Leta Andrews, the winningest coach in high school basketball history (boys or girls) from Granbury (Texas) High School, along with five outstanding former high school athletes who later excelled at the Olympic, college and professional levels, headline the 2011 class of the National High School Hall of Fame.
Andrews, who just completed her 49th year as a high school girls basketball coach, won her 1,334th game on December 7, 2010, to surpass Robert Hughes, the all-time boys basketball coaching leader from Fort Worth (Texas) Dunbar High School who retired in 2005 with 1,333 victories. Andrews finished the 2010-11 season with 1,346 career victories. She is the all-time girls basketball coaching leader by almost 150 victories.
Former high school athletes selected for the 2011 class are Randall McDaniel, football and basketball player, Agua Fria High School, Avondale, Arizona; Kevin McReynolds, baseball player, Sylvan Hills High School, Sherwood, Arkansas; Kenny Monday, wrestler, Booker T. Washington High School, Tulsa, Oklahoma; Billy Owens, basketball player, Carlisle (Pennsylvania) High School; and the late Brad Van Pelt, baseball, basketball and football player, Owosso (Michigan) High School.
These six individuals are among the 12 individuals who will be inducted in the National Federation of State High School Associations (NFHS) National High School Hall of Fame July 2 at the Philadelphia Marriott Downtown in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The 29th Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony will be the closing event of the 92nd annual NFHS Summer Meeting.
McDaniel was a three-year varsity starter and two-time all-state selection in football and basketball at Agua Fria High School in Avondale, Arizona. He also played baseball and participated in track and field, setting the school record in the 100-meter dash as a senior. He was an All-American at Arizona State University and played 12 years with the Minnesota Vikings and two years with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in the National Football League (NFL), where he started 202 consecutive games at left guard. McDaniel is a member of the College Football Hall of Fame and the Pro Football Hall of Fame.
McReynolds led his baseball team at Sylvan High School in Sherwood, Arkansas, to the Arkansas Activities Association Class AA state championship in 1978. He was selected the tournament’s most valuable player (MVP) and was named Arkansas High School Baseball Player of the Year. McReynolds batted .634 as a senior and had a 16-1 career pitching record. After earning all-conference and All-American honors at the University of Arkansas, McReynolds played 12 years in the major leagues with the San Diego Padres, New York Mets and Kansas City Royals. He was third in the National League MVP voting in 1988.
Monday was a four-time state champion and never lost a match while wrestling at Booker T. Washington High School in Tulsa, Oklahoma. Monday finished with a 140-0-1 record and won Oklahoma Secondary School Activities Association titles at 108, 115, 135 and 141 pounds from 1977 to 1980. He later won an NCAA championship at Oklahoma State University in 1984, a gold medal at the 1988 Summer Olympics in Seoul, South Korea, and a silver medal at the 1992 Summer Olympics in Barcelona, Spain.
Owens led the boys basketball team at Carlisle High School to four consecutive Pennsylvania Interscholastic Athletic Association Class 4-A state championships from 1985 to 1988 while recording a 118-11 record. He scored 53 points in the 1988 state championship game and finished as the state’s No. 2 all-time scorer with 3,298 points. (He is now third all-time.) Owens played three years at Syracuse University and enjoyed a 10-year career in the National Basketball Association with six teams.
Van Pelt was a four-sport standout at Owosso (Michigan) High School. In his senior year (1968-69), he was all-state in football, basketball and baseball, which included a 42-rebound performance in basketball and three consecutive no-hitters in baseball. He also competed in track and field as a senior and earned eight total letters. Though he was drafted by the Detroit Tigers, Van Pelt opted to attend Michigan State University, where he played baseball, basketball and football. He was a two-time All-American in football. Van Pelt played 14 years in the NFL with the New York Giants, Los Angeles Raiders and Cleveland Browns. He died of a massive heart attack in February 2009 at the age of 57.
Besides Andrews, other coaches in this year’s class are Curt Bladt, football coach, Harlan (Iowa) High School; Larry Shaw, recently retired wrestling coach, Oak Glen High School, New Cumberland, West Virginia; and Pete Shock, basketball and track coach, Cliff (New Mexico) High School.
In 33 years as Harlan football coach, Bladt has led his teams to 10 Iowa High School Athletic Association Class 3A state championships and a stellar 355-37 record – barely one loss a year. His 353 wins and .909 percentage are No. 1 in Iowa history. Off the field, Bladt has overcome the effects of Miller-Fisher Syndrome, which causes the immune system to attack nerves, and he has modeled sportsmanship – most recently in 2008 when he took 33 Harlan students to Parkersburg, Iowa, to help that community that was ravaged by an F-5 tornado.
Shaw retired this past season after 31 years as wrestling coach at Oak Glen High School in New Cumberland, West Virginia. Shaw led his teams to 13 consecutive West Virginia Secondary School Activities Commission AA/A State Wrestling Championships – tied for fifth-best all-time. He coached 51 individual state champions and finished with a career dual-meet record of 330-96-4. Shaw was inducted into the National Wrestling Hall of Fame last year.
For the past 33 years, Shock has been a busy man – serving as Cliff (New Mexico) High School’s basketball coach, track and field coach, and athletic director. In basketball, Shock is carrying on a family name at the Class A school – his father, Dale Shock, was boys basketball coach from 1935 to 1974. Pete Shock’s basketball teams have won nine New Mexico Activities Association state championships, and his track teams have claimed three state titles. His 768 victories in basketball rank No. 2 all-time in New Mexico history.
The remainder of the 2011 class is composed of two contest officials – Emry Dilday, a football and track and field/cross country official from Springfield, Missouri, and Rick Tucci, a wrestling official from Pembroke Pines, Florida – and Dan Washburn, a state high school association administrator from Opelika, Alabama.
Dilday officiated high school football for 43 years and college football for 36 years before retiring in 2006. Now in his 27th year, he continues to officiate track and cross country. Dilday was considered the top football referee in Missouri as he officiated about 50 state tournament playoff games, including nine state championship games. He has been football rules interpreter for the Missouri State High School Activities Association since 1982. Dilday was a charter member of the NFHS Officials Association and served as president during the 1999-2000 school year.
Tucci has been an accomplished wrestling official at the state, national and international levels for 30 years. He has officiated 23 Florida High School Athletic Association (FHSAA) State Wrestling Championships and has been the FHSAA wrestling rules interpreter since 1976. Nationally, he has been president of the USA Wrestling Officials Association since 1986. Across the globe, Tucci has officiated seven Olympic Games and more than 60 World Championships. He has worked more Olympic matches than any other American official.
Washburn retired in 2007 after 16 years as executive director of the Alabama High School Athletic Association (AHSAA). After graduating from the University of Chattanooga, Washburn was a high school teacher and coach for 21 years, following by eight years as superintendent of schools in Lanett, Alabama, before joining the AHSAA. Washburn was instrumental in bringing the state basketball championships – as well as the six football championships – to Birmingham. He also established the STAR Sportsmanship initiative as an eligibility requirement. Washburn served on the NFHS Board of Directors and was NFHS president in 2005-06.
The National High School Hall of Fame was started in 1982 by the NFHS to honor high school athletes, coaches, contest officials, administrators, fine arts coaches/directors and others for their extraordinary achievements and accomplishments in high school sports and activity programs. This year’s class increases the number in the Hall of Fame to 386.
The 12 individuals were chosen after a two-level selection process involving a screening committee composed of active high school state association administrators, coaches and officials, and a final selection committee composed of coaches, former athletes, state association officials, media representatives and educational leaders. Nominations were made through NFHS member associations.