Difference between revisions of "IHSSBCA Hall of Fame"

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Latest revision as of 19:21, 29 March 2020

The Illinois High School Scholastic Bowl Coaches Association Hall of Fame is a group of individuals honored for their lifetime achievement in coaching; both for their prowess in winning, and for their work in other areas related to coaching (notably as a tournament host or question writer).


Talk of a Hall of Fame dated back in the Association until at least 1999. In 2003, the proposal was finally given fast track status, and was advanced for final approval in 2004. The first class was voted on in the Fall of 2004, and inducted in the Spring of 2005.

The first class (2005) was inducted prior to the Masonic State Championship Tournament held in Springfield. Subsequent inductions have been held at the IHSSBCA Spring Banquet held at Illinois State University in Normal.


The minimum requirement for induction is that a coach must have won 200 matches. There has been one exception to this, that being Rob Grierson. Grierson did win a pair of state titles, but never won 200 matches. However, his extensive work on behalf of the activity was more than enough to properly win him election on the first ballot.

While generally reserved for head coaches, Phylis Kidd was inducted based mostly for her work as an assistant coach at Wheaton North. She subsequently earned over 200 wins as a head coach.

The 200 match minimum dates from a time when it was much more difficult for coaches to get to that milestone. While some coaches can now reach that milestone in as little as two years, there has not been any serious discussion to increase the minimum win requirement for consideration.


Each class, except for the first, is limited to four inductees. The first class was opened to seven inductees. In 2008, the husband-wife pair of Jim and Jane Carney were elected as a pair, thus giving the Class of 2008 five total inductees.

Voting is conducted by members of a select panel of coaches and officials who review relevant documentation, and recommend a final slate of ten finalists. From this final slate, the committee will then rank them, with the top four candidates winning election.


Year Class Inductee School(s) & Years Notes
2005 I Tom Durbin MacArthur (1985-2006?) winningest coach in state history at time of retirement - notable players: Donald Taylor.
2005 I Jim Fenton Carlinville (1987-2005) hosted/managed 11 State Tournaments; 4 final-four appearances; almost 700 wins
2005 I Rob Grierson Latin School (1984-96) 2 State titles; co-founder of IHSSBCA; Scholastic Visions editor; treasurer; head official for IHSA State Tournament
2005 I Cathy Groesch Springfield Southeast (1982-2001) won over 600 matches; secretary of the IHSSBCA
2005 I Susan Martin Wheaton North (1985-2008) 3 state titles; winner of over 700 matches; co-founed two conferences. Notable players: Greg Gauthier, Paul Gauthier
2005 I Will Oldaker Homewood-Flossmoor (1987-2001) won over 500 matches; won 6 IHSA Sectionals; hosted one of the biggest tournaments in Illinois for many years
2005 I Beth Young Quincy (1978-2001) won three state titles; 1,010-179 career record; 6 final-four appearances. Notable players: Subash Maddipoti.
2006 II Sr. John Baricevic, SSND Mater Dei (1986-99) won 357 matches; long time official; host for several tournaments; question writer and editor; IHSSBCA Board member
2006 II Karen Niemeier Winnebago (1981-2010) won nearly 900 matches; 8 IHSA Sectional titles; 2 state titles; 4 final-four appearances; long time tournament host. Notable players: Brad Fischer, Kristin Strey
2006 II Roma Reed Smith Rockridge (1974-2001) won both the first Masonic State Championship (1983) and first IHSA Class A Championship (1992)
2006 II Jerry Vandermark Streator (1972-97) won over 500 matches; served on IHSA Advisory Committee; co-founded conference
2007 III Cheryl Christianson Sterling (1989-?) won over 600 matches; hosted many tournaments; served on IHSSBCA Board
2007 III Tom Holbrook University (Normal) (1983-2003) won over 600 matches and one state title; tournament host
2007 III Ken Johnson Sullivan founded team at Sullivan; won over 550 matches; created "Ultimate Scholar" Tournament; the first individual tournament in Illinois
2007 III Harold "Bud" Lachel Cary-Grove (1968-75, 85-2001) won over 400 matches; co-founded Fox Valley Conference; long time tournament host
2008 IV John Burke St. Teresa (1989-97), Warrensburg-Latham (1998-2003), Streator (2007-13) first coach to win state titles at two different schools; won over 500 matches
2008 IV Jim & Jane Carney Wethersfield (1971-94) hosted several tournaments and wrote questions
2008 IV Linda Monge Fairfield (1990-2002) won over 400 matches; hosted many tournaments
2008 IV Larry Varner Galva (1973-2008) won over 550 matches; co-founded conference; hosted many tournaments
2009 V Norma Anderson Oakwood (1980–2007) over 600 career varsity wins
2009 V Michael Cleary Richards (1986–2007) Over 350 victories; Hosted tournaments and wrote questions; Several conference and regional championships
2009 V Bruce Fitzgerald Stevenson (1988–2011) 2 x IHSA State Champions, Masonic Bowl State Champions 2000. Notable players: Joel Gluskin, Brad Houston, Kevin Malis
2009 V Dennis Wyatt Maine East (1993-2006) Won Masonic State title, state tournament moderator, Finished 4th in IHSA State and served on IHSA Board
2010 VI Dale Boyd Robinson (1993-95?) & Glenwood (2003-10?) approximately 1000 victories, including 2010 WUHSAC Championship
2010 VI Mike Gaither Hillsboro hosted tournaments in 1970s and 80s that formed the basis for the current Illinois State Championships and fostered the early growth of Illinois Scholastic Bowl
2010 VI Phyllis Kidd Wheaton North along with Susan Martin coached some of the best teams in Illinois Scholastic Bowl history and hosted many tournaments
2010 VI Larry Schnorr Byron & Boylan coached successful Class A teams and hosted tournaments for many years
2011 VII Gene Kruse Bradley-Bourbonnais (?-96) coached many successful teams (including 2 2nd place IHSA finishes), wrote questions, and hosted tournaments
2011 VII Nick Pitz Moline Coached championship teams at Masonic tournament and Panasonic Academic Challenge, hosted tournaments
2011 VII David Riley Loyola Academy (1993-2011) onetime Chair of IHSSBCA, hosted and won many tournaments. Notable players: Joe Ahmad, Jack Glerum, Matt Laird, Nolan Winkler
2011 VII Dennis Scobbie Litchfield (1991-2011) coached many successful teams, including first Masonic tournament Class A Champions
2012 VIII Kathleen Brooks-Juergens Richwoods (1986–2005) Charter member IHSSBCA, 1993 IHSA AA State Championship
2012 VIII Mary Fisher-Miller Wenona and Deland-Weldon (1972–1999) Founder of Wenona Rotary Bowl, Charter member of IHSA Scholastic Bowl Advisory Council, Tri-County Scholastic Bowl Advisory committee
2012 VIII Donna Pinson Byron (1990–2001) over 300 victories, IHSA State Champions 2000
2012 VIII Brenda Berg Carbondale (1984–2001) Multiple terms IHSA Scholastic Bowl Advisory Committee
2013 IX Joe Bayless Oblong, (1981–1990) won 220 matches, participated in 1988–1990 national championships
2013 IX Brenda Bratcher Carterville (1981–2003) started Williamson County Scholastic Bowl Tournament, the first tournament in Southern Illinois
2013 IX Michael Hendricks Blue Ridge (1982-2012) Only 4 of his 31 seasons were sub-0.500.
2013 IX Joan Herron Eureka (1979–2009) Co-coached team to 3rd place in IHSA Class A Tournament in 1999.
2014 X Christine Beem Stillman Valley, (1997-2004) won four IHSA Regionals, two IHSA Sectionals, and one IHSA Class A State Title. Notable players: Kelly Tourdot
2014 X Kristi Robertson Libertyville, (1992-2010) won 525 matches, qualified for IHSA state four times and placed twice. Notable players: Steven Canning
2014 X Lee Weinbrenner Latin School, (1983-99) & Waukegan, (2001-07) was a leader on many of the early Latin teams that qualified for and placed at state.
2015 XI Tom Draski Fenwick, (1999-2011) 594-202 record - Qualified for IHSA state 3 times and placed 4th twice. Notable players: Colby Burnett, Mike Sorice
2015 XI Bob Pierce Breese Central 345-90 record over 9 years, but most notable for founding Answers Plus. As of 2017, he is the only living Hall of Fame inductee to not appear in person to receive his honor.
2015 XI Debra Voorhees Bloomington, (1998-2008) 508-175 record included two IHSA State Tournament appearances. Worked a great deal on IHSSBCA related projects.
2016 XII Mark Grant PORTA, (2004-15) 408-67 record included one IHSA Class A State title and two other top 4 finishes
2016 XII Suellyn Rieckelman Macomb, (1995-2016) Qualified for IHSA State Tournament 8 times, placing four times.
2016 XII Jane Simmons Maine East, (1987-93) 268-50 - Founded the school's program and qualified twice for IHSA State Tournament (posthumous award).
2017 XIII David Adkins Springfield, (2001-15) 795-301 record, included 4th place at IHSA State and was a co-coach of the 2008 iteration of Team Illinois.
2017 XIII Anna Morris Herrin, (1980-94) over 500 career wins, and helped organize early far southern Illinois tournaments.
2017 XIII John Rathbun unknown coordinated Peoria area scholastic bowl since 2003, coached Masonic State Champs in 1997, worked as Tournament Manager for the IHSA for 15 years.
2018 XIV Frank Bellucci St. Ignatius, DePaul College Prep
2018 XIV Donna Cheatham Niantic-Harristown officiated at IHSA State for many years
2018 XIV Linda Greene Auburn over 1,000 wins and 16 consecutive trophy finishes at IHSA State (2002-17)
2019 XV David Boersma Evergreen Park
2019 XV Kay Dyer Quincy
2019 XV Debbie Martin PORTA
2020 XVI Kevin Palmer Fremd He hosted many tournaments, and his teams won 1347 matches.
2020 XVI Jim Stankevitz Wheaton Warrenville South He taught physics to a young Tom Egan.
2020 XVI Christina Tracy Rossville-Alvin


Some have stated that while the attempt to keep the Hall of Fame reserved for elite and deserving people is admirable, the restriction to three new members every year is making it more and more likely that some deserving recipients may need to wait until they are too old or dead before induction arrives. This became an issue in 2016 when Jane Simmons, who virtually all knew to be a deserving inductee was finally elected, though she had died the year before.

Some have also been concerned that the Hall of Fame does nothing to recognize the works of players who have gone on to great collegiate careers, and nothing to honor deserving moderators who may have had excellent careers. Remedies for this have been routinely ignored by the IHSSBCA.

The election of Bob Pierce in 2015 was concerning to several in the Illinois quizbowl community because of his longstanding work with Answers Plus, and, in the opinion of some, the dubious ethics which the company has occasionally operated under. There was a great deal of speculation as to how Pierce would be received at the awards banquet, and what he might say, but in the end, Pierce did not attend.

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