Some of the most influential sports figures ever to walk across St. Louis’ sports pages soon will be honored by the Missouri Sports Hall of Fame, which is inducting a group of 16 individuals – as well as two high school coaches and their exemplary programs — at its Enshrinement in St. Louis presented by Great Southern Bank. Additionally, the Hall of Fame will bestow a President’s Award.
President & Executive Director Jerald Andrews announced the honorees during a press conference Wednesday at Chase Park Plaza in downtown St. Louis. That is also the site of the Enshrinement ceremony in St. Louis on Sunday, Nov. 4. Events begin with a noon reception, followed by the 1 p.m. banquet.
The Class of 2018 features:
- Isaac Bruce, a standout wide receiver of the St. Louis Rams
- Jackie Joyner-Kersee, a six-time Olympic track and field medalist
- Mark Buehrle, a St. Francis Howell North High School graduate & 16-year big-league pitcher
- Bernard Gilkey, a University City High School graduate & 12-year big-league outfielder
- Irv Goode, a lineman for 10 seasons with the St. Louis Football Cardinals
- Bill McDermott, known as “Mr. Soccer” of St. Louis University
- Dr. Matthew Matava, the longtime team physician of the St. Louis Rams & St. Louis Blues
- Pete Woods, a University City High School graduate & former University of Missouri quarterback
- Al Nipper, a Hazelwood West High School standout & former big-league pitcher
- Karen Davis, the longtime volleyball coach of St. Joseph’s Academy
- Frank Cusumano, the Emmy Award-winning Sports Director of KSDK TV
- Jim Halliburton, a longtime successful swim coach and now at St. Louis University
- Dale Gildehaus, now in his 32nd year as the head football coach of St. Francis Borgia High School
- Myron Holtzman, a sports journalist from the Globe-Democrat, Sporting News & Gameday Magazine
- Travis Brown, the former Director of Athletics of St. Louis Public Schools
- Mark Edwards, the men’s basketball coach of Washington University for 31 years
- Dan Rolfes, the head coach of the Incarnate Word Academy basketball program
- Terry Michler, the veteran soccer coach of Christian Brothers College High School
The Incarnate Word Academy Basketball Program and the Christian Brothers College High School Soccer Program also will be inducted. Additionally, longtime Mercy executive Donn Sorensen will be honored with the President’s Award, given to an individual who champions sports and the Missouri Sports Hall of Fame across the state.
Sponsorship tables of 10 are $1,500 and include an autographed print and recognition in the printed program. An individual ticket is $150. Numerous other sponsorships are available, including congratulatory ads. Special packages for tables and congratulatory ads also are available. Call the Hall of Fame at 417-889-3100.
Isaac Bruce – St. Louis Rams
Bruce was one of the greatest players in the National Football League, starring for the then-St. Louis Rams’ “The Greatest Show on Turf” era of the late 1990s and early 2000s. He was a second-round draft pick, the 33rd overall selection of the 1994 NFL Draft, and what a record-setting career he enjoyed. He played 16 seasons and, at the time of his retirement after the 2009 season, Bruce ranked second all-time with 15,208 yards receiving, trailing only Jerry Rice. Even eight years later, Bruce is still fifth in NFL history in that department, while also ranking 13th in receptions (1,204) and 12th in touchdown catches (91). He led the Rams to two Super Bowl appearances, including a victory against the Tennessee Titans in January 2000. In that game, Bruce hauled in six catches for 162 yards (third-most in Super Bowl history) and caught a TD pass – a 73-yard reception that proved to be the game-winner with 1:54 left. Overall, he had eight 1,000-yard seasons and 10 seasons with 60 more receptions.
Jackie Joyner-Kersee – U.S. Track & Field Olympian
Having been named by Sports Illustrated as the “Greatest Female Athlete of the 20th Century,” Joyner-Kersee’s athletic credentials are unquestionably among the best ever, in all of sport. A six-time Olympic medalist, including three Olympic gold medals, she dominated the Olympic heptathlon and long jump events throughout her career, which spanned four Olympic Games. Astonishingly, despite the advancements in technology and training used by athletes around the world over the last two decades, Joyner-Kersee still holds the world heptathlon record she set at the 1988 Olympic Games in Seoul, Korea. She was the first American woman to win an Olympic gold medal in the long jump and the first woman to compile more than 7,000 points in the seven-event heptathlon. She has defined her post-athletic career as a philanthropist, a dynamic public speaker and a tireless advocate for children’s education, health issue, racial equality, social reform and women’s rights. In 1988, Joyner-Kersee established the Jackie Joyner-Kersee Foundation.
Mark Buehrle – Francis Howell North High School & White Sox & Blue Jays
A 1997 graduate of Francis Howell North High School in Saint Charles, Buehrle became one of Major League Baseball’s most successful pitchers after the turn of the century. He was a five-time All-Star, four-time Gold Glove winner and a 2005 World Series winner during a MLB career that spanned 16 seasons (2000 to 2015). He threw a no-hitter in 2007 against the Texas Rangers and a perfect game against the Tampa Bay Rays in 2009, becoming only the sixth player in big-league history to do both. His perfect game was only the 18th in the game’s storied history. Along the way, he pitched at least 200 innings in 14 consecutive seasons, tying Baseball Hall of Famers Greg Maddux, Phil Niekro and Christy Matthewson. In addition, Buehrle started every Opening Day for the White Sox from 2002 to 2006 and again from 2008 to 2011 and later pitched one season for the Marlins and three for the Blue Jays, helping the 2014 Blue Jays reach the playoffs. Overall, he was 214-160 with a 3.81 earned run average in nearly 3,300 innings. The White Sox have since retired his jersey No. 56.
Bernard Gilkey – University City High School & St. Louis Cardinals & New York Mets
A St. Louis-University City High School graduate, Gilkey played 12 seasons in the big leagues, including his first six (1990 to 1995) for the hometown St. Louis Cardinals. Overall, he hit 118 home runs, 244 doubles and drove in 546 runs in a career that included time with the New York Mets, Arizona Diamondbacks, Boston Red Sox and Atlanta Braves. Two of his best years were in the middle of the 1990s. His best year in St. Louis was 1995, when Gilkey batted .298 with 17 home runs and 69 RBI. Traded the next season to the Mets, he put together one of the best seasons in Mets history, belting 30 home runs, 44 doubles and drove in 117 runs. His performance that season led to a No. 14 finish in National League MVP voting. He later helped the 1999 Diamondbacks and 2001 Atlanta Braves reach the playoffs, plus had a stint with the Boston Red Sox.
Irv Goode – St. Louis Football Cardinals
Goode was a first-round draft pick of the National Football League’s St. Louis Football Cardinals in 1962 (and a fourth-round draft pick of the American Football League’s Dallas Texas that year) before playing 13 seasons in the NFL – 10 with the Cardinals. A left guard, he played in 162 games and was voted twice to the Pro Bowl. Goode helped St. Louis to nine-win seasons in 1963, 1964 and 1968 and a pair of eight-win seasons in 1966 and 1970. He then spent his final two seasons with the Miami Dolphins, playing on their 1973 Super Bowl championship team that beat Minnesota and then on their 11-3 playoff team in 1974. Goode also played for the Buffalo Bills. He was a standout at the University of Kentucky, where he was inducted into its Athletics Hall of Fame. A team captain in 1961 for the Wildcats, Goode was a First Team All-American by Time, Third Team All-Southeastern Conference by UPI and played in four all-star games. Boone County High School’s football field is named Irv Goode Field, as he was a Sporting News All-American in high school.
Bill McDermott – St. Louis University
A graduate of since-defunct McBride High School as well as St. Louis University, McDermott has been a fixture of SLU men’s soccer for decades, first as a player and then as a broadcaster, and was once called by Bob Costas as “Mr. Soccer.” Overall, he has attended 95 percent of the Billikens home contests the past 42 years. As a player, McDermott led the program to national championships in 1967 and 1969, when the Billikins finished an outstanding 13-0. After graduation in 1970, he began his career as a soccer broadcaster, initially providing reports for KMOX Radio during the FIFA World Cup in Mexico. Since then, McDermott has covered every World Cup on either radio or television – 11 World Cups total. He helped broadcast the 1994 World Cup in the United State and the 1998 World Cup in France for ABC and ESPN. He provided analysis for the first soccer game ever televised on ESPN (1979) and was the sideline reporter for ABC’s broadcast of the inaugural Major League Soccer game in 1996.
Dr. Matthew Matava – St. Louis Rams & St. Louis Blues/Sports Medicine
A graduate of St. Charles High School, Dr. Matava has been one of St. Louis’ medical leaders in sports medicine, having served as the head team physician of the National Football League’s St. Louis Rams from 2001 to 2015. He also is the team physician of the National Hockey League’s St. Louis Blues. Since 1994, he has served as the head team physician for Washington University Athletics. Dr. Matava is a Professor of Orthopedic Surgery at Washington University School of Medicine and the Chief of the Sports Medicine service in the Department of Orthopedic Surgery. He earned his medical degree from the University of Missouri-Kansas City School of Medicine in 1987 and served a residency in orthopedic surgery at Emory University Affiliated Hospitals in Atlanta, Ga. He also worked a sports medicine fellowship at the Cincinnati Sports Medicine and Orthopedic Center.
Pete Woods – University City High School & University of Missouri
Woods was a three-sport athlete at University City High School in the early 1970s, earning All-State in baseball and football, and was a two-sport athlete at the University of Missouri. In his first two years in Columbia, Woods compiled a 9-1 record as a pitcher on the baseball team. He also was a three-year letterman on the football squad (1975, 1976, 1977) as he played for coach Al Onofrio. The 1976 season was Woods’ most memorable, as he led Mizzou to upset victories against No. 2-ranked Ohio State and No. 3-ranked Nebraska. In a 22-21 victory against Ohio State in the Horseshoe in Columbus, Ohio, he led the rally from a 21-7 halftime deficit, engineered the final drive and scored the game-winning, 2-point conversion. He also threw a 98-yard TD pass in the 34-24 upset of Nebraska a month later. Woods, the 104th player taken in the 1978 NFL Draft, played three seasons combined with the Kansas City Chiefs, Denver Broncos, Cincinnati Bengals and Miami Dolphins.
Al Nipper – Hazelwood West High School & Truman State University & Boston Red Sox
Nipper was a standout at Hazelwood West High School in St. Louis and then at Truman State University before going on to a big-league career. An eighth-round draft pick in 1980, he pitched seven seasons in the majors, five with the Boston Red Sox and helped them win the 1986 American League when he was a 10-game winner and pitched two games in the World Series. Nipper, who also pitched one season each with the Cleveland Indians and Chicago Cubs, appeared in 144 total games, including 124 as a starting pitcher as he was 46-50 with a 4.52 earned run average in almost 780 innings. He struck out 381 batters and then set about giving back to the game as a scout and coach for big-league clubs since the mid-1990s. Nipper has spent a majority of his coaching career with the Red Sox, as their big-league pitching coach (1995 & 1996), big-league bullpen coach (2006), a roving instructor in the minor leagues and, from 2007 to 2011, a special assignment scout. He also was the pitching coach of the Kansas City Royals (2001-2002) and worked in the Texas Rangers farm system.
Karen Davis – St. Joseph’s Academy Volleyball Coach
Davis turned St. Joseph’s Academy in St. Louis into a national power over two tenures spanning three decades. In 23 seasons, her teams compiled a record of 611-138. Along the way, they won eight state championships and played in 16 Final Fours. She took a seven-year hiatus to focus on principal duties but returned in 2008, winning her final two state championships before retiring from coaching in 2015. Her program produced numerous All-Americans and dozens of her players earned college volleyball scholarships. Davis, who was a standout player at the University of Missouri-St. Louis, also has served as president of the Missouri High School Volleyball Coaches Association, maintaining its website, overseeing rankings and organizing annual clinics. She was inducted into the American Volleyball Coaches Association Hall of Fame in 2015.
Frank Cusumano – KSDK TV Sports Director
Cusumano is among the top veteran sports journalists in St. Louis – quite a distinction in a city that has produced some of sports’ most competitive and successful reporters in print, TV and radio. He has worked at KSDK TV (5 On Your Side TV) since 1993 and has won 17 Emmys, including Best Sports Anchor for his storytelling and sports coverage. He also has an Edward R. Murrow Award, which began in 1971 and honors those whose work embodies that of the great TV news icon. In essence, Cusumano has covered it all – the entire Tony La Russa era of the St. Louis Cardinals, the Redbirds’ 2006 and 2011 World Series championships, the St. Louis Rams’ two Super Bowls as well as the National Hockey League’s St. Louis Blues and numerous NCAA Division I basketball tournaments, including Final Fours. He is a voter for the Heisman Trophy and the St. Louis Cardinals Hall of Fame. In April 2017, Cusumano received the Jack Buck Award from the St. Louis Amateur Baseball Hall of Fame. He also has hosted the Pressbox radio program on KFNS for 25 years. Cusumano is a graduate of De Smet Jesuit High School, where he was the basketball captain and All-District, before playing for the University of Missouri-St. Louis.
Jim Halliburton – Swimmer & St. Louis University Swim Coach
He has been a successful club swim coach, first for the Rockwood Swim Club from 1982-2011, and for FAST from 2011 to present. Between the two clubs, his teams have won 19 local championships, seven sectional titles and, in 1999, won the 18 and under national championship. As a high school coach, he guided Marquette to three state team titles. As the head swim coach at Saint Louis University from 2001 to present, his teams are 517-156-1, ranking Halliburton sixth in all-time wins among all Division I swim coaches. He has coached 96 high school state championships, eight swimmers who were ranked No. 1 in the U.S., two who broke world records and two who went on to swim in the Olympics. He was named U.S. National Team Coach three times and Region 8 Coach of the Year six times. All this came after Halliburton, a Ladue High School graduate, won eight state swimming titles. He remains the only Missouri swimmer to go undefeated in his entire high school career.
Dale Gildehaus – St. Francis Borgia High School Football Coach
Now in his 32nd year as the head coach of Washington-based St. Francis Borgia High School, Gildehaus entered this season with a whopping 252 wins. Among them was a state championship in 1993, when Borgia finished 14-0 after beating Chillicothe 24-21 for the Class 3 crown, earning Gildehaus Coach of the Year honors from the National Football Foundation. Two other Borgia teams advanced to the state semifinals. A Borgia graduate, Gildehaus was an all-conference lineman at Truman State University as he helped its teams to three MIAA championships (1969-1971). He then coached four years at Union High School before assisting the Borgia program. In recent years, he has been inducted into the Missouri Football Coaches Association (2007) and was its 2014 Adkins Award winner. He also is an inductee of the Truman State Athletics Hall of Fame.
Myron Holtzman – Sports Journalist
A longtime sportswriter and former sports editor of The St. Louis Globe-Democrat, Holtzman is also a member of the Baseball Writers Association of America. After the newspaper ceased publication, he worked for the Sporting News and for the Associated Press. In 1993, he joined Anheuser-Busch as publications manager for the St. Louis Cardinals, editing and designing the Cardinals Magazine (later Gameday Magazine) in addition to the Cardinals’ yearbook. Before retiring from the brewery in 2004, he also worked in the Communications Department, contributing his editorial skills to several publications. Holtzman is now a freelance communications specialist and co-authored the book, “The Cardinals of Cooperstown.” He is chairman of the St. Louis Baseball Writers dinner and also serves as P.R. director for the St. Louis Sports Hall of Fame.
Travis Brown – Sports Administration
A 1969 graduate of Sumner High School and a 1973 graduate of Missouri Baptist University, Brown starred on basketball teams at both St. Louis institutions, all before a successful career in high school coaching and administration. He served as Director of Athletics of St. Louis Public Schools from 2009 to 2014 and has served on the board of the Missouri State High School Activities Association (MSHAA), including as board president (2009-2011). In 2018, he received the Irwin Keller award, the highest honor from MSHSAA as it recognizes men and women throughout the state who have had a lifelong contribution to high school activities. Additionally, he received the Service Excellence Award-Public Relations from the Brain Injury Association of Missouri for his outreach and educational efforts to raise awareness about concussions. In his career, he coached for 15 seasons at Sumner, including as boys basketball coach (1979-1988). He was 137-85 at Sumner and then spent 21 years in administration at various schools. Sumner not only inducted him into its Hall of Fame but named him one of its top 50 greatest players, as Brown helped lead the team to the Class L state title in 1969. He also is in the Hall of Fame at Missouri Baptist, where Brown ranks fourth all-time in scoring (1,641 points) and 10th in assists and still holds single-game records for scoring (46 points) and field goals (18).
Mark Edwards – Washington University Basketball Coach
Edwards coached Washington University’s men’s basketball program for 37 years before retiring following the 2017-2018 season. He compiled a 685-293 (.700) overall record, winning back-to-back NCAA Division III national championships in 2008 and 2009. He is a three-time D-III National Coach of the Year and a 10-time University Athletic Association (UAA) Coach of the Year. Just before announcing his retirement, he ranked fifth in active wins by NCAA D-III head coaches and ninth all-time in NCAA D-II wins. In fact, he is just one of 12 D-III coaches to win 600 or more games in a career. His teams won 20 or more games 18 times and advanced to 21 NCAA Tournaments, plus finished first or second 25 of 31 times in the UAA. Some 20 athletes earned 30 All-America award under Edwards, a Peoria, Ill., native and Washington University graduate. He is an Army veteran and also coached at Washington State University under George Raveling. He has been inducted into the St. Louis Sports Hall of Fame and the Washington University Sports Hall of Fame.
Dan Rolfes — Incarnate Word Academy Basketball Coach
Rolfes’ teams have won 524 games. That covers a 483-69 record at Incarnate Word, where his teams have won eight state championships (2006, 2010, 2011, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2017, 2018) and reached 13 Final Fours. He is an inductee of the Missouri Basketball Coaches Association Hall of Fame and was named Coach of the Year by the National Federation of State High School Associations-Midwest Division (2010), the Women’s Basketball Coaches Association (2010) and was named the Nike High School All-American Game coach (2010). Rofles, who coached Rosary High School for two years, was a court coach with the USA U16 national team in 2017.
Incarnate Word Academy Basketball Program
Incarnate Word Academy has won a record nine state championships. Its first came in 1995 as coach Jim Johnson guided the Red Knights to a 51-50 victory against Jefferson City Helias in Class 3 as the team finished 29-4. The program also has placed at the Final Four eight other times – with a second-place finish in 2008, five third-place finishes (1993, 1996, 2004, 2005, 2012) and two fourth-place showings (1999, 2016). In the coach Dan Rolfes era alone, 44 players have gone on to play college basketball, including 21 NCAA Division I players. The program has been ranked five times in the Top 25 by USA Today and finished No. 2 in 2014.
Terry Michler – Christian Brothers College High School Soccer Coach
Once called “The Godfather of High School Soccer in the Nation,” Michler is in his 50th as a high school coach and his 48th with Christian Brothers College in St. Louis. He entered the season with a remarkable record of 965-227-104 – with the win total the most in the nation, according to the National Federation of High School Associations. His teams have won eight of CBC’s nine state championships, and he has earned three National Coach of the Year awards along with three Midwest Regional Coach of the Year awards. Additionally, Michler, who coached two seasons at Bishop Hogan High School in Kansas City, is a CBC graduate and an inductee of the St. Louis Soccer, Missouri Soccer Coaches, Rockhurst University and CBC Athletics halls of fame.
Christian Brothers College Soccer Program
One of the most storied high school sports program in the state and nationally is the Christian Brothers College Soccer Program. The Cadets have 1,377 career victories dating to 1955 and have captured eight Missouri state championships, plus reached the state semifinals 19 other times. The Bob Horgan-coached 1968 team won the state’s first postseason tournament, and the legacy has been built with state titles that cover the years 1983, 1984, 1988, 2004, 2005, 2009, 2012 and 2016 – with those seven in the Terry Michler era, which spans from 1969 to this season. The Cadets also have placed as the state runner-up six times (1980, 1981, 1985, 1990, 1996, 1997) and earned five third-place finishes (1978, 1979, 1998, 2000, 2017).
Donn Sorensen – Mercy Executive – President’s Award
Sorensen will be honored with the President’s Award, given to individuals who champion sports across the state and especially the Missouri Sports Hall of Fame. A longtime executive with Mercy since 2000, he serves as Executive Vice President of Operations for the health ministry and as Regional President of Mercy’s West Communities. In Springfield, he served on the MSHOF Board of Trustees, supported the PGA Web.com Price Cutter Charity Championship presented by Dr Pepper, a fundraiser for children’s charities, and was instrumental in developing Mercy Sports Clinic. In St. Louis, he has been a key figure in Mercy partnering with the St. Louis Cardinals, St. Louis Blues and previously with the St. Louis Rams. He is Chairman of Care to Learn. Sorensen earned bachelor’s degree in business administration from Luther College (Iowa), as well as a master’s in health administration from St. Mary’s College (Minn.), and an MBA from Missouri State University.