NeveHarms Lew Williams, a former standout Bradley and semi-pro baseball player who has served for 40 years as secretary-statistician of the Sunday Morning League, has won the 1984 Neve Harms Meritorious Service to Sports Award of the Peoria Ad Club.
Williams will receive his award at the Greater Peoria Sports Hall of Fame induction banquet set for Feb. 16 at the Continental Regency Hotel. The award is given annually to a Tri-County sports figure who has toiled for many years at a particular task without compensation.
He has serviced the league for 54 years as player, manager and officer, putting in countless hours supervising the league's scorekeeping and keeping complete batting and pitching records of every player throughout the season.
He also handles all advance publicity for the league and is the league's contact man for all local media.
Williams is a physical science technician at the Northern Regional Research Center.
Lew Williams, a former standout Bradley and semi-pro baseball player who has served for 40 years as secretary-statistician of the Sunday Morning League, has won the 1984 Neve Harms Meritorious Service to Sports Award of the Peoria Ad Club.
A 1972 graduate of Peoria Manual High School and 1977 Bradley University graduate, McClain enjoyed a nationally-recognized basketball coaching career at both the prep and collegiate levels. Following 18 seasons as an assistant for Greater Peoria Sports Hall of Famer Dick Van Scyoc, culminating with the 1994 IHSA AA state championship, McClain succeeded Van Scyoc for the next seven seasons and led the Rams to the final three state titles in 1995, 1996 and 1997 during their unprecedented state championship four-peat. The 1997 USA Today National High School Boys Basketball Coach of the Year, McClain’s Rams were USA Today’s No. 1 ranked boys basketball team in the nation in 1996-97. The three-time (1995-96-97) Illinois Basketball Coaches Association Coach of the Year, McClain led Manual to five straight Mid-State Conference championships from 1995 through 1999 and his teams advanced to the at least the Sweet 16 in the IHSA AA state tournament in each of his first five years. McClain joined the University of Illinois coaching staff in 2001 and helped the Illini to nine NCAA Tournament appearances, including a run to the 2005 national championship game in St. Louis. Following one year as the director of student-athlete development for men’s basketball at Kansas State, McClain returned to high school basketball as the head coach at Champaign Central in 2013. He guided the Maroons to a 13-win improvement in his lone season on the bench before his untimely death in 2014.