had a tryout with the Dodgers at Ebbett’s Field, and in 1950 was MVP at the National Baseball Congress Tournament. Showing he could still compete, he and his tennis partner won a gold medal at the National Senior Olympics in 2007. Carl was inducted into the Duquesne University Sports Hall of Fame in 1993. He received his Ph.D. from Michigan State and spent twenty-four years as a public school Assistant Superintendent.

Banquet Acceptance Speech (Video)

https://youtu.be/vfT1b2feQS0

Margaret "Gie" Parsons

Year Inducted:2011

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Margaret is a graduate of Gateway High School and Slippery Rock University of PA. She played Basketball at SRU and went on to play and coach professionally in Australia and New Zealand. She returned to the states in 1982 and coached for 8-years at Thiel College before moving over to Clarion University of PA in 1990.

She immediately turned the Golden Eagles program around and led them to two NCAA Elite Eight, one Sweet Sixteen, and two other NCAA appearances. During this time they made 11 PSAC Playoff appearances winning three titles, one runner-up, and two final four finishes. She has been the PSAC West Coach-of-the-Year 5 times and has a record of 314 – 267.

Kelley Kolankiewicz Paterno

Year Inducted:2011

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Kelley graduated from Mt Lebanon High School and the University of Virginia. She was the top ranked junior player in Western PA and nationally ranked from 1977-1983. She was the PIAA Singles Champion in 1982 and 1983, the WPIAL Singles Champion in 1982, 1983, and 1984 when she was also named an All-American. She was the #1 player on a team that went undefeated and won four straight WPIAL Team Titles.

Kelley went on to play four years in college where, as in high school, she was team captain her junior and senior seasons. She maintained a high national ranking in singles and doubles throughout her college career, but had her pro career cut.

Banquet Acceptance Speech (Video)

https://youtu.be/DgiEFduFGAY

Donald "Dee" Rizzo

Year Inducted:2011

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At Pittsburgh’s Taylor Allderdice High School, Dee was a three-sport letterman, excelling in hockey, baseball and golf.

In hockey, he set the Pennsylvania state single- season scholastic record for assists with 78, a record that still stands today, over 30 years later. In golf, he qualified for the state championship tournament three straight years.

Dee’s senior year of high school was spent at the prestigious Northwood School in Lake Placid, N.Y., where he was captain of the league championship-winning hockey team. He lettered four years with Michigan State University’s hockey team from 1982-86, one of the first Pittsburgh-area players to play major-college hockey. He was MVP at the 1983 NCAA Regional Championships. In 1986, he became the first hockey player from Western Pennsylvania to win an NCAA Division I national championship. Today, Dee works for Creative Artists Agency, recruiting and representing hockey players from all over the world. Among others, Dee works closely with Sidney Crosby, Evgeni Malkin, Jonathan Toews and Patrick Kane.

Banquet Acceptance Speech (Video)

https://youtu.be/W3pHCPlSBbE