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.

Dr. John Cunningham

Year Inducted:2018

Photo

*

*

Graduate of Burgettstown High School, Slippery Rock University and West Virginia University
Head Men’s Soccer Coach at Bethany for 33 years; compiling a record of 370-123-28,
while never having a losing season in his career
Led Bisons to 29 President’s Athletic Conference titles, winning 22 consecutive titles
between 1979 and 2000
During his tenure the Bisons participated in 17 NCAA National Championship tournaments culminating in an NCAA D-III National Championship in 1994 where they defeated
John Hopkins 1-0 in double overtime for the title
The Green and White were National runner-up in 1982, garnered two Eastern Collegiate
Conference Championships as well as one Mid-Atlantic Regional Championship in 1996
His players earned PAC MVP honors 26 times, 212 All-Conference Awards, and he coached 51 All-American athletes and 8 Academic All-Americans
Inducted into the Bethany College Athletic Hall of Fame in 2004
Has run the Bethany Soccer Camps for 45 years with more than 10,000 campers and more than 1,000 coaches participating
Inducted into the Slippery Rock University Soccer Ring of Honor

*

Tim McConnell

Year Inducted:2018

Photo

*

*

A graduate of Seton-La Salle High School and Waynesburg College
Team captain of the 1982 Rebels WPIAL Championship team and PIAA State Championship runner-up team
Team captain on NAIA Tournament team and holder of game and season records for assists at Waynesburg
Currently in his 25th season as boys basketball coach at Chartiers Valley High School
Fastest coach in WPIAL history to reach 500 wins with a current record of 531–150
Coached 16 Section championship and 6 WPIAL title teams and led his teams to 2 PIAA runner-up finishes in 20 state tournament appearances
Two-time Post-Gazette Coach of the Year recipient

*

Mike Zmijanac

Year Inducted:2018

Photo

*

Second Photo - Left Column

*

A graduate of Aliquippa High School and Edinboro State University
He returned to teach at Aliquippa for thirty-nine years with several stints as an assistant coach in football and basketball.
Most prominent assistant coaching successes came as defensive coordinator for Aliquippa teams which won four WPIAL Titles in seven championship appearances
Hired as the Aliquippa’s head boys basketball coach in 1996 and head football coach in 1997
His 7-year head basketball coaching career included a record of 166 – 43, three WPIAL championships, and one PIAA AA state title
His 21–year head football coaching record is 237–36, an incredible 86.8 winning percentage
Six WPIAL titles in 13 championship games, including 10 consecutive WPIAL tournament appearances and one PIAA championship in four title appearances
Other notable achievements: 11 undefeated regular seasons, a 62-game consecutive winning streak and numerous Coach of the Year recognition’s.
Elected to the Minor Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2015
Elected to the Pennsylvania State Football Coaches Hall of Fame in 2016
Only coach in Pennsylvania history ever to win high school state titles in both football and basketball

*

Tyler Palko

Year Inducted:2018

Photo

*

*

A graduate of West Allegheny High School and attended the University of Pittsburgh
Earned 9 letters in football. basketball and track at West Allegheny and was a four-year football letterman at Pitt
Led West Allegheny to three consecutive WPIAL Championships and one PIAA Championship in three state title game appearances
Three-time Scholastic AP All–State in football and was both the 2001 Post-Gazette and Tribune Review AAA Player of the Year.
2001 AP Pennsylvania Big School Player of the Year
Finished his career at Pitt tied for 2nd in career TD passes (66), passing yards (8,343 – second behind Dan Marino) and was the only three-time team captain in Panther football history
Two-time All- Big East, Big East All–Academic and Pitt Football MVP

*

Jeff Bergman

Year Inducted:2017

Graduate of North Catholic High School and Robert Morris University
Officiated high school football for twelve seasons, Including many playoff games and the 1982 WPIAL AAAA Championship Game
Officiated college football for ten seasons
Worked professional football in the United States Football League; the Arena Football League, including the first Arena Bowl; and NFL Europe, including the first World Bowl in 1991.
Officiated in the NFL 1991-present, working over 500 games including numerous play-off games and Super Bowl XXXI
Member of the NFLRA’s Board of Directors for fifteen years, including 6 years serving as the union president

*

Tim Rooney

Year Inducted:2017

A graduate of North Catholic High School and Duquesne University
Began coaching at Canevin High School and after stints at Villanova University and the University of Rhode Island, began a career in professional football
Director of Pro Personnel for the Pittsburgh Steelers from 1972-1979, receiving three of the five Super Bowl rings he was to earn in his career
Director of Player Personnel and Assistant Director of Football Operations for the Detroit Lions from 1979-1984
Joined the New York Giants in 1985 as Director of Pro Personnel, where he earned Super Bowl rings 4 and 5
Retired from the New York Giants in May, 1999. He continued to live in New Jersey until 2010 when he and his wife returned to their Pittsburgh roots.
A member of the highly respected Rooney family of Pittsburgh

*

Don Schaefer

Year Inducted:2017

A graduate of Pittsburgh Central Catholic High School and Notre Dame University
Outstanding football and track participant, All-Western PA All-Star
Three – year two-way starter at Notre Dame and played all sixty minutes in three games.
1955 First Team All-American (American Football Coaches, Football Writers Association of America, International News Service and, Central Press Association)
Played in 1955 East-West Shrine Game and 1956 College All-Star Game.
Drafted in the Third round by the Philadelphia Eagles in 1956, playing in all 12 regular season games.
Thirty – month Air Force tour ended his football career

*

David Kasper

Year Inducted:2017

Graduate of Chartiers Valley High School and University of Maryland
All ACC standout at Maryland and played professionally with the Milwaukee Wave and the Pittsburgh Stingers.
Duquesne University’s first soccer coach
General manager of Pittsburgh Riverhounds
Technical Director of DC United in 2002, General Manager in 2007, and GM and Director of Soccer Operations in 2014
DC United has won 5 major trophies during his years as General Manager

*

Ernest Koontz

Year Inducted:2017

A graduate of Monongahela High School and California University of PA
Head girls’ basketball coach at Upper Saint Clair High School for 29 years, compiling a 535-232 record.
His teams were in the WPIAL playoffs 23 times and PIAA playoffs 14 times, garnering five WPIAL titles in seven finals and won one PIAA championship.
Named Coach of the Year four times by the Post-Gazette and received many other coaching honors
Forty-six of his players have gone on to play college basketball

*

Rick Krivda

Year Inducted:2017

A graduate of McKeesport High School and California University of PA
A dominant southpaw pitcher at California, setting a single season victory record as a Freshmen in 1989
Led the Vulcans to a strong finish in the PSAC Tournament and a final four appearances
In 1990, he set a school strikeout record, highest in NCAA Division II, and was named a D-II All-American
Drafted by the Baltimore Orioles and named their Minor League Player of the year in 1992
His professional baseball career included the Orioles playoff run in 1996 and a successful minor league record
In 2000, he was member of the USA’s Gold Medal-winning Olympic team in Sydney, Australia
Inducted into the California University of PA Hall of Fame in 2003

*

Bill Cherpak

Year Inducted:2017

Graduate of Steel Valley High School and University of Pittsburgh
Three – year starter at Pitt, career ended due to injury
Assistant coach at Thomas Jefferson (TJ) 1990-1993, assistant at Woodland Hills 1994, and head coach at TJ 1995 to the present.
His TJ teams have won six WPIAL championships in 2004, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2015 and, 2016
Winner of three PIAA State championships in 2004, 2007, and 2008
Winner of numerous Coach of the Year and community awards

*

Molly Larkin Rottmann

Year Inducted:2017

A graduate of North Catholic High School and the University of Delaware
Three year starter on a team that won 3 WPIAL Titles. Played in two PIAA state Title games, winning one State Championships. The team won 56 straight games and garnered a #11 national ranking her senior season.
Three – year All-State selection scoring 1,876 points to set a new all-time scoring record and set the game scoring record with 43 points. North Fab Five selection junior and senior year and Player of the Year her senior season.
At Delaware, won two Conference Championship, three – year starter and leading scorer, captain and All-Conference honoree her Senior year. Also a 1,000 point scorer.
Head girls’ basketball coach at North Catholic for the past 18 years. Her teams have won 13 section Titles and made the WPIAL title game 11 times, winning 5 Championships and
made three PIAA finals, winning the State Title in 2016. Her career record is 378-126.
Molly was the Post Gazette “Coach of the Year” in 2003 and the PIAA “Coach of the Year” in 2016.

*

Jim Tomsula

Year Inducted:2017

Graduate of Steel Valley High School and Catawba College
Coached 31 seasons at the high school, college, and professional level
While coaching at Catawba, he also coached in the off-season in NFL Europe
Known as a tough defensive coordinator he was named head coach of NFL Europe’s Rhine Fire, the youngest coach ever to hold that position.
Joined the San Francisco 49ers staff in 2007 as a defensive coach
The 49’ers won the NFC Championship and played the New York Giants in the 2013 Super Bowl
In 2015 was named head coach of the San Francisco 49ers
Inducted into the Catawba College and Steel Valley Sports Halls of Fame

*

Dr. Jamie Wolf Jackel

Year Inducted:2017

Graduate of South Park High School and Clarion University of PA
One of the top student-athletes in Clarion University history
A record seven-time NCAA D-II National Diving Champion (1- and 3- meters) and three-time
NCAA D-II Female Diver of the Year
In 2007, her 1-meter total of 453.75 points was an NCAA record
In 2007, an NCAA D-II & D-III Academic All-American of the year (all sports)
Earned a post-graduate scholarship to Ohio State where she earned a Ph.D. in Molecular Genetics

*

Lavar Arrington

Year Inducted:2017

A graduate of North Hills High School and Penn State University
Three-year starter at Penn State
Sporting News All-American in 1998, consensus All-American in 1999
Parade National Player of the Year, Bobby Dodd National Offensive Player of the Year, Gatorade Player of the Year (Eastern Region), and PA Player of the Year (USA Today)
1998 Big-Ten Defensive Player of the Year, won Butkus Award as nations top linebacker and Bednarik Award as the top defensive player in NCAA
2nd overall pick in the 2000 NFL draft of the Washington Redskins
1st Team All-NFC Conference and Pro Bowl selection in 2001, 2002, and 2003
WPIAL Hall of Fame Inductee in 2011

*

Bob Shearer

Year Inducted:2016

A graduate of Peabody High School and the University of Pittsburgh
A four sports star at Peabody, garnering All-City honors in football and baseball and was a member of Peabody’s state championship volleyball team
Langley High School’s Baseball Coach for thirty-one years. Also coached; football, basketball, soccer, and swimming at Langley. Coached football for two years at Duquesne University
His Baseball teams won; fourteen City League section titles and five City League championships
Langley was runner up in the 1982 PIAA Title game and finished fourth in both 1978 and 1979
Active in teaching, coaching, and community organizations. A baseball and softball official

*

Dante Calabria

Year Inducted:2016

A graduate of Blackhawk High School and University of North Carolina
Scored 2,252 points at Blackhawk and was one of the WPIAL’s greatest shooters
Blackhawk won three WPIAL Titles and one PIAA Title during his high school career
Went to North Carolina and played as a freshmen on the Tar Heel’s 1993 NCAA Championship team
One of the greatest three-point shooters in Tar Heel’s history
Played and starred for 16 seasons as a professional basketball player in Europe

*

Tom Stabile

Year Inducted:2016

Graduate of Tarentum High School and Slippery Rock University of PA
PIAA football, basketball, and baseball game official
NCAA official in Football and Basketball working many playoff and bowl games
NFL Head Linesman for twenty years working numerous playoff games
Named to the officiating crew for Super Bowl XLVI and an alternate official on Super Bowl XL
Member of the Allegheny-Kiski Sports Hall of Fame and WPIAL Sports Hall of Fame
Worked many WPIAL football, basketball, and baseball Championship games and three PIAA Basketball Finals

*

Third Photo - Center below Bio

J. T. Thomas

Year Inducted:2016

Graduate of Lanier High School in Georgia and Florida State University
First African-American football player awarded a full scholarship to FSU
First FSU African-American All-American football player
First FSU African-American All-American football player to earn his baccalaureate degree
Selected as the number 1 draft choice of the Pittsburgh Steelers in 1973
Played with the Steel Curtain defense for eleven seasons; Pro-Bowl honoree and four-time Super Bowl Winner
JT and Mel Blount named 6th best cornerback combo in NFL history by NFL.com
Successful food and restaurant business entrepreneur for over thirty years

*

Art Tragesser

Year Inducted:2016

Head and assistant football coach at four schools in Westmoreland County for 45 years
Overall football coaching record was 165-133-3
His Jeannette teams won 3 section titles and his 1994 squad was WPIAL AA runner-up
His Penn-Trafford teams won 5 section titles and his 1997 squad was the WPIAL AAAA runner-up
Head and Assistant track coach at Jeannette High School for 17 years
12 years District 7 representative to the Pennsylvania Scholastic Football Coaches Association, serving as it’s president in 2000
Big 33 Game Pennsylvania head coach in 2003 and assistant coach in 1995
Inducted into the Clarion University of PA Sports HOF in 2005
Ferrante Memorial Award recipient in 2015

*