Don Asmonga was a native of the Steel Valley, but his 26 year tenure as the first basketball and Baseball coach in 1965 at Belle Vernon Area High School made him a fixture in the Mon Valley. He holds the school’s all-time winning record at 287-254, winning a WPIAL Championship in 1978. In baseball the had a section winner in 1967.
As an athlete, he was an outstanding basketball player leading Homestead to a 28-0 record and PIAA championship in 1946. He was also All-WPIAL in football and Basketball.
Don was inducted in to the Western Chapter in 1988
Dr. "Red" Carlson M.D. came to Fayette City at the age of two and graduated from Fayette City High School. He was a three sports star at Bellefonte Academy Prep and the University of Pittsburgh earning eleven letters in four years. He help pay his way through Medical school playing football in Cleveland and teaching at Mars High School.
He started coaching football at Pittsburgh in 1922 and that winter became the varsity Basketball Coach and started the makings of a legend. When he retired in 1953 his record was 369 - 247 with two National Championships and a Helms Basketball Hall of Fame honor.
He was inducted into the Western Chapter and State Hall of Fame in 1969.
Lou “ Bimbo” Cecconi a four sports star at Donora High School went on to star as a quarterback and defensive standout for four years at the University of Pittsburgh. After graduating in 1950, he coached football until 1973 .
“Bimbo" was inducted into the Western Chapter in 1980 and the Pennsylvania Sports Hall of Fame in 2011.
Personal information Born: March 22, 1960 (age 58)
Height: 6 ft 4 in (1.93 m)
Weight: 271 lb (123 kg)
Career information High school: Freedom (PA)
NFL Draft: 1983 / Round: 1 / Pick: 6
Career history Chicago Bears (1983–1991)
Career highlights and awards 2× Pro Bowl (1985, 1986)
2× First Team All-Pro (1985, 1986)
Super Bowl champion (XX)
NFL 1980s All-Decade Team
Consensus All-American (1982)
Walter Camp Alumni of the Year (1995)
Inducted into the Robert “Tick” Cloherty – Western Chapter of the Pennsylvania Sports Hall of Fame in 1995 and Pennsylvania Sports Hall of Fame also in 2012.
James “Rab” Currie’s name was synonymous with the game of football in the Mon Valley for 35 years.
As the Head Football Coach at Monessen and Charleroi high schools he compiled a record of 212 wins 106 losses and 10 ties, winning five Conference Championships, and garnering two Coach of the Year honors.
“Rab” was inducted into the Western Chapter in 1982.
In high school, Gus was a "State Champion in 1949. He was a member of the U.S. Olympic team in 1952. In 1953 he was an NCAA Champion that was undefeated in college dual competition. After college he turned to coaching his beloved sport and began producing championship wrestlers and championship teams. His record included 22 Section Championships, seven WPIAL Championships, and six State Titles. He was a four time, WPIAL and two time PIAA Coach of the Year Honoree. He turned to college coaching and won the Eastern Regional Championship in 1994 and 1996 at Duquesne University. He has been the recipient of a National Wrestling Hall of Fame Lifetime Service Award.
Inducted into the Robert “Tick” Cloherty – Western Chapter of the Pennsylvania Sports Hall of Fame in 1977 and Pennsylvania Sports Hall of Fame also in 2004.
Numbers. 43, 28, 27
Personal information Born: October 2, 1937 (age 81)
Career information College: Pittsburgh
NFL Draft: 1959 / Round: 9 / Pick: 100
Career history Washington Redskins (1959–1960)
Minnesota Vikings (1961)
Pittsburgh Steelers (1961–1964)
Career highlights and awards
4× Super Bowl Champion (IX, X, XIII, XIV)
2011 Pittsburgh Pro Football Hall of Fame
Personnel, Director of Player personnel for Steelers and new York Giants
Career NFL statistics Games played: 75
Inducted into the Robert “Tick” Cloherty – Western Chapter of the Pennsylvania Sports Hall of Fame in 1991 and Pennsylvania Sports Hall of Fame also in 2004.
Dale Hamer is a former National Football League (NFL Official) who served from 1978 to 2001, with a break taken for heart valve surgery during the 1995 season.
During his 23 seasons in the NFL, Hamer was assigned to officiate numerous playoff games including two Super Bowls, as a head linesman in Super Bowl XVII and in Super Bowl XXII. Additionally, he was an alternate referee for Super Bowl XXVII.
Upon retirement following the 2001 season, he assumed new duties as an instant replay official for the NFL, a position he held through the 2014 season.
He wore uniform number 104, is a past president of the National Football League Referees Association and, a graduate of California University of PA
He was inducted into the Western Chapter in 1995 and the Pennsylvania Sports Hall of Fame in 2112.
Personal information Born: November 24, 1929 Waterproof, Louisiana
Died: June 3, 2011 Tracy, California
Career information High school: Pittsburg (California)
College: Arizona State
St. Mary’s (California)
NFL Draft: 1953 / Round: 2 / Pick: 18
Career history Calgary Stampeders (1953)
San Francisco 49ers (1954–1956)
Detroit Lions (1957–1959)
Pittsburgh Steelers (1960–1965)
Houston Oilers (1966)
Career highlights and awards NFL champion (1957)
4× Pro Bowl (1954, 1962–1964)
2× Second-team All-Pro (1954, 1962)
Jeff Nicklin Memorial Trophy (1953)
San Francisco 49ers Hall of Fame
Pittsburgh Steelers Legends team
Inducted into the Robert “Tick” Cloherty – Western Chapter of the Pennsylvania Sports Hall of Fame in 1977 and Pennsylvania Sports Hall of Fame also in 1977.
Frank Lignelli’s athletic career began at Monongahela High School and went on to Clarion University of PA. He was a three sport star at Clarion, earning state and national All-American honors in football and NAIA and Clarion Hall of Fame recognition in football and wrestling. A long time football coach and Athletic Director at Clarion,
Frank was inducted into the Western Chapter in 1986.
Bap” Manzini, another Monongahela football standout, went on to star at St. Vincent College and after service in the U.S. Air Force returned to play for the Philadelphia Eagles in 1944, 1945, and 1948.
He began his high school coaching career at Bellmar High School in 1951 compiling a 84-38-7 mark there in 14 seasons.
He moved on to Thomas Jefferson HS in 1965 and retired in 1980 with a WPIAL AAA Title, a record of 119-36-1, and an overall record of 203-74-8.
He was a 1987 inductee of the WesternChapter and a 2006 Pennsylvania Sports Hall of Fame Inductee.
Joe McCune was an outstanding tackle for South Brownsville High School and Waynesburg College. From 1937-1940 he played and coached the McKeesport Olympics semi-pro football team. He was commissioned a second lieutenant in the U.S. Army and served three years in the service. Joe launched a 23 year head coaching career in high school at Redstone 1950-1955, North Braddock Scott 1956-1962, and Monongahela 1963-1968.
His teams captured three Mon Valley Conference Championships at Redstone and Monongahela.
Joe McCune was inducted into the Western Chapter in 1987.
Pat Mullen was one of a trio of major league outfielders that excelled in the 1940's and 1950's joining Stan Musial and Jim Russell in this regard. Like Russell, he chose baseball over toiling as a miner in the Mon Valley. Also a standout in football at Redstone High School he passed on college to chase his big league dream. he signed with Detroit Tigers in 1937 and spent his entire 16 year career with the Tiger organization, stepping down in 1953 to make way for future Tiger All-Star Al Kaline.
After 22 big league seasons from 1941 through 1963, Mr. St.Louis Cardinal, Stan Musial, ranked near the top of baseball's All-time list in almost every batting category. He topped .the .300 mark 18 times, won seven batting titles and, was a three time Most Valuable Player and, participated in an amazing 24 All-star games.
Commissioner Ford Frick said on the day Musial retired, "Here stands baseball's perfect warrior, here stands baseball's perfect knight."
A native of Donora, PA "Stan the Man" was among the most liked and most respected players in the game.
Stan was among the initial inductees into the Pennsylvania Sports Hall of Fame and Western Chapter and the Pennsylvania Sports Hall of Fame both in 1963.
Jeff Petrucci was an All-Big 6 running back at Charleroi and went on to a stellar career as a quarterback at California University of PA. He was twice honored as an NAIA All-American quarterback leading the nation in total offense in 1967 and 1968.
He finished his collegiate career in 1968 with a school and PSAC record of 6,297 yards and a PSAC League Championship. Jeff returned to California in 1981 and led them to the PSAC title in 1984.
Bill Robinson was a graduate of Elizabeth Forward High School where he excelled in basketball and baseball. He chose baseball over college and was called up by the Braves in 1966. He spent 1967 - 1969 with the Yankees. After two more years in the minors, he split the next twelve big league seasons with the Phillies and Pirates.
From 1975 through 1982 he was an integral part of the Pirates "Lumber Company" with Willie Stargell and Dave Parker.
He was inducted into the Western Chapter in in 1990.
Jimmy Russell was born in Fayette City and like many of his peers at the time quit school to help the family by working in the mills or mines of the Mon-valley. He never lost his love for baseball and succeeded thanks to the goading of an aunt that recognized his talent.
He was very fast and had a solid power bat from both sides of the plate which drew the watchful eye of the Pirates who purchased his contract from Toronto in 1942.
He led the Pirates in hitting at .312 and total hits with 181 in 1944. That year he was in the top five with Musial in runs scored, triples, and walks. He was the first Pirate to hit a pinch-hit grand slam. In 1948 he was traded to Boston for Danny Murtaugh.
Jim was inducted into the Western Chapter in 1976 .
James Russell coached Donora High School from 1931 through 1964 developing the great Donora football tradition of that time.
Although he did not play football in high school, he was an insightfull student of the game and got close to Knute Rockne while a student at Notre Dame. He led his team to six Mon Valley and three WPIAL Titles.
He left Donora 1n 1965 to take over the reins at the new Belle Vernon High School following the Bellmar and Rostraver jointure. His overall coaching record was 198-146-28.
He was inducted into the Western Chapter in 1982 and the State Hall of Fame in 2006.
Steve Stepanian was an All-American in both football and basketball at Grove City College. Although his name is synonymous with football, Steve also coached basketball, track, and baseball at Charleroi High School. Known for his single-wing sweep, his coaching career stretched from 1922- 1945 and included 144 wins, 68 loses, and 31 ties. His 1936 team went undefeated and were WPIAL Champions and his 1924 team runner-up. In 23 years as basketball coach his teams were 301-102 and included a WPIAL Championship in 1940.
Dr. Charles Fremont West - football
Born January 25, 1899
Died November 20, 1979 (aged 80)
Residence Alexandria, Virginia
Alma mater Washington & Jefferson College
College football career Washington & Jefferson Presidents
Career history College Washington & Jefferson (1920–1923)
Bowl games Rose Bowl (1922)
Career highlights and awards Pennsylvania Sports Hall of Fame
All-American Honorable Mention (1923)
Inducted into the Robert “Tick” Cloherty – Western Chapter of the Pennsylvania Sports Hall of Fame in 1979 and Pennsylvania Sports Hall of Fame also in 1979.