Inductees During the 19 seasons Rich Clopper was head coach of boys and girls swim teams at Richwoods High School, his athletes barely knew what losing meant.
First came his stint with the boys swim team.
That began with the 1969-70 season and lasted for nine years. In the Mid-State conference he coached for 105 dual meets. He lost but once. Overall, his record was 158-16-1. He won the conference meet every season.
Beginning in the fall of 1977 he became coach of the Richwoods girls team with the same great success: total conference dual meets, 43: total won 42. His overall girls dual meet record was 89-12 and eight conference meets were won.
Putting the records of the boys and girls together, the figures are an amazing 146-2 for conference meets and 247-28-1 overall. Plus a total of 17 conference titles won.
He has coached five state champions during his stint with the boys: Gib Leach in the 100 breaststroke in 1970 and 1972; the 200 medley relay team of Leach, Jim Bucher, John Houser and Cliff Myers in 1972; and Jim Bucher in the 200 individual medley and the 100 freestyle, both in 1974.
During the 19 seasons Rich Clopper was head coach of boys and girls swim teams at Richwoods High School, his athletes barely knew what losing meant.
A two-sport star (baseball and basketball) at both Limestone High School and Illinois Central College, Thome went on to a legendary baseball career as one of the top sluggers in Major League Baseball history. A 13th-round selection by the Cleveland Indians in 1989, Thome made his MLB debut in 1991. After a 22-year career with Indians, Philadelphia Phillies, Chicago White Sox, Los Angeles Dodgers, Minnesota Twins and Baltimore Orioles, Thome ranks seventh in Major League history with 612 home runs and 24th with 1,699 runs batted in, while boasting a .276 career batting average. He was a five-time All-Star and received Most Valuable Player votes in nine different seasons. Thome helped Cleveland to World Series appearances in both 1995 and 1997 and he hit 17 career postseason home runs. Thome led the American League in slugging in 2002 (.677) and the National League with 47 home runs in 2003 and he received a 1996 Silver Slugger Award. Thome also was the 2006 Americal League Comeback Player of the Year. Recognized for his integrity, sportsmanship and community involvement, Thome received the Marvin Miller Man of the Year Award in 2001 and 2004, as well as the 2002 Roberto Clemente Award and the 2004 Lou Gehrig Memorial Award. The Cleveland organization dedicated a statue of Thome outside Progressive Field following his official retirement in 2014.