ROBERT “TICK” CLOHERTY – WESTERN CHAPTER
PENNSYLVANIA SPORTS HALL OF FAME
CLASS OF 2020

 


INDUCTEE OF DISTINCTION

CRAIG PATRICK – HOCKEY ADMINISTRATOR

  • Born in Detroit, MI and attended the University of Denver
  • Led the University of Denver to two NCAA Championships in 1968 – 1969
  • Played center in the NHL for four different clubs over a nine- year period
  • In the 1980 Olympics he was the General Manager and Assistant Coach of the USA’s Gold Medal winning team
  • Head Coach of the New York Rangers in 1980-81 and General Manager in 1981-1986
  • General Manager of the Pittsburgh Penguins from 1989-2006, winning the Stanley Cup in 1981 & 1982
  • Elected to the NHL Hall of Fame in 2001

2020 MEMBERSHIP INDUCTEES

BRUCE GRADKOWSKI – FOOTBALL

  • As a junior at Seton LaSalle High School in Pittsburgh, Bruce threw for 1630 yards and 10 TD’s
  • During his senior year, he completed 188-327 passes (57.5%) and threw for a then WPIAL passing record of 2978 yards and 30 TD’s (surpassing the previous mark set by Dan Marino)
  • In 2003 he became the starting QB for the University of Toledo Rockets (Mid-American Conference) and set a MAC season record by completing 71.2% of his passes for 3210 yards and 29 touchdowns.
  • His final 2003 passer rating was a near-perfect 161.53
  • In that 2003 season they beat # 9 ranked Pitt 35-31 with Bruce throwing for 461 yards and 3 TD’s
  • In 2004 the Rockets were the MAC champions, beating Miami of Ohio 35-27 with Bruce named MVP despite playing that game with a broken throwing hand
  • In 2004 he passed for 3,518 yards and 27 TD’s and had an even higher passer rating of 162.56
  • He finished his final season at Toledo ranked among the top 10 QB’s in Division I football with career passing stats of 764 completions for 9,197 yards, 85 TD’s, a 68.8% completion percentage and an overall 156.84 passer rating
  • Bruce was the MVP of the 45-13 Rockets 2005 GMAC Bowl victory over Texas El Paso
  • He was also selected as the 2005 Mid-American Conference Vern Smith Leadership Award co-winner
  • Drafted by Tampa Bay in 2006, Bruce spent 11 seasons in the NFL playing for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Cleveland Browns, Oakland Raiders, Cincinnati Bengals and Pittsburgh Steelers, retiring in 2016

ART HOWE – BASEBALL

  • Major League manager for the Houston Astros (1989-93), Oakland Athletics (1996-2002) and New York Mets (2003-04). Managed in 2,266 major league games (1989-2004)
  • Set American League record of 20 consecutive wins as Manager of the Oakland Athletics in 2002
  • Finished second four consecutive years (1999-2002) for an American League Manager of the Year Award
  • Was a baseball analyst for the Houston Astros from 2005-06 and from 2009-17
  • Spent two years as a bench coach for the Texas Rangers (2007-08)
  • Major League infielder (played all four positions but mostly second and third base) for the Pittsburgh Pirates (1974-75), Houston Astros (1976-82) and St. Louis Cardinals (1984-85)
  • Set Houston Astros record in 1981 with a 20- game hitting streak
  • A stellar multi-sport athlete at Shaler Area High School where he was an All-WPIAL in football and led the Titans to a WPIAL baseball championship his junior year.
  • He attended the University of Wyoming on a football scholarship and, after a football career ending injury, was signed by the Pirates in 1970 after attending a tryout camp
  • He was inducted into the Shaler Area Athletic Hall of Fame, the University of Wyoming Hall of Fame, the Texas Baseball Hall of Fame and the Houston Astros Orbiters’ Hall of Fame

VEGRIN “VEE” HIGHTOWER – SOCCER, BASKETBALL AND BASEBALL

  • An outstanding Class of 1990 three-sport athlete (soccer, basketball & baseball) at Mt. Lebanon
  • NSCAA Regional Soccer All-American his junior year, two – time PA. Soccer Coaches All-State team (1988-89) and Gatorade Pennsylvania High School Soccer Player of the Year his senior season
  • Finished scholastic career with school record of 132 points (86 goals and 46 assists)
  • MVP of 1990 PIAA basketball finals and played in the 1990 Dapper Dan Roundball Classic
  • Batted .483 his sophomore year and .444 as a junior for Mt. Lebanon (injured his senior year)
  • Selected to the baseball squad in both his junior and senior years for the US Olympics Sports Festival and was rated as one of the top 25 US prospects by Baseball America and USA Today
  • Full baseball scholarship to Vanderbilt University in 1990-91, was named to Baseball America’s Freshman All-American Team in 1991 and was a pre-season All-American in 1993 and selected to the 1993 “Smith Super Team” by the National Collegiate Baseball Writers
  • In his junior (final) season at Vanderbilt, he batted .346, with 11 home runs and 46 stolen bases
  • Drafted by the Chicago Cubs in the third round of the 1993 Major League Baseball Draft

SCOTT McKILLOP –FOOTBALL

  • Graduated 2004 from Kiski Area High School and attended the Univ. of Pittsburgh
  • Nine letter winner at Kiski in football (led team to 3 WPIAL Quad A playoff appearances), wrestling (two-time WPIAL wrestling champion) and track.
  • Led team as a senior with 132 tackles and had a career rushing record of 1,121 yards
  • Led NCAA Division I in tackles in 2007 at Pitt (his 344 tackles in two seasons ranks him 10th All-Time at Pitt)
  • In 2008, he was a 1st Team All-American and was also named the All-Big East Defensive Player of the Year
  • Drafted in the 5th round of the 2009 NFL Draft (146th overall) by the San Francisco 49er’s
  • Played for the 49er’s (2009 – 2011) and Buffalo Bills in 2012 where he suffered a career ending knee injury
  • Inducted with the inaugural class into the Kiski High School Sports Hall of Fame

DR KAREN HALL – BASKETBALL

  • 1983/1984 Mt. Alvernia Girls Basketball Team Captain/Team MVP
  • In 1983, she started for the undefeated (34-0) Mt. Alvernia PIAA Class A State Championship team
  • Was a WPIAL Class A Section II All-Star, a Pittsburgh Post Gazette Finest-Five All Star and a North Hills News Record Fabulous Five All-Star after the 1984 season
  • Was named a 1984 National High School Girls Basketball All-American
  • In 1982, 1983 and 1984 her team was crowned National Amateur Athletic (AAU) Union Champions and she was also named a 3- time AAU All-American
  • In 1985 she was a USA-Basketball Sports Festival West Team Alternate
  • 1984-1988 College Basketball Scholarship to University of Nevada Las Vegas (UNLV)
  • In the 1986-87 and 1987-88 seasons, she served as the Lady Running Rebels team captain. In 1988 she was named second team All-Big West Conference
  • 1994 Western Pennsylvania Girls’ Basketball Hall-of-Fame Inductee
  • 2009 Ammon Recreation Center Legends Hall-of-Fame, 2013 Western Pennsylvania Interscholastic Athletic (WPIAL) League Hall-of-Fame Inductee…Team Category
  • In 2016, a Connie Hawkins Men’s Summer Basketball League Hall-of-Fame Inductee and in 2017, Pittsburgh Basketball Club Hall-of-Fame Inductee

JERRY SCHMITT – COLLEGIATE FOOTBALL COACH

  • Graduate of Keystone Oaks High School and Westminster College
  • Assistant high school coach at West Allegheny, Avonworth, Bethel Park and South Fayette
  • Assistant coach at Duquesne University 1982,1985-1987 and offensive Coordinator 1993-1999
  • Head Coach at Westminster College 2000-2004 with a record of 28 wins and 21 loses
  • Returned to Duquesne University in 2005 as head coach with a current record of 86 wins and 59 losses
  • His Duquesne Dukes football teams won Mid-Atlantic Athletic Conference championships in 2005, 2006, and 2007 and Northeastern Conference championships in 2011,2013, and 2015

WILLIAM MORTON – COACH – FOOTBALL

  • A 1968 graduate of Wilkinsburg High School where he was an outstanding football, basketball and baseball player. In his senior year he was the Foothills Conference MVP in football and was selected to play in the 1968 Big 33 Game in Hershey.
  • Drafted out of high school as a catcher with the Cincinnati Reds and played two years of minor league ball before being drafted into the military
  • A celebrated army veteran who was awarded the Army Commendation Medal and Bronze Star for heroism, he returned to West Liberty, coaching football and baseball there prior to his graduation.
  • For 42 years he taught and coached at Franklin Regional, Pittsburgh Central Catholic, Gateway, and Woodland Hills, as well as two York County schools, Red Lion and Steelton-Highspire, where he was the head coach
  • He was the defensive coordinator at Pittsburgh Central Catholic in 1988, when they won their first PIAA Quad AAAA title.
  • Was also the defensive coordinator at Woodland Hills High School and was highly instrumental in leading the Wolverines to four WPIAL Championships in 1999, 2001, 2002 and 2009.
  • In the 2009 football season at Woodland Hills, Bill battled the effects of Agent Orange, contracted in Vietnam, and called defensive signals via closed circuit TV from his hospital bed at the Vets Hospital
  • A 2005 inductee into the East Boro’s Sports Hall of Fame
  • Named WPIAL Coach of the Year in 2010 by vote of the WPIAL football coaches, the only time a non-head coach was selected.
  • Ten of his former defensive players have played in the NFL

TOM BECKETT – ATHLETIC DIRECTOR

  • Served 25 years as Yale AD (1994-2018), overseeing 35 varsity sports and approximately 900 coaches and athletes annually
  • Yale’s sports programs won 30 national championships and 82 Ivy League titles during his tenure
  • His programs at Yale have also produced 43 Olympic athletes and 337 All-Americans during those years
  • His programs also averaged 10 nationally ranked Yale teams annually during those years
  • His fundraising initiatives during his administration have raised over $325 million, enabling Yale to erect 11 new athletic facilities while renovating an additional 11 campus sports venues
  • Led the 1963 & 1964 Taylor Allderdice football teams to back-to-back City League championships and was 1964 First Team All-City League High School quarterback
  • A 1968 Pitt grad, he earned three varsity letters in baseball and basketball and was the 1968 Pitt baseball captain
  • Played professional baseball for 5 years (1967-71) with the San Francisco Giants organization
  • Coached college baseball at Pitt and Butler CC, before serving as athletic administrator at San Jose State and then as Associate AD at Stanford University, where his teams won 32 NCAA championships and received seven “Champion of Champions” Awards
  • In 2017 the Yale University Athletic Director’s Chair was endowed and renamed the “Thomas A. Beckett Athletic Director’s Chair”
  • in 2018 he was named the National Football Foundation Athletic Director of the Year

EDDIE JOHNSTON – HOCKEY

  • Played in the NHL from 1956 – 1978 for the Boston Bruins, Toronto Maple Leafs, St. Louis Blue and the Chicago Blackhawks
  • Two years after retiring as a player he became coach of the Blackhawks farm team, the New Brunswick Hawks and led them to a second- place finish in 1979 with a 43-29-10 record
  • He became Head Coach of the Chicago Blackhawks during the 1979-80 season
  • In 1981 he was named coach of the Pittsburgh Penguins and in 1983 was named General Manager
  • He held the post for five years, which included the entry draft selection of Mario Lemieux
  • In 1993 he was again named the Penguins Head Coach, a position he held until 1997
  • He spent the next nine years as the Assistant General Manager to Craig Patrick and was named Senior Advisor for Hockey Operations in July 2006
  • He is still active with the Penguins and enjoys the Pittsburgh sports scene from his home in Upper St. Clair
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