Inductees In a city that has spawned so many outstanding basketball coaches, long-time Richwoods High school coach Wayne Hammerton was one of the best.
Hammerton ended a 30-year coaching career in the spring of 1966, the final 26 seasons at Richwoods, where his teams were annually a major factor in this hotbed of basketball.
At the time of his retirement, Hammerton ranked 26th among Illinois prep coaches, with 578 wins (53-40 in his first four years of coaching at Atwood-Hammond) and 525-191 at Richwoods.
His record at Richwoods could hardly be bettered. His 1991-92 team went 30-3 and finished second in the Class AA state finals. And, he was fourth in 1975, with another 30-3 team.
A 27-2 team in 1980 made the Elite 8 and a 25-5 squad in 1985 got to the final round of 16. And nine other teams won regional crowns. There were also seven conference titles to celebrate.
Few coaches could post a more consistent record. Of his 26 Richwoods teams, only one lost more than it won, and none of the other teams won less than 15 games. A dozen won between 20 and 30 games.
There were two great eras in all that: from 1973 to 1976, with all-staters Mark Smith and Derek Holcomb available, Richwoods went 83-6; and from 1979 through 1986, the record was 160-33.
In his final four seasons, he coached the most prolific scorer in local history, Mike Robinson, who produced 2,944 points.
And Hammerton did more than coach basketball: for 31 years he was also golf coach and had a .799 winning dual meet mark (377-95) and was 45-3 in four years of cross-country dual meets.
In a city that has spawned so many outstanding basketball coaches, long-time Richwoods High school coach Wayne Hammerton was one of the best.
Ulrich has coached in the Junior Football League and youth baseball for 32 years, while also serving as president of numerous youth leagues and director of the Peoria Diocesan basketball tournament. He began volunteering as coach for the Richwoods Browns JFL team in 1971 and served in a coaching or administrative capacity for the Richwoods JFL program from 1971-89. In addition, he served as a coach and president of the Richwoods League League, as well as Pony League, from 1975-85. During that same period, he coached the Bergan All-Star Pony League from 1981-84. In his role as St. Thomas Grade School athletic director for 32 years, Ulrich directed the 11 boys (six) and girls (five) basketball teams for 27 years, scheduling tournaments, ordering uniforms and hiring officials among his many duties. He also served as director of the Peoria Diocesan Tournament for 14 years. Ulrich coached basketball at Peoria Heights Grade School from 2006-11 and he volunteered as manager of a fastpitch team in the Peoria Park District Softball League for 23 years, while also playing on the team for several seasons. He currently is completing his two-year stint as the St. Philomena School 5th Grade boys basketball team and is preparing for his second year of coaching in the Irish youth baseball program.