IHSSBCA Hall of Fame
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)|
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.