25 years of celebrating the sports community in Syracuse
The Syracuse City Recreation Hall of Fame was established in 1993 to honor coaches, boosters, and community members who served us as coaches, and a few teams of note. The recognition is offered in honor of each coach’s mentoring, while offering a guiding hand for our youth, city and programs. First honorees were announced on Heritage Days in 1993 on our baseball field. The diamonds were new and thanks to the fundraising efforts of our hall of fame honorees, the fields were surrounded with outfield safety fences. We raised donations which allowed us to purchase a public address system and finish the building which served as the announcer’s tower, storage shed and concession stand.
Hall of fame coaches provided our youth with a safe environment, quality teaching and surrounded them with greatness. All voluntary, each went above and beyond the call of duty and left a legacy.
We built the program with two main mottos:
1. Build it and they will come.
2. Anyone can coach an all-star player, but it is a greater accomplishment when the last three kids on the roster register again the following season.
This is a list of everyone who has been selected and elected to the hall of fame. Provided are each member and small biography. There are a couple of people who we don’t have information for, but if you are listed or are their family please call the recreation department to fill in the blanks. Names are listed in the order they appear on the plaque.
1. Robert Ahrensbach 1993: Baseball coach for 8 years and also served as the city maintenance manager. He offered his professional services to maintain our fields on his own time.
2. Bruce Breckinridge 1993: Baseball coach for over 10 years and a booster club member.
3. Lanny Holbrook 1993: Basketball coach and booster.
4. Don Howell 1993: Baseball, basketball, football coach for over 10 years.
5. Michael Garrett 1993: Syracuse City Mayor and booster.
6. Brian (Denece) Johnson 1993: Softball coach and provided all-star shirts, booster shirts, and hall of fame shirts at his own cost.
7. Kenny Johnston 1993: Baseball and basketball coach for over 15 years / city all-star coach many years.
8. Doug (Jolene) Kearsley 1993: City Council member and booster club members. Raised thousands of dollars during our fundraiser events which provided funds for parks, P.A. booth, and fencing.
9. Keeth Kennington 1993: City Council member and booster club member. Raised thousands of dollars during our fundraiser events which provided funds for parks, P.A. booth, and fencing.
10. Dennis Miler 1993: Baseball coach and professional electrician offered his services with electrical maintenance and repair at his personal expense.
11. J. Michael Moyes 1993: City Administrator for 30+ years, coach, and booster. Always involved in the financial needs of the program, offering professional ideas. Rebuilt Founders Park from one baseball field to a four field complex. His nickname was The Miracle Man.
12. Clay Robins 1993: Football coach for 15+ years. Also provided the city access to refurbished high school equipment, saving the city thousands of dollars.
13. Ben Sisneros 1993: City Council Member, assigned to the recreation program as city council rep.
14. Kevin Sorensen 1993: Baseball coach 15+ years. Assisted director with the affiliations of Syracuse City with Western Boys Baseball (WBBA), PONY Baseball, and American Legion baseball. Because of those efforts, our youth were able to stay in our programs from the age of 5 through 18 years old.
15. DeLore Thurgood 1993: Multiple term mayor of Syracuse. The program grew from less than 100 participants in 1986 to more than 5,000 in 1997. Always concerned regarding enough funding for the growing recreation and parks program and our youth.
16. Michael (Carol) Thurgood 1993: Booster club, official, raised thousands of dollars for our programs.
17. Chris Wiberg 1993: Football coach over 25 years, multiple Mini-Bowls.
18. John Williams 1993: Football coach over 10 years, multiple Mini-Bowls, and served as the Wasatch Football League (WFL) president.
19. Pat and Ray Zaugg 1993: 25 years coaching, served as girls’ program director as our female programs expanded from 1-50. Provided AAU tournament information for girls’ basketball and softball.
20. Al Keime 1993: Baseball and basketball coach for over 20 years. Assisted our program with AAU information, high school information and other programs so our youth were able to remain active in sports programs from age 5 to 18.
21. Todd Henry 1994: Baseball coach, provided our program with disability access information for our new baseball parks and new restroom facility.
22. Jed Hamblin 1994: Baseball coach and assisted with disability access information.
23. Janice Beutler Miller 1994: Served as the volunteer assistant to the Recreation Director, providing telephone service, copying schedules, and providing program information. Contributed for city programs with personal donation to assist in paying for economic challenged youth registration fees, uniforms and equipment.
24. Rocky Schofield 1994: Baseball coach for over 10 years, as program expanded he provided the older participants with inner-city league scheduling and coaching.
25. “The Sharks” 1994: 12 young men grew up in the Syracuse City Program, beginning in 1983. Represented our city in WBBA, Pony, American Legion All-Star tournaments and AAU tournaments.
26. Paul Rader 1994: The first football coach for Syracuse City when it affiliated with the W.F.L. Coached over 25 years for the city program, multiple Mini-Bowls.
27. Dave Elbrader 1994: 20 year football coach, fundraiser and multiple Mini-Bowl teams.
28. Kevin Colohan 1994: 10 year football coach, fundraiser and multiple Mini-Bowl teams.
29. Kevin Dalton 1994: 15 year football coach and multiple Mini-Bowl teams.
30. Robert (Bob) Harris 1994: 25 year football coach, 10 year baseball coach, multiple Mini-Bowl teams.
31. Gary Hamblin 1994: 6 year baseball coach and booster / fundraiser. Hamblin’s market provided program participants with concessions, ice-cream, popsicles, and treats free of charge.
32. Kerry Hooper 1996: Baseball coach and offered no-cost services for carpeting needs within program.
33. Dan Mildon 1996: Youth basketball coach, Jr. Jazz program.
34. Wayne Jernigan 1996: 12 year football coach and fundraiser, multiple Mini- Bowls.
35. Michael Jones 1996: City Council member, council member assigned to Recreation Program.
36. Skip Jones 1996: 15 year football coach and provided program with high school refurbished equipment. Multiple Mini-Bowl coach.
37. Doug and Sharon Overdiek 1996: Girls basketball and boys baseball. Provided AAU opportunities for girls all-star basketball tournaments. Syracuse Magic, 1991 Utah Summer Games champions.
38. Lewis Rhoades 1996: 10 year Jr. Jazz basketball coach.
39. Kelly Ross 1996: 10 year football coach and fundraiser. Became West Point City Recreation Director.
40. Brad and Roberta Wilson 1996: 20 year booster club members, coaches and fundraisers.
41. Kevin Smedley 1998: Served as football field coordinator for Syracuse WFL home field
42. Andy Archuleta 1998: 10 year baseball coach and fundraiser.
43. Joey Hill 1998: 6 year football coach and Mini-Bowl coach, fundraiser, and booster.
44. Boyd Phillips 2001: Please call Syracuse Recreation Department at 801-614-9653, we need your information.
45. Steve William 2001: 10 year football coach, multiple Mini-Bowls, booster member.
46. Chad Evans 2001: Please call Syracuse Recreation Department at 801-614-9653, we need your information.
47. Ski Fialkowski 2001: 20 year football coach and football photographer. Also provided football teams with pictures and weekly programs at own expense.
48. Kim Wayment 2001: Please call Syracuse Recreation Department at 801-614-9653, we need your information.
49. Joseph Beam 2001: Baseball and softball coach for 8 years, served as city judge.
50. Kurt Nielsen 2001: Please call Syracuse Recreation Department at 801-614-9653, we need your information.
51. Kirk Cowdin 2001: 10 years service in basketball and baseball, booster supporter.
52. Rob Cunningham 2001: 5 year football coach, Mini-Bowl coach.
53. Michael Masero 2001: 8 year football coach.
54. Todd Yocum 2001: Please call Syracuse Recreation Department at 801-614-9653, we need your information.
55. Craig Jenkins 2001: Please call Syracuse Recreation Department at 801-614-9653, we need your information.
56. “The Syracuse Magic” 2001: Girls basketball team from Syracuse, age 8 until 18. Won 6 Utah AAU basketball tournaments and were the 1996-1997 Utah Summer Games Basketball Champions. Provided city girl Jr. Jazz program with coaching clinics, reffing, umpiring, scorekeeping and
gym maintenance/cleanup as service projects and their personal time (No charge to the city or the program).
57. Chad and Cheryl Scholer 2005: Baseball coach, fundraiser and all-star coach. Provided team with awards and pictures at personal expense.
58. Larry Lemmon 2005: 20 year baseball coach and city automotive baseball coach. Assisted as a basketball and baseball official for city.
59. Guy and Diana Vorhees 2005: 5 year baseball coach, 20 year booster and fundraiser for football. Provided teams with awards, transportation and pictures at personal expense. All-star coach.
60. Gary Mecham 2005: Syracuse City’s first youth recreation director and served three terms on the city council. He was lead council person on recreation needs, growth and budgetary needs.
City Plaque states “Bobbie (Bob) D. Miller, served as Recreation Director for Syracuse City from 1987 to 1997 and made significant impact on the quality of the city’s recreation programs, the success of which can be credited to his integrity, enthusiasm, and dedication. This Hall of Fame award recognizes men and women who have made a significant contribution to the recreation programs of Syracuse City. These individuals have gone far beyond the expectation of volunteer service by working with the youth in building character and providing positive meaningful recreation experience.”
The Plaque is for those who served. It may have been named in my honor but it is due to the people listed on each name plate. I was fortunate to be a part of this program, surrounded by the great individuals listed on the plaque. Take care of the good coaches, they are very difficult to find. They will make our youth better people and our city a better place to live. I am grateful to all who were “selected” and then “elected.”
We all built it and the youth indeed, did come. These members are the best, and in the future will be surrounded by more of the best. I attest, confirm and am grateful to have them in my world and in the world of our youth. Let’s surround our youth with the best of the best and make many more Hall of Fame Plaques. Syracuse City Recreation Hall of Fame set the standard for surrounding communities to emulate our example for their own recreation/youth programs.