Welcome to the Greater Peoria Sports Hall of Fame website. We have inducted numerous individuals and teams. Their plaques are located in the Peoria Civic Center. As you browse through our site, you will learn that the Peoria area is rich in talent. Many individuals, teams and organizations have contributed to our sports history. If you have any comments or requests, please feel free to contact us at any time.
|2016 Individual Inductees|
Chad Clift is considered the first stand-out star in soccer from the Peoria area. He competed at Bergan High School, Viterbo College, and Bradley University. At Bergan, Chad was a three time All-Conference selection and earned 1st Team All-State and All-Midwest honors in 1987 and 1988. He achieved honorable mention NAIA All-America status in 1990 while playing for Viterbo College (La Crosse, WI) and holds school soccer records for career goals (59) and assists (17) in a season. Chad transferred to Bradley and earned 2nd Team All-Missouri Valley Conference honors in 1992 and 1993. He was also the team’s offensive MVP each season and holds two Bradley records: most goals in a game (5) and most points in a game (10). He was the 1st soccer player inducted into Bradley’s Hall of Fame. After his playing days, Chad remained active in soccer. He coached at East Peoria High School, leading the Raiders to titles in the Mid Illini Conference and a regional tournament. As a soccer official, he was assigned to the IHSA Boys State Finals in 2014 and for the Girls State Finals in 2015 and 2016.
Scotty Sullivan was a two-time selection for the All-Conference Football and Baseball Teams while at Woodruff High School. In football, he was a running back, linebacker, and place-kicker. At Bradley University, he was a co-captain of the Braves football team in 1959. He batted .315 for his BU baseball career, and led the team in stolen bases in 1959 and 1960. He helped the Braves win the Missouri Valley Conference Championship in 1959 and secure a spot in the NCAA tournament. Scotty was a three-year letterman in both baseball and football at BU. He was inducted into Bradley’s Hall of Fame in 1965 for his accomplishments in the 2 sports. Just as notable, he officiated high school and small college football for 32 years and worked one state high school championship game among his numerous playoff assignments. Scotty has served on GPSHOF Board of Directors since 2000.
Jim Querciagrossa was a wrestling coach at Woodruff High School from 1968-1992. He guided his grapplers to 36 individual conference titles and 64 individual regional championships. 151 boys qualified for sectional competition and 19 qualified for State matches, eight of whom earned a medal. One of his wrestlers, Jeff Sutherland, was a State Champion in 1990 at 160 lbs. His teams combined for an impressive 303-102-6 record in dual meets with five conference, 14 city championships, and four regional championships. He coached 22 winning seasons. In his final season the Warriors strung together 24 consecutive dual meet wins before losing in the Class AA state competition. Jim was named Central Illinois Coach of the Year in 1982 and 1992. He has been inducted into the Illinois Wrestling Coaches Association and Woodruff High School Halls of Fame. “Coach Q” sparked interest in wrestling with younger boys by hosting the area’s first Kids Wrestling Tournament in 1978, and beginning in 1969, he hosted the Peoria Freshmen Tourney for 42 years.
|Ron Dwyer, Sr.
Ron was an All-Conference, athlete in football, basketball, and baseball at Spalding Institute and achieved All-State honors in basketball. He accepted a full scholarship to Western Illinois University for basketball. After his freshman year he transferred to Bradley University on a baseball scholarship. At BU he played baseball for three years and football for two years. In 1964, he was selected for the All-Missouri Valley Conference Baseball Team. Ron was invited to play on the first Peoria Pacers Baseball Team in the Central Illinois Collegiate League, batting 4th in the lineup and playing 3rd base alongside Don Kessinger, the eventual star shortstop for the Chicago Cubs. After college he shared his sports acumen as an assistant coach for Spalding’s basketball teams that were the state runners-up in 1969 and 1970 Class AA Tournament. He was the pitching coach for the 1974 East Peoria team that placed 2nd in the Class AA Baseball Tournament. Ron was a player/manager in Peoria’s Sunday Morning League for 15 years; for 20 years he served as supervisor of the softball program for the Peoria Park District; for 6 years was active in Little League; and for 2 years helped lead a youth basketball program. He was an umpire/official in baseball, basketball, and football at various levels of competition over 21 seasons.
|2016 Team Inductees|
1984-85 Richwoods H. S. Girls Basketball Team
Coached by Mary Kay Hungate (GPSHOF class of 2000), the ’84-’85 Lady Knights extended an “era of excellence” in Richwoods basketball history. Ranked #1 in the Class AA poll throughout the regular season, they garnered a 5th consecutive conference championship. Led by nationally recognized and All-State selection, Nora Lewis (GPSHOF class of 1992), the Lady Knights were ranked #1 in the nation (USA Today) entering the state tournament, but dropped a semifinal clash with eventual state champion, Marshall of Chicago. The Lady Knights completed an outstanding 32-1 season with a convincing (63-40) win over Maine West of Des Plaines for the 3rd place trophy. Lewis was the tournament’s leading scorer with 76 points.
1973 Metamora H. S. Football Team
Coached by Bill Roper, the 1973 undefeated (11-0) Metamora Redbirds broke 9 school records including points scored (323). Carrying on the solid gridiron foundation established by Marty Stromberger (GPSHOF class of 2009), the Redbirds defeated East Division Champion, Normal U. High, in a tight defensive battle, to capture the Heart of Illinois Conference title. Metamora’s potent offense was led by quarterback Brian Wernsman, receiver Torrey Weichmann, and running back Brent Garber. The 1973 season marked the last before the introduction of the IHSA state-championship playoff system.
1993-94 Manual H. S. Boys Basketball Team
Beginning the nearly unbelievable string of consecutive IHSA Class AA State championships during the 2-class (A, AA) era, the Rams rewarded head coach, Dick Van Scyoc (GPSHOF class of 1994) with his 1st state championship trophy in the last of his 45 years of coaching at the high school level. Manual defeated Carbondale 61-60 in the final game. All-State and 1st Team All-Tournament selection, Brandon Hughes led Manual in scoring in all 8 tournament games. Willie Coleman was selected to the 2nd Team All-Tournament, and Coleman and Ivan Watson were given All-State honorable mention recognition. Both were solid contributors at the state finals. Playing an extremely challenging schedule (18 of the Rams’ opponents were ranked in their 6 respective states), they finished the season with a record of 27-6.
1994-95 Manual H. S. Boys Basketball Team
Manual, coached by 1st year head coach, Wayne McClain (GPSHOF class of 2015) successfully defended its state title with a 65-53 victory over Thornton of Harvey in the finals. Thornton was also led by a 1st year coach, Rocky Hill. Following up their solid contributions at the previous year’s tournament, Ivan Watson and Willie Coleman provided stellar play and were both named the All-Tournament 1st Team. The duo combined for 43 points in the championship game. Coleman was selected to the All-State Team and Watson received honorable mention All-State recognition. The Rams finished the season with a 32-2 record. After 1994-1995 season, the tournament moved from Champaign to Peoria, but the site change could not stop the Rams amazing streak of successful title defenses.
1995-96 Manual H. S. Boys Basketball Team
Wayne McClain’s 2nd year as head coach culminated in the 3rd consecutive IHSA Class AA Championship for Manual. The tournament was held at a new venue, Peoria’s Carver Arena. The Rams defeated Thornton of Harvey (57-51) in a rematch of the previous season’s title game. Sophomore guard, Frank Williams was the game’s leading scorer with 16 points. The Rams completed another spectacular season with a 31-2 record. Manual’s Sergio McClain (GPSHOF class of 2013) and Marcus Griffin, were selected to the All-State 1st Team. McClain was also named co-MVP of the state finals.
1996-97 Manual H. S. Boys Basketball Team
Manual completed its amazing and unprecedented four-year run of IHSA Class AA Basketball Tournament Championships at Peoria’s Carver Arena. After defeating Thornton of Harvey in the two previous championship tilts, the Rams downed the previously undefeated Wildcats 65-62, in an epic semifinal matchup. Manual then defeated West Aurora, 47-43 for the title. They finished the season as the number one ranked team in the nation by the USA Today. The Rams posted a 31-1 record, losing only to Chicago Carver when All-State and McDonald’s All-America selection, Marcus Griffin was sidelined with an injury. The Rams completed the “Four-Peat” era with a combined record of 121-11 and a perfect 32-0 record in Class AA State Tournament competition. Sergio McClain, a starter for all four of the championship teams, was selected Mr. Basketball by coaches and media throughout the state.
|2016 Neve Harms Meritorious Service Award|
Jerry & Elaine Reibling
For four decades Jerry and Elaine have volunteered their time and effort to benefit the runners competing in events within the Tri-County. Just prior to Jerry’s induction into the Steamboat Classic Hall of Fame in 2015, the race’s co-founder, Steve Shostrom said, “Jerry and Elaine are treasures in the running community. They have made substantial, lasting contributions to the Steamboat Classic and the Illinois Valley Striders over the years. They have worked tirelessly at countless local races through heat, rain, ice, snow and wind to get quick, accurate results for runners of all ages and abilities." Jerry was involved with the Steamboat Classic for 35 years and Elaine has been a part of the Race for the Cure for about 30 years. Married over 50 years, the Rieblings helped pioneer the transformation from hand timing to computerized timing for the major running events in the Tri-County area. In addition to the Steamboat Classic and Race for the Cure, they have served at the following events over their decades of service: the IHSA State Cross Country Meet; Illinois Valley Striders events; countless high school invitationals including the Richard Spring Memorial Invitational (Peoria Notre Dame), the Peoria High Invitational at Detweiler Park, Bradley University and the University of Illinois cross country meets and invitationals. Jerry has also raised funds for the St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital by participating in the Memphis to Peoria Run and running the satellite event from Canton to Peoria. The dedication and passion of Jerry and Elaine for these events has enabled thousands of others to experience achievement and enjoyment while competing in running events.
|2016 Tri-County Athlete and Coach of the Year Awards|
Male Athlete of the Year
Kendrick Green (Peoria High School): Three-sport athlete who wrestles, plays baseball and was offered two dozen college scholarships as a football lineman. A two-way starter on the Lions state football champ, he helped the record-setting offense average 57.5 points per game. As a defensive lineman, the All-State player recorded 113 tackles, 33 for loss, 15 sacks and scored a TD.
Female Athlete of the Year
Madi McCoy (Washington High School): Key starter on the Panthers' basketball team that went 25-4 and advanced to the sectional championship. All-State softball player took her school to its second consecutive state title game. As a pitcher, she went 30-2 with 256 strikeouts and a 1.26 ERA. She belted 18 homers, scored 49 runs and had a .525 batting average in leading her team to a 37-2 record.
Male Coach of the Year
Tim Thornton (Peoria High School): Guided the Lions to their first ever state football championship. His team went 13-1 and set the state record for points in a season (805). Thornton was one of 32 finalists for the NFL's Don Shula national high school coach of the year award.
Female Coach of the Year
Tracy Heffren (Eureka High School): Led the Hornets volleyball team to a school record in wins and to the state tournament for the first time in 30 years. Her Hornets went 35-4 and captured a state title for the first time in school history.
April 8, 2017
36th Induction Banquet
The 36th Greater Peoria Sports Hall Of Fame Induction Banquet will be held Saturday, April 8th at the Peoria Civic Center. Social Hour begins @ 5:00 pm, followed by dinner @ 6:00 pm and the induction ceremony. Tickets are $35 before March 29th and $40 if purchased between March 29 thru April 4.
Tickets will NOT be available at the door the night of the banquet.
Newsletters/Banquet Programs2017 Newsletter2016 Hall of Fame Program2016 Newsletter2015 Newsletter2015 Hall of Fame Program2014 Hall of Fame Program2014 Newsletter2012 Newsletter2011 Newsletter2010 Newsletter2009 NewsletterMission Statement
The first official Board of Directors meeting was held October 14, 1979. Officers were elected. Early decisions determined that the Hall of Famers would be from the Greater Peoria Area; the name would be The Greater Peoria Sports Hall of Fame; its purpose would be to promote and encourage the many varied sports programs in our area, to share with the area the pride we have in the accomplishments of area athletes, and to honor those men, women and teams contributing to our enjoyment and rich sports history.
With the cooperation of the Peoria Civic Center Commission and generous community support, the Greater Peoria Sports Hall of Fame is a reality and it's future is bright..
All content on this website is the property of the GPSHOF.