The Pennsylvania Sports Hall of Fame is proud to honor a deep, deserving and impactful class of individuals whose accomplishments will be celebrated among friends, teammates, family, fans and admirers Saturday, October 24, 2015 at the 53rd annual PA Sports Hall of Fame Induction Celebration at the Valley Forge Casino Resort!
This year, The PA Sports Hall of Fame will be honoring the following individuals; Bernie Parent… Joe Paterno… Governor Ed Rendell… P.J. Carlesimo … Chuck Fusina… Kristy Kowal… Matt Bahr… Neal Olkewicz… Foge Fazio… Bill Koman… Eric Crabtree… Chip Lutz and Gray Simons. Collectively they have won multiple Super Bowls, Stanley Cups, Olympic Medals, NBA Championships, NCAA Championships, MVP Awards, International Titles, National Player and Coach of the Year awards and have spent hundreds of years giving back to their sports and communities.
While all of these luminaries have been toasted and honored in various ways over the years, this October 24th the inductees will be joining an elite and exclusive PA Sports Hall of Fame club which includes previously enshrined immortals such as; Arnold Palmer, Roberto Clemente, Chuck Bednarik, Jim Thorpe, Franco Harris, Joe Frazier, Stan Musial, Dick Allen, Betsy King, Jimmy Foxx, Steve Van Buren, Red Grange, Cathy Rush, Richie Ashburn, Roger Penske, Willie Mosconi, Connie Mack, Josh Gibson, Tom Brookshier, Tom Gola, Roy Campanella, Robin Roberts, Greasy Neale, Harry Kalas, Pop Warner, Curt Simmons, Tommy McDonald and Christy Mathewson. Please come join the celebration, everyone is more than welcome to attend!
The 2015 Pennsylvania Sports Hall of Fame Class
Bernie Parent, Philadelphia Flyers
“Only the Lord Saves More than Bernie” echoes through the region to this day….One of the most accessible and beloved athletes in the state and the sport, a true ambassador. Two Stanley Cups, Two Vezina Trophies, Two Conn Smythe Trophies, Hockey Hall of Fame, cover of Time Magazine, winner of the NHL Class Guy Award, 5 time NHL All-Star with his number retired and hanging on the rafters at the Wells Fargo Center.
Joe Paterno, Penn State Football
The winningest coach in NCAA Division 1 Football history, 409 Games. College Football Hall of Fame, Two time National Champion, Five undefeated seasons, an NCAA record 24 Bowl wins. Coached 48 Academic
All-Americans, 250 NFL Draft Picks, 9 College and 3 NFL Hall of Famers. Joe was also named Sports Illustrated 1986 Sportsman of the Year.
P.J. Carlesimo, Basketball Coach
Coached the Seton Hall Pirates to the 1989 NCAA National Championship Game and was named NCAA Coach of the Year. Twice selected as Big East Coach of the Year. Olympic Gold Medal winner with 1992 Dream Team as Assistant Coach. Head Coach of the NBA Trail Blazers, Warriors, SuperSonics, Thunder and Interim Head Coach of the Nets. Won three NBA Championships as Lead Assistant Coach to Gregg Popovich of the San Antonio Spurs.
Kristy Kowal, Swimming
In 2000 Kristy was named the NCAA Woman of the Year for all sports. Kristy won the Silver medal in the 200m breaststroke at the 2000 Olympic Games in Sydney. She is a two-time World Champion who broke 8 American records and 1 World Record. Kristy was the first American woman to win the 100 Breaststroke and break the 1:00 barrier. She won 8 NCAA titles and 10 USA titles while at the University of Georgia.
Chuck Fusina, Football/PSU
As Penn State Quarterback Chuck went 27–4 over his career, and was named the Maxwell Award winner and a Heisman Trophy finalist in 1978. Chuck was named the Sporting News USFL Player of the Year in 1984 after leading the Philadelphia Stars to the USFL Championship and being named the MVP of the Championship game. Chuck also led the Stars to the USFL title in 1985 and played pro-football with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Green Bay Packers. In his senior year at Penn State Chuck was named 1st team All- American by the AP, UPI, Walter Camp and Kodak teams.
Matt Bahr, Football/Soccer/ Neshaminy
Matt joins his father in the PA Sports Hall of Fame. Matt won two Super Bowl rings, first with the Pittsburgh Steelers in 1980, and then kicking the game-winning field goal in the NY Giants 20-19 win over the Bills in 1991. He played 16 years in the NFL for the Steelers, 49ers, Browns, NY Giants, Philadelphia Eagles and the New England Patriots, finishing with his career as the NFL’s 25th leading scorer. He set an NFL playoff game record of 5 field goals in the 1990 NFC Championship game, a 15-14 Giants win over the 49ers. Matt played on Bowl winning teams for Joe Paterno while at Penn State, winning NCAA All-American honors in 1978. While at Penn State Matt was a consensus All- American Soccer playerWho went on to play professional soccer in the North American Soccer League.
Neal Olkewicz, Football/Phoenixville
Neal has played in three Super Bowls with the Washington Redskins and won two rings ,one in 1982 over the Dolphins and another over the Broncos in 1987. Neal was a starting Linebacker for the Skins for 150 games from 1979 to 1989 – averaging over 100 tackles per year. He was voted one of the 70 greatest Redskins of all-time. While with the University of Maryland Terrapins Neal made several All-American teams, and in his senior year was captain and MVP. He graduated Maryland as its all-time leader in tackles.
Eric Crabtree, Football/University of Pittsburgh/NFL
Eric was a two-way player for the University of Pittsburgh, earning Time, UPI and AP All-American honors. Eric went on to play 83 games in the NFL, catching 164 passes for 2,663 yards for the Broncos, Bengals and Patriots.
Gray Simons, Wrestling/Lock Haven/Olympics
Gray finished his Lock Haven wresting career with 91 wins and only 1 loss, and was a 4 time NAIA Champion. His only loss was as a Freshman to the defending NCAA national champion. Gray wrestled for both the 1960 and 1964 US Olympic teams and he was named the number 1 lightweight wrestler of all-time by Amateur Wresting News. Gray had a 36 year coaching career where he won 2 NAIA National Titles. He is in 7 Halls of Fame including the US National Wrestling Hall of Fame.
Bill Koman, Football/UNC/NFL
Bill started his NFL career as one of three rookies to make the Baltimore Colts, teammates Johnny Unitas and Lenny Moore being the other two. During Bill’s 12 year NFL career he also played with the Eagles and Cardinals, twice being named All-Pro. After graduating from the University of North Carolina Bill was chosen to play in the Blue-Grey College All-Star game.
John “Chip” Lutz, Golf
Golfweek Magazine named Chip National Senior Player of the Year in 2010 and 2011. He is only the third person in history to win back to back British Senior Amateur Open Championships, 2011 & 2012. A University of Florida graduate, Chip has also won the Canadian Senior Amateur, the Berks, Philadelphia and PA Amateur titles, as well as twice winning the Silver Medal for low Amateur rounds in the British Senior Open.
Serafino “Foge” Fazio, Football Coach
Foge coached the University of Pittsburgh Panthers for four years, leading them to two Bowl Games. A defensive coordinator at Notre Dame, Foge was also an assistant coach in the NFL for the Falcons, Jets, Redskins, Vikings and Browns..
In addition to the above elected inductees, the PA Sports hall of Fame is proud to announce the Honorable Edward G Rendell will be the recipient of the first ever Pennsylvania Sports HoF Award for Pioneering Leadership in Pennsylvania Sports. This award will be given annually to the person most committed to supporting and advancing the Pennsylvania sports community as a whole. The formal name of the award will be revealed at the October 24th Banquet.
As the most visible, vocal, supportive and passionate leader in Pennsylvania the only logical choice for this award is Ed Rendell. From his days at the University of Penn and the Palestra, to his iconic dive at the reopening of the Hunting Park pool as “America’s Mayor” that gave city children and their parents hope, through stadium openings, closings, eras of winning and losing the passion and support has always been there. Whether it is sharing his thoughts from a fervent fan point of view on Comcast SportsNet, the Daily News, CBS Radio / 94 WIP, or in his actions that have supported untold members of the athletic community over decades the Governor is the definition of this Award.
Once again, the PA Sports Hall of Fame is honored to have sportscasting legend Lou Tilley as our Master of Ceremonies, presiding over the events with the perfect blend of style, grace, humor and respect.
Along with the Saturday 10/24 Banquet, the PA Sports Hall of Fame Weekend Celebration will feature; a Friday evening 10/23 All-Star Concert & Party featuring well-known artists to be announced at a later date. There will also be a 1pm Saturday Penn State vs. Maryland viewing party in the Valley Forge Casino Resort Deuce’s Wild Bar. Come and join athletes, celebrities, alumni and fans for a celebration dedicated to an amazing collection of athletes, icons and sports superstars.
Tickets to the Pennsylvania’s Sports Hall of Fame dinner are available at $75 each ($750 for a 10-person table) online at www.MontcoSportsHoF.org, or from Chapter president David Ritting at 476 Brookwood Rd., Wayne, PA 19087; phone (610) 256- 0300. Issue checks or money orders to PSHoF, Montco Chapter.
Friday 10/23 SportsJam!!!
An exciting new event is coming to The Valley Forge Casino Resort….Sports Jam ‘15 is a unique event combining music, sports, reality TV, and some of Philly’s most notable artists and celebrities coming together on Friday 10/23 for a fun-packed night to kick off the celebration for the Pa Sports Hall of Fame Induction Celebration Weekend (October 23-24) The Friday night event will feature a star-studded line up of entertainers including David Uosikkinen’s “In the Pocket” featuring Tommy Conwell, members of The Hooters and Soul Survivors. Another exciting component of the party will include taping of the reality show Rockin Road Grill, hosted by former lead guitarist, Eddie Berner from A Flock of Seagulls which will air on Comcast Sports Net… the Dirty Dozen All Star House Band, Sports Memorabilia from Hunt Auctions, Celebrities (some of whom may join the bands onstage for a jam session), and a second Sports TV show taping.
For tickets to Sports Jam ’15 call Ticketmaster at 1-800-745-3000, or go to http://www.ticketmaster.com/event/02004F3E9E16219B For tickets to the Hall of Fame banquet go to www.montcosportshof.com.
More Info on the PA Sports Hall of Fame
“Yesterday – Today – Tomorrow” for Honored Service
The Pennsylvania Sports Hall of Fame was founded in 1962 to perpetuate the memory of athletes who have brought lasting fame and recognition to the State of Pennsylvania through their athletic achievements. The Pennsylvania Sports Hall of Fame is a non-profit organization run entirely by volunteers who consider their work a labor of love. In addition, the PA Sports hall of Fame is dedicated to giving back to youth sports organizations in support of future generations of athletes.