2001 Springfield Sports Hall of Fame Inductees


A 1945 Lanphier High School graduate. He was a four-year starter and letter-winner in basketball, an all-city selection as a junior and senior, was a top-10 scorer in the city and conference as a junior and the leading scorer in the city and conference as a senior. He's credited with being the first high school player in the area to develop a hook shot in 1944-45. In baseball, he was a four-year letter-winner and starter (first base as a freshman, catcher the last three years). He was the catcher for Robin Roberts as a sophomore and junior and an all-city selection as a junior and senior. He played summer baseball in Springfield, and in 1945 he was offered a contract by the Chicago Cubs but enlisted in the Marines. In football, he was a three-year starter at quarterback, end and center, and as a senior he was all-city MVP. He was a two-year letter-winner in baseball at Illinois, where he was a teammate of Alby Plain on the Illini's NCAA tournament team.
Beginning in 1950, he coached baseball and basketball at Elkhart High School for three years. he moved to Clinton in 1953 and had three winning seasons, including a regional title in his first year. In 1956, he was named head basketball and golf coach at Pekin, and his basketball teams compiled an 87-25 record, won three regionals and two Illini Conference titles and went to the Sweet 16 twice. He got out of coaching to become principal at Pekin in 1961. He died in 1988.


A Springfield native who began playing golf when he was 7 and won the Illini Country Club title when he was 15. In 1944, at the age of 18, he captured the Chicago District Junior Open tournament and repeated in 1946. He played twice in the national open tournament and qualified five times in six attempts in the national amateur tournament. in 1947, Coyle scored a 76-72-148 to lead LSU to the NCAA championship. He lost to Michigan's Dave Barclay in the finals of the national collegiate tournament. Along the way, Coyle also won the Men's City title, the city high school title and a two-time winner of the Illinois State Journal's junior golf meet.


A 1953 Cathedral High School graduate who earned 10 varsity letters in football, basketball and baseball and was a three-year starter in all three sports. He was all-city in baseball in 1952 and 1953, all-city in football in 1951 and 1952 and was selected to the Chicago Tribune All-State team in 1952, when he gained 1,008 total yards in eight games. In basketball, he was named to the all-sectional team in 1952 and 1953 and won all-city honors in 1953. He played on the American Legion baseball team that won the 1952 state title. In 1953 he signed with the Chicago White Sox and spent five season in the White Sox farm system, making it as high as the Class A Western Association. After serving two years in the military service, he went to spring training with the Triple-A Indianapolis farm club in 1959. He also coached his baseball team to second place at the European Armed Forces baseball tournament in 1958, and he led the team in hitting. He coached grade school basketball in 1954-55 as well as men's tennis at the University of Illinois at Springfield and women's tennis at Springfield College in Illinois.


A 1950 Cathedral High School graduate who played basketball, baseball and football, earning nine varsity letters. He was a three-time all-city selection in football, where he played defense as well as offensive end. In addition, he received special mention All-State recognition as a senior. In basketball he earned three varsity letters, and in 1948 he played on the school's last basketball team that qualified for the state tournament. He was a center fielder in baseball, and he was named Cathedral Athlete of the Year in 1950. He played collegiately at Quincy College, Bradley University and Western Illinois University. He lettered in football, basketball and baseball as a Quincy freshman, and he later played football and baseball at Western Illinois. He was a member of the One Day Cleaners AAU basketball team that won five local champinships, and he spent 20 years as a member of the Sangamo Electric baseball team that won nine state championships and played in nine AABC National Championships. He was named to the all-tournament team three times. He's in the Western Illinois University Hall of Fame, and in 1998 he was inducted into the Illinois Basketball Coaches' Hall of Fame in the "Friend of Basketball" category. He was a head basketball coach at Effingham St. Anthony (67-12 record) and Rochester (48-12) and the last football coach at Benld (14-3-1 record). He also coached underclass teams in football and basketball at Springfield High, Southeast and Lanphier. He was involved as a manager and league official in the Sandy Koufax, Pee Wee Reese, Mickey Mantle and Connie Mack leagues as well as the Springfield Caps of the Central Illinois Collegiate League.


A Springfield High graduate (1947) and son of Hall of Fame official Ron Gibbs. He was a two-year letter-winner in football and the starting quarterback on Springfield High's undefeated 1945 Big 12 conference championship team that was selected No. 1 in the state by Scholastic Sports Institute ratings in New York. SHS was 7-2 his senior year, when he was selected Player of the Year by the Illinois State Journal and a unanimous all-city selection and an honorable-mention all-state pick. He played QB on the University of Illinois's 150-pound team in 1948. In basketball, he lettered twice and was a two-time all-city pick. He was captain of the 22-8 team as a senior and an honorable mention all-state selecton. Gibbs earned three letters in track and as a junior he set the City Meet pole vault record of 11 feet 8" that lasted for nearly 30 years. He finished third in the state in the pole vault as a junior, and he also compted in the broad jump and high hurdles.


A 1985 Lanphier High School graduate who became the only Springfield player in history to earn Mr. Basketball in Illinois after he led the Lions to a second-place finish in the 1985 state tournament. He also started as a sophomore on the 1983 state championship team. He received a scholarship to Iowa and was a two-year starter there, earning All-Big Ten honors as a senior, the only Springfield athlete ever to earn All-Big honors in basketball. When he left school he was the No. 7 scorer all-time (1,372 points, 10.5 per game), and he remains the No. 2 rebounder in school history (877 rebounds, 6.6 per game). He was drafted by the Washington Bullets on the second round of the 1989 draft with the 39th pick and spent one season in the NBA, starting a handful games. He played basketball all over the world, including in the Continental Basketball Association at Rockford, Yakima (Wash.), Fargo (N.D.), Columbus (Ohio) and Rapid City (S.D.) and overseas in Italy, France, Israel, Chile and Puerto Rico.


Feitshans, class of 1947. He lettered in basketball four times, earning all-city honors in 1946 and 1947 and all-state recognition in 1947. He lettered three times in football. making all-city as a junior and senior, three times in baseball and four times in golf, where he was the city champion as a junior and senior. He was in the United States Navy from 1949-51 and a member of the All-Navy golf team. He was an assistant golf pro at courses in Peoria and Detroit from 1952-62, admitted to the PGA of America in 1958. He was the Michigan PGA Player of the Year in 1962, won the Michigan Open in 1964 and was second to Mike Souchak in the Michigan Open in 1968. From 1963-72, he played on the PGA Tour and qualified for the U.S. Open in 1963, 1965 and 1966 and the British Open in 1972 and played in the German, Swiss and French Open tournaments in 1972. He then was the head pro in South Carolina, Scottsdale, Ariz., and Yulee, Fla., from 1974-96. He qualified for the British Senior Open in 1994-95, and since 1999 he's been a teaching professional in Mount Dora, Fla.


A Paris native who came to Springfield after graduation from Eastern Illinois and began coaching at Springfield High School in 1949. From 1953-67, Tillman coached basketball, football, track and cross country at Feitshans, and his greatest success came in track and field, where his teams won four city titles and were second five times on the fresh-soph and varsity levels. His track teams won two district titles and four South Central Conference titles during a time when Feitshans was easily the smallest school in the city. He started the cross country program at Feitshans in 1955. In addition, he has spent 50 years as a member of the IHSA Officials Association and has been the starter for track and cross country meets since 1968.



1952 AMERICAN LEGION POST 32 CAPITOL CITY MOTORS BASEBALL TEAM included pitchers Don Clements, Ike Ryan, Don Post, Dave McDowell and Mick Aiello, catcher Keith Walker, infielders bob Ciota, Keith Schroeder, dick Schofield and Dom Aiello and outfielders Tom Denny, bob Bast, Joe Shaughnessy, Jim Masterson and Dick Miller. The team was managed by Mitch Shadid, and his coaches were Otie Biggs and Ducky Schofield. Capital City Motors is the one of the few Springfield American Legion teams to win a state title.




JoAnn Bussone - An original member of Springfield Sports Hall of Fame Board of Directors, she was the first ticket chairman. Without her work in the early days, the banquet might never have been pulled off. She got involved through her work as public relations officer at First national 'Bank. At the first Springfield Sports Hall of Fame board meeting, she was asked to serve as treasurer. At the second meeeting, she was asked to serve as ticket chairman. After she changed positions at FNB, becoming director of the Fiove Star Club, added job responsibilities forced her to resign from the Hall of Fame board. She retired from First national Bank in 1998 but then came out of retirement to work as coordinator of the Seniors Club in the Springfield office of Williamsville State Bank. She regularly attends sporting events, where she cheers for her grandchildren and their teammates.


Ed Mahoney - He grew up in Peoria and spent his summers at the family cottage on the Illinois River near Havana, where his love for the outdoors developed. He moved to Springfield and finished his senior year at Cathedral before joining the Navy. After World War II, while attending Springfield Junior College, he began his Springfield radio career in 1946 at WCVS, where he replaced Springfiled Sports Hall of Fame Friend of Sport Mike Walden. He spent four years at WCVS, where he began doing outdoor radio programs. He developed a state-wide radio program "Outdoors in Illinois" for the Department of Conservation before spending two years in the Navy for the Korean Conflict. He began working for WTAX AM and FM in 1952. In 1968, he began "Sports Outdoors" and it has continued every Saturday morning since. He has an honorary lifetime membership from the Illini Bass Anglers, and he was on the committee that helped develop the Hunter Safety Clinic, which continues today. In 1988, he received the Resource Communication Award from the Division of Fisheries, in 1994 the Excellence in Craft Award from the Association of Great Lakes Outdoor Writers and in 1999 the Native Sons and Daughters Award from the Illinois Conseervation Foundation. He has won numerous awards from the Outdoor Writers of America, the Association of Great Lakes Outdoor Writers and Ducks Unlimited, including the AGLOW Excellence-In-Craft Award.


Harvey Turner - Active in local youth baseball for many years dating back to the early days of Little League Baseball in Springfield. In 1953 he started the minor league program for Little League Baseball in Springfield, coaching both of the teams. Within two years, all of the Little League divisions in Springfield had minor league programs. He oversaw the construction of a second diamond where the Clark Griffith Little League was playing at the site of St. Agnes church today. He coached four years in Little League, two years in Pony League, two years in Colt League and Four in Connie Mack and never, during those 10 years, did his teams finish lower than first place. He took three teams to the Connie Mack World Series. He coached seven Divison I college players, and two of his former players went on to play baseball professionally, He also umpired in both the Eastern and Piedmont leagues before World War II and officiated high school and small college basketball.


Manny Velasco - He was only 13 years old when he captured his first of six consecutive Bolivian national Junior Tennis Champion titles in 1951. Nine years later, after twice qualifying for the NAIA National tennis Championships as a student at Eastern Illinos University, he played in the United States Open at Forest Hills as the No. 1 Bolivian tennis player. He brought his knowledge and passion to Jacksonville High School in 1963, where his team qualified for the state tournament 10 times in 11 years. In 1976 he moved to Springfield as the Springfield Park district tennis director, where he mentored many, many up-and-coming youth players. In 1977, Velasco was named tennis coach at the University of Illinois at Springfield, where he has led his teams to14 NAIA National Tournament appearances and has never had a losing season. In 1993, Velasco became women's tennis coach at Springfield College in Illinois, where he continued his run of never having a losing season with five appearances in the National Junior College Athletic Association Tournament.


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