Lori Hanaway couldn’t help but feel a little star-struck.
During one of the events leading up to her induction into the Missouri Sports Hall of Fame, she found herself signing trading cards next to former Royals great Kevin Seitzer.
“It’s just amazing,” Hanaway said. “You look around the room and you’ve known those names for years and you’ve watched them, so to be in the same room with them and sitting with them and receiving the same honor is phenomenal.”
Seitzer was one of several high-profile names among the 16 individuals enshrined during a ceremony Nov. 12 at the Stoney Creek Hotel and Conference Center in Independence, but this wasn’t a day just for honoring already famous athletes and coaches.
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This also was a day for honoring the likes of Hanaway, Lee’s Summit’s legendary volleyball coach, along with several other high school and small-college coaches who spent most of their careers outside of the spotlight.
For many of them, a chance to share in the accolades was an honor in itself.
“I kind of feel out of place, to tell you the truth,” said Diana Tingler, the longtime Smithville girls basketball coach who won 452 games during 38 seasons. “I didn’t think about anything like this coming about. I’m in awe.”
Tingler was hardly out of place among the nominees who gathered for a press conference before the ceremony.
Besides Hanaway, who has more than 700 victories and eight state championships to her credit, there was football coach Chip Sherman, who won 191 games and three state titles during 20 seasons at Platte County before moving on to Shawnee Mission East and Olathe Northwest.
Throw in Bob Glasgow, who built Oak Grove into a wrestling powerhouse; Willie Bowie, who coached the likes of former Mizzou star Anthony Peeler during 23 years at Paseo Academy; and 91-year-old Darrell Gourley, who coached five sports during a 32-year career at William Jewell College; and it truly was a big day for the unsung.
“I know lot of these guys, and they’re just good people,” said Sherman, who’s coached the last five seasons at Olathe Northwest. “Every one of them’s well-deserving. It’s cool for me to be mentioned in the same breath with those guys.”
Longtime Kansas City sportscaster Frank Boal was also part of the class. He took great pride in seeing so many high-school and small-college coaches honored.
Boal said that when he first came to Kansas City to work at WDAF-TV in 1981, high school sports got little attention.
“When I see a Chip Sherman or a (former Northwest Missouri state football coach) Mel Tjeerdsma here, I think, ‘My gosh, those coaches have labored in anonymity, really all their lives when you think about it,’” Boal said. “And look at the lives they’ve influenced as they’ve gone on to be very successful coaches.”
Hanaway knows she’s influenced many lives during her years at O’Hara, St. Teresa’s Academy, Lee’s Summit West and Lee’s Summit.
It’s those relationships that are the biggest rewards for most coaches.
After rubbing elbows with fellow inductees Seizter, former Chiefs lineman Bill Maas and former Mizzou and NFL tight end Martin Rucker, she was looking forward to seeing many of her former players.
“If you teach and coach high school, you’ve got to love it,” Hanaway said. “To get honored for something you do and it’s your job and it’s your vocation, that’s great.”
Getting a chance to share the limelight for a brief moment is cool, too.
“I think it’s well-deserved, and probably way past due for a lot of these guys,” Boal said. “When you think of what they’ve done and the things they’ve had to overcome to get it done ... what I did was easy. What they did was very, very difficult and very, very rewarding for them.”
Longtime Mizzou booster and former University of Missouri System curator Don Walsworth, who owns one of the largest printing companies in the U.S., also was inducted along with Northwest Missouri State’s 1998 and 1999 NCAA Division II national championship football teams.
Transportation Logistical Services and Air-X Chairman and CEO James Roberts, who graduated from Glendale High School and Drury University in Springfield, received the President’s Award. He is a longtime supporter of the Hall of Fame’s endeavors as well as Park Hill athletics and the Sluggers, a summer baseball team in Kansas City,
Missouri Sports Hall of Fame inductees
Aziere’s swim team at Raytown have won more than 500 dual meets since he became the coach in 1974. An alderman in Raytown, Aziere also coached previously at Bishop Miehe, Kansas, De La Salle Academy, and the American School in Honduras.
A fixture in Kansas City sports media for more than three decades, Boal is among the most recognizable personalities in town after his stints as sports director with WDAF-TV and KSHB-TV.
During a 23-year career that started in 1969, Bowie led Paseo Academy’s boys basketball team to more than 400 wins. He coached four state semifinal teams, including runner-up squads in 1971 and 1988 (led by Anthony Peeler).
DR. JON BROWNE
Browne served as the Chiefs’ head team physician for 22 years from 1989-2011 and is one of the most respected orthopedic surgeons in Johnson (Kan.) and Jackson (Mo.) counties.
A Raytown South graduate, who also attended Longview Community College in Lee’s Summit, Dernier played 10 seasons with the Phillies and Cubs and won a Gold Glove in 1984.
Glasgow was inducted along with the Oak Grove wrestling team he turned into a powerhouse since 1982. The Panthers have won a record 17 Missouri state titles, including 12 under Glasgow. He retired in 2009 with a 245-39-2 dual record and is an inductee into the National Wrestling Hall of Fame. Along the way, Oak Grove wrestling boasts three four-time state champions and 19 undefeated state champions.
During a 32-year career at William Jewell College, Gourley coached track and field for 24 years, football for 18 years, and golf for eight years. Gourley’s teams collected more than 10 conference titles. He also served as a wrestling, cross country, and intramural coach at various levels and he was active as a tournament administrator.
Hall graduated from Missouri Valley College in 1959 and nine seasons for the Steelers and Patriots, including All-AFL selections in 1963 and 1964. After his NFL career, Hall was a teacher and coach in Kansas and Liberty.
One of the most accomplished volleyball coaches in Missouri history, Hanaway boasts more than 700 career victories during a career than spans foue decades, including eight state titles during a stops at O’Hara, St. Teresa’s Academy, Lee’s Summit West and, most recently, Lee’s Summit.
A two-time Pro Bowl nose tackle, Maas played nine seasons for the Chiefs during a 10-year NFL career and was among the more fearsome defensive lineman on five playoff teams. Maas now works for Block and Company in Kansas City.
The standout from St. Joseph was a first-team All-American tight end at Missouri, Rucker set program records for career receptions (203) and single-season receptions (84) during an impressive four years capped by the Tigers’ first Big 12 North division title in 2007. He later played five NFL seasons with the Jaguars, Cowboys, Eagles and Browns.
With three Class 3 state championships (2000-02) and a 191-37 record during 20 seasons at Platte County, Sherman is one of the best high school coaches in Missouri history. He never had a losing season with the Pirates and later helped elevate the Shawnee Mission East and Olathe Northwest programs.
A 12-year big-league veteran, Seitzer played for the Royals from 1986 to 1991. His arrival in the big leagues moved Hall of Famer George Brett from third base to first base. Seizter finshed second in the AL Rookie of the Year voting in 1987 after leading the league with 207 hits. He later served as hitting coach for the Royals, Blue Jays and Braves and co-owns a Johnson County baseball training facility.
Well-known now as a lawyer, former Missouri legislator, and curator for the University of Missouri System, Snowden’s first claim to fame was as the starting quarterback for the Tigers’ 1960 Orange Bowl champion football team.
During 38 seasons, Tingler’s girls basketball teams went 457-282 from 1977 to 2005. That span includes 10 district titles and two appearances in the Missouri state semifinals (1984, 1985).