NeveHarms In 1986 Mike Olson continued his long years of volunteer work with the Peoria area youth in hockey and baseball. He has directed youth hockey clinics yearly for the past 15 years and has served two three-year terms on the Peoria Youth Hockey Board of Directors. In addition he has devoted his time to teaching Bergan and Richwoods hockey clubs, and this year is coaching the Peoria Bantams (14 & 15 year olds) travel hockey team.
For 10 years Mike has coached the Fresh-Soph and Prep League baseball teams, and yet has reserved time to coach in the Von Steuben Little League Program for a four year period.
After graduation from Richwoods High School, Mike attended Michigan State University where he lettered in hockey and baseball. Then he accepted an assistantship at Bowling Green State University which involved coaching responsibilities in hockey and baseball. When he returned to Peoria he formed and coached the Peoria Blades Hockey team for its life span of 11 years.
Mike is a math teacher and varsity baseball coach at Peoria High School. He and his wife, Lauren Jo, have two children, Jennifer and Brian.
In 1986 Mike Olson continued his long years of volunteer work with the Peoria area youth in hockey and baseball. He has directed youth hockey clinics yearly for the past 15 years and has served two three-year terms on the Peoria Youth Hockey Board of Directors. In addition he has devoted his time to teaching Bergan and Richwoods hockey clubs, and this year is coaching the Peoria Bantams (14 & 15 year olds) travel hockey team.
Neve Harms Award
The Greater Peoria Sports Hall of Fame Neve Harms Award, formerly the Peoria Advertising and Selling Club's Annual Meritorious Service to Sports Award, was named the Neve Harms Award in 1966 and for a very good reason.
As Director of Proctor Recreation Center, Harms observed the need for all youths to experience participation in sports activities, and not just the few who excelled. He, therefore, adopted a firm policy which assured that all youths would have an opportunity to play in games of the various sports controlled by Proctor Center. This plan met with much success and certainly with acceptance by parents whose children became more interested in sport activities at Proctor and consequently made good use of their free time.
Neve carried through this policy when he was appointed Superintendent of the Peoria City Recreation Department which later became part of the Peoria Park District. In addition, he also developed a system of recognition for all youths so that each young person could feel good about his or her efforts.
This kind of interest in all youths regardless of ability came from a most competitive and outstanding athlete. Neve was a four-sport player at Manual High School and a three-sport letter winner at Bradley University. He was a member of the 1929 Manual High School State Championship Basketball team.
Awards prior to 1981 were offered through the Peoria Advertising Club, rather than the Greater Peoria Sports Hall of Fame. We don't have biographies for these individuals. If anyone would be able to provide the bios that were written by the club at the time of the awards, we would very much appreciate receiving them for posting. We are also missing the Bruce Saurs' bio that was written in the 1991 Greater Peoria Sports Hall of Fame Banquet book, and we would like to receive it also. We are specifically interested in the bios written at the time of the awards, not more or less current. Please contact Rick at email@example.com.
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The first official Board of Directors meeting was held on 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.
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