Special Recognition Award
The Colorado Springs Sports Hall of Fame has named their Class of 2017, which will be formally inducted and honored on Tuesday, October 24, 2017.
Bernard Sandoval will receive a Special Recognition Award and will be inducted alongside The 1998 U.S. Olympic Women’s Ice Hockey Team, Chuck Wielgus, The Donner Family, Henry “ ank” Egan, Pat Garrity and Janine Szpara. In addition, Mitch Johnson will receive the Col. F. Don Miller Sports Service Award, the El Pomar Foundation will receive the Thayer Tutt Sportsman Award.
Bernard Sandoval is founder and president of SANDIA Advertising in Colorado Springs – a strategy, advertising, design and digital firm that provides creative answers to business challenges.
In 2008 Sandoval spearheaded the “Olympic City USA” concept as a branding vehicle for Colorado Springs, tying our metro region to the Olympic brand and its themes of excellence, patriotism and aspiration. “Olympic City USA” has now been adopted as the official moniker of the city and embraced by leading organizations. Sandoval was honored by Mayor John Suthers with the Spirit of the Springs Award for championing this effort over many years.
Over his 30-year career, Sandoval has worked with U.S. Figure Skating, USA Hockey, USA Basketball, USA Cycling, USA Wrestling, and numerous regional and international events. He has donated thousands of hours to local organizations such as the Colorado Springs Sports Corp, Broadmoor Skating Club, Rocky Mountain USO, Colorado Literacy, Colorado AIGA, El Pomar Institute for Innovation and Commercialization and the University of Colorado – Colorado Springs. He played a major role in crafting visual identities for the Colorado Springs Sports Corp, The Broadmoor World Arena, Central Bancorp, The Club at Flying Horse and the Olympic City USA task force. He was instrumental in leading the task force through a marketing plan involving flags, pole banners, billboards, airport signage and TV ads. He was also instrumental in guiding the group through a messaging platform.
His knowledge of marketing, design, digital media, social media and the city in general was invaluable. The task force asked Sandoval to design a logo that would connect Colorado Springs to the Olympic movement, knowing that it would not be able to use the Olympic rings in the logo. His team studied other cities that had Olympic affiliations and proposed a design that met with unanimous approval by the task force, City leadership and USOC leadership. The logo has been enthusiastically received by the public and the Colorado Springs Olympic Family. In his distinguished career Sandoval has won more than 100 awards for marketing and design excellence. He lives in Colorado Springs with his wife, Renee, and two daughters, Brandi and Michelle.
The Colorado Springs Sports Hall of Fame is a celebration of the city’s rich sports history and the famed inductees honored has made it one of the most popular events for hundreds each year to attend. Attendees will have the chance to meet the Class of 2017 as well as enjoy a reception and dinner celebrating their accomplishments. The evening will include a silent auction with sports memorabilia, event tickets, getaways, etc.
The Sports Hall of Fame has honored greats like Peggy Fleming, Goose Gossage, William Thayer Tutt, Bobby Unser, Bob Mathias, Dave Ogrean, Bonnie Blair, 1980 USA Olympic Ice Hockey Team, Bill Hybl, Marty Louthan, Ben Martin, Amy Van Dyken, Ken Hatfield, Fisher DeBerry, Earl “Dutch” Clark, David and Hayes Jenkins, Chris Fowler, Rulon Gardner, and many great high school and collegiate championship teams from Colorado Springs.
Also honored will be the winners of the prestigious Sports Corp Special Awards: Col. F. Don Miller Sports Service Award, Thayer Tutt Sportsman Award, and a Special Recognition Award.
The Colorado Springs Sports Hall Of Fame Class of 2017
USA Swimming Executive Director
Charles “Chuck” Wielgus, who served USA Swimming as Executive Director for nearly 20 years, passed away on April 23 at the age of 67. Wielgus died of complications from colon cancer, which was first diagnosed in 2006. He courageously battled the cancer for more than a decade while continuing to steer USA Swimming to record growth.
Wielgus served as the Executive Director of USA Swimming since 1997 and as CEO of the USA Swimming Foundation since its inception in 2004. He was the longest-tenured chief executive of an Olympic national governing body at the time of his death. During his 19-year tenure, Wielgus led USA Swimming through an extended period of growth in what has become an increasingly competitive marketplace. Membership has surpassed 400,000 while organizational revenues and net worth have more than doubled.
His achievements also included the creation of Splash Magazine, development of strong corporate and television partnerships, creation of new properties such as the Duel in the Pool, the Golden Goggle Awards and Arena Pro Swim Series, and re-positioning the U.S. Olympic Trials from a 4,700-seat natatorium in Indianapolis in 2000 to the 14,000 seat CenturyLink Center in Omaha. The 2016 Olympic Trials drew more than 200,000 spectators, an American record for a swimming event. Wielgus also spearheaded the creation of the USA Swimming Foundation, which through its Make a Splash initiative has the goal of teaching every child in America to swim.
Wielgus’ vision to promote swimming to wider audiences resulted in securing annual network television coverage of championship swimming events, including the Pro Swim Series, National Championships, World Championships, U.S. Olympic Team Trials, Pan Pacific Championships and the made-for-TV Duel in the Pool, with American swimming teams facing teams from Australia and Europe. His distinguished career included numerous awards including a 2016 National Honorary Doctorate from the United States Sports Academy.
Under his leadership, the U.S. Olympic Swim Team won an average of more than 31 medals in each of the last five Olympic Games, including 33 medals at the Rio Games. The medal count has equated to about 33% of the total Team USA count. Additionally, financial support to USA Swimming National Team athletes and coaches also increased significantly under his leadership. In addition to his work guiding organizations, Wielgus had a passion for writing and co-authored three books with award-winning writer Alexander Wolff: The In-Your-Face Basketball Book, The Fan’s Book of Sport Nicknames and the Back-In-Your-Face Guide to Pick-Up Basketball.
The Donner Family
Broadmoor Pikes Peak International Hill Climb Legends
Three generations of Donner men – Robert Sr., Robert “Bob” Jr., Robert “Bobby” III and David – have made the Donner name synonymous with The Broadmoor Pikes Peak International Hill Climb over the past 70 years.
The Donner family’s involvement with the Race to the Clouds began in the 1940s when Robert Sr. worked closely with the Colorado Springs Chamber of Commerce to restore the annual tradition of motorsport racing on America’s Mountain and helped renew a sense of normal life in the Pikes Peak Region following the conclusion of WWII. Robert Sr. would later serve as president of the Hill Climb Association and see his son, Robert “Bob” Jr., build upon his legacy as a pioneer of sports car racing on Pikes Peak. Bob Donner won the Sports Car Class of the Pikes Peak International Hill Climb for three straight years, from 1960 through 1962. He started racing Porsches in the 1950s and made it into Sports Illustrated in 1959 after winning three races in the first two days of the old Continental Divide Raceway outside Castle Rock. Like his father, he would later serve as the race’s president, and died in 2010.
The following decades would see Bob’s sons – Robert “Bobby” III and David – follow in their father’s footsteps as Hill Climb racers and the third generation to add to the family’s legacy. Bobby and David wanted nothing more than to become championship Hill Climb competitors but wanted to be more than just drivers to make their dreams a reality. While working as a team, the Donner brothers would push the race’s limits by designing and engineering the Donner-Dykstra – an innovative race vehicle utilizing new technologies to tame the Peak. Piloting Donner-Dykstras, Bobby and David would go on to claim multiple titles of King of the Mountain and Open Wheel Division victories (Bobby in 1989, and David in 1991, 2002 and 2005) in addition to later serving as Hill Climb board members and lifelong race supporters.
David continued racing and added to the family laurels by winning the Unlimited Class crown in 2012, the Time Attack 2 Production Class title in 2015, and the 100th Anniversary Time Attack I Class in 2016, driving a 2013 Porsche GT3R. He’s entered in the 2017 race, again in the Time Attack I Class with the same Porsche. In 2005, David was a participant at the 24 hours Donner Motorsport of Daytona and a participant and winner at the Monterey Historical Race driving a 1971 Ferrari 512M, one of the very few times a 512M has prevailed over a Porsche 917 in any race in any period. He has also raced competitively in the Panoz Pro Series and the American Le Mans Series.
Henry “Hank” Egan
Transcendent College And NBA Coach
Coach Hank Egan’s contributions to basketball cannot be mentioned without the enormous role he has played in shaping the next generation of NBA players and coaches over 16 seasons with Cleveland, Golden State and San Antonio after serving distinguished stints at the U.S. Air Force Academy and the University of San Diego. Coach Egan’s impact extends to NBA stars Gilbert Arenas, Carlos Boozer, Bruce Bowen, Mike Brown, Terry Cummings, Vinny Del Negro, Tim Duncan, LeBron James, Antawn Jamison, Avery Johnson, Steve Kerr, Moses Malone, Eric Musselman, Shaquille O’Neal, Tony Parker, Gregg Popovich, Terry Porter, Doc Rivers, David Robinson, Dennis Rodman, Steve Smith, Ben Wallace, Dominique Wilkins, and Monty Williams.
Egan began his coaching career in 1966 as an assistant coach at the U.S. Air Force Academy. At the Academy, Egan compiled a record of 148-185 in 13 seasons with the Falcons, the third most wins in AFA history. He coached outstanding Falcon players including Reggie Jones, Tim Harris, Tom Schneeberger, Bob Djokovich, Randy Gricius and Rick Simmons. In 1971 he was named the second head coach at Air Force, where he remained until 1984 when he was named head coach at the University of San Diego. Prior to his NBA coaching experience, Egan spent 23 years as an NCAA Division I head coach, including 10 seasons at the University of San Diego (1984-1994). During the 1986-87 campaign, he guided the Torerros to a 24-6 record and an appearance in the NCAA Tournament.
Having earned a reputation as one of the top defensive coaches in the country during his collegiate tenure, Egan received West Coast Conference Coach of the Year honors following back-to-back seasons in 1985-86 and 1986-87 at San Diego. Additionally, Egan was the alternate coach to USC’s George Raveling for the 1984 U.S. Olympic Basketball Team and was one of the coaches at the 1984 Olympic Tryouts. Egan is a 1960 graduate of the Naval Academy and a three-time basketball letterman.
All-American Basketball Player
At Lewis-Palmer High School in Monument, Pat Garrity was a three time All-State selection and part of the 1994 Class 4 Colorado High School Basketball Championship team. He was a three time All-State selection and the Class 4A player of the year for the 1993-94 season as well as valedictorian of his high school class. His jersey, number 53, is retired at Lewis-Palmer High School.
Enrolling at Notre Dame, Garrity spent four years with the Fighting Irish, averaging double-digits in scoring in all four seasons, including a 23.2 point-per-game average in his senior season of 1997-98. He was the Big East Men’s Basketball Player of the Year in 1997. In 1998, Garrity was a Consensus Second Team All-America selection. He was a two-time Academic All-America selection as well as Academic All-American of the Year for Men’s Division I basketball in 1998. While at Notre Dame, Garrity also performed research aimed at the discovery, characterization and synthesis of novel antibiotic drugs for the organic chemistry laboratory of Dr. Paul Helquist. In 1998, he was one of two honorees for the school’s most prestigious award for student athletes, the Byron V. Kanaley Award.
Drafted 19th overall in the first round of the 1998 NBA draft by the Milwaukee Bucks, Garrity was traded to the Phoenix Suns on draft day, where he played his rookie season. He then played nine years with the Orlando Magic before retiring following the 2008 season. He is currently the Associate General Manager of the NBA Detroit Pistons, in his third season with the Pistons. Previously, he spent two seasons as director of strategic planning and assistant general manager after completing a 10-year NBA career and three-plus years working as a client advisor for a Connecticut-based hedge fund.
Colorado College Women’s Soccer 4-Time All-American
Janine Szpara, the starting Colorado College soccer goalkeeper from 1985 through 1988, is one of only two student athletes in school history to earn All-America honors in her sport for four consecutive seasons. Szpara, along with former women’s soccer standouts Kristen Fowler, Tara Nott, Kerri Tashiro and Mary Everett, also have been inducted as individuals into the school’s Athletics Hall of Fame. While playing college soccer, Szpara earned her six caps and was a member of the 1986 Womenʼs National Team when they were honored with an induction into the U.S Soccer Hall of Fame in 2007. In 1988 she was named the Adidas Goalkeeper of the Year for her outstanding college season
Following college, Szpara continued to be a member of the U.S. National pool from 1988-1991 and saw appearances against Germany, England and Russia. She then turned pro and played professionally earning all-star honors in Japan with the Shiroki Serena from 1995-99.
After her time in Japan, Szpara returned to the U.S. and played a season with Foothill F.C. in 2000 and with the Women’s United Soccer Association’s San Jose CyberRays from 2001-02.
As a collegiate coach, Szpara has served at Stanford, California, Cornell, Santa Clara, San Jose State, Portland State and Warner Pacific College in Portland. She is currently the head women’s soccer coach at Clackamas Community College in Oregon City, Oregon, entering her 7th season with a record of 53-40-18. She is also the head Girls coach for FC Mulhouse Portland of the Women’s Premier Soccer League. She also was the head coach of the Portland Rain of the Women’s Premier Soccer League in 2011 and 2012.
Szpara has vast experience in the Olympic Development Program (ODP), Oregon Youth Soccer and club soccer. From 1989-1992 she was an ODP goalkeeper trainer and an assistant coach for the U14 and U19 teams. In 2007, she returned to ODP as a regional staff coach and in the spring of 2009 was an assistant coach at the U15 National Team camp in Palo Alto.
1998 USA Olympic Women’s Ice Hockey Team
Historic Gold Medal At Olympic Winter Games
The 1998 USA Olympic Women’s Ice Hockey Team came to Japan with a singular purpose – to become the first-ever Olympic champion in women’s ice hockey, and in the process they crafted the signature moment of the XVIII Olympic Winter Games.
The 1998 U.S. Olympic Women’s Ice Hockey Team had a powerful impact on the growth of girls’ and women’s hockey in the United States thanks to the success it enjoyed at the 1998 Olympic Winter Games in Nagano, Japan. The team twice defeated arch-rival Canada, including by a 3-1 count in the gold-medal game, on the way to winning the first gold medal presented in women’s ice hockey at an Olympic Winter Games. Behind the guidance of Head Coach Ben Smith, a future U.S. Hockey Hall of Fame Inductee, Team USA finished the tournament undefeated (6-0-0) and outscored its opponents, 36-8. Cammi Granato, a 2008 U.S. Hockey Hall of Fame Inductee, Karyn Bye, Katie King and Gretchen Ulion, co-led the U.S. with eight points each, while goalies Sarah Tueting and Sara DeCosta split time in goal, each winning three games.
There were six teams competing in Nagano in the inaugural women’s Olympic ice hockey event, China, Sweden, and Japan joining the three favorites. Canada was favored as it had not lost a game at the World Championships and had lost only once, to the United States, in seven international tournaments. However, they were closely matched leading up to the Olympics, as the two teams played each other 13 times, Canada winning seven and the United States winning six times. In the round-robin pools, the USA met the Canadians in the final game after they had both qualified. Canada led 4-1 but the Americans scored six unanswered goals to win 7-4. When they met in the final game, bad-blood existed between the two teams. The Americans scored twice in the second period, to lead 2-0 at the final break. Canada scored one goal, but with less than a minute remaining, they pulled their goalie, and Whyte scored into an empty net to give the USA a 3-1 victory and the gold medal.
Many of the 20 women on the 1998 team were long-time veterans of the national team and all of them made incredible sacrifices for their sport. General Mills featured Team USA on their Wheaties Box after they won the gold medal at the Olympics.
Col. F. Don Miller Sports Service Award
The Colonel F. Don Miller Sports Service Award is presented annually by the Colorado Springs Sports Corporation to the person who best reflects the commitment exemplified by Colonel Miller in providing a lasting contribution to the Colorado Springs sports community. The presentation of this award to those locally dedicated to the importance of sports in building young lives is a fitting tribute to Colonel Miller and the thousands of young men and women who benefitted from his unparalleled service on behalf of our nation’s youth.
Mitch Johnson compiled 203 wins in 29 years as the head football coach at Fountain-Fort Carson High School, taking his teams through four separate classifications, 2A to 5A, as the school grew. His teams were Colorado state prep runners-up twice, reached the semifinals five times, notched 17 playoff appearances in four classifications, and won 10 conference titles. He proved that teaching and coaching is a most honorable profession because it gave him the opportunity to make an incredible impact in the lives of many young adults.
Every coach wants to win, but the real measurement of his success was the focus on the growth and development of players Johnson coached as they entered the real world of competition – life itself. His program used football as a blueprint for creating better sons, husbands, fathers and contributors to society. Collectively, his players shared a common bond of loyalty and trust as they navigated their journeys together, sharing in success and setback, but most importantly emerging as men of character and honor. The true prize for Mitch Johnson was not always focused on the scoreboard, records, awards and titles but the lasting relationships that were built along the way. His purpose as a teacher and coach is always fulfilled when his former players say “Coach Johnson genuinely cared about me and made a difference in my life. I was lucky to be under his guidance, leadership and direction.”
He was inducted into the Colorado High School Coaches Association Hall of Fame in 2012 and was a national finalist for the 2016 American Football Coaches Foundation’s “Power of Influence Award.” Johnson was a speaker at the 2005 White House Conference on Helping America’s Youth at Howard University in Washington, invited by President and Mrs. Bush. In 2012, the Fountain-Fort Carson School District 8 dedicated a facility at the high school as the “Mitch Johnson Sports Complex” in honoring the coaching legend. Johnson played high school football for the Trojans before playing college ball at the University of Southern Colorado, now known as CSU-Pueblo.
Thayer Tutt Sportsman Award