The Colorado Springs Sports Hall of Fame’s Class of 2008 announced today includes athletes and a team that have attained huge success, established records, won championships, and enjoyed professional achievement as part of the city’s rich sports traditions.
It includes 1988 U.S. Olympian Jim Scherr, who is the first Olympic athlete to be named as the United States Olympic Committee’s Chief Executive Officer. Scherr competed in freestyle wrestling in Seoul and medaled at the World Championships three times.
ESPN College Football GameDay host Chris Fowler, Pikes Peak International Hill Climb legend Leonard Vahsholtz, former Colorado College football coach Jerry Carle, University of Colorado basketball star Erin Scholz, ice hockey icon Art Berglund, and the 1965 state prep baseball champions from Palmer High round out an accomplished list of inductees.
The Class of 2008 will enter the Hall of Fame officially on Tuesday evening, October 28, at the Colorado Springs World Arena as the ninth class of inductees. The Hall of Fame is presented for the Colorado Springs Sports Corporation by The Gazette and American National Bank.
“The Colorado Springs Sports Corporation is honored to present this special Hall of Fame Class for induction,” said Sports Corp Hall of Fame section committee chairman Ralph Routon. “It includes our cherished Olympic family, high school and college sports, professional leadership, and the famous Pikes Peak International Hill Climb."
The Colorado Springs Sports Hall of Fame Class of 2008 :
Jim Scherr, U.S. Olympic Committee
Scherr, a native of Mobridge, South Dakota, is the first Olympian in history chosen to lead the United State’s Olympic Committee as its Chief Executive Officer. He gained the title in 2005 after serving the organization and leading it through a critical period of reform and reconstruction beginning in 2003. He joined the USOC in 2000 after a superb tenure as executive director of USA Wrestling and a stint as President of the Colorado Springs Sports Corporation. His career at the USOC is marked by his extraordinary commitment to programs and services in support of American athletes and the USOC’s national governing bodies of sport. He was a member of the 1988 U.S. Olympic Team in Freestyle Wrestling and won two silver medals and a bronze at the World Championships, earned three USA championships, and two World Cup titles. He finished fifth at the Seoul Games. Scherr wrestled for the University of Nebraska, his alma mater, and won an NCAA title at 177 pounds in 1984. He earned an MBA degree from Northwestern University’s Kellogg Graduate School of Management.
Art Berglund, USA Hockey
Berglund’s storied ice hockey career spans portions of five decades, during which he managed or served on the leadership of more than 30 United States teams worldwide. He was inducted into the International Ice Hockey Federation Hall of Fame on May 15, 2008 after serving as USA Hockey’s director of international teams and activities and senior director of international administration for more than a decade. Berglund was a standout player for Colorado College during his collegiate hockey career, led the Tigers in scoring in 1963, and became a member of the CC Athletics Hall of Fame. He became the manager of the fabled Broadmoor World Arena for 13 years after his playing career ended, and later served the St. Louis Blues and the Colorado Rockies of the NHL in various roles. He served on the staffs of the 1976, 1988, 1992, 1994 and 2002 U.S. Olympic Teams and was honored with the NHL’s coveted Lester Patrick Award in 1992.
Erin Scholz, University of Colorado Basketball
The former Colorado Springs Doherty High School basketball All-American and two-time state Player of the Year became one of the University of Colorado’s greatest women’s hoops stars during a career in Boulder marked by her durability and toughness. She ranks second on CU’s all time rebounding list (1,067), played in 132 games, and is one of only three Buffs to record 1,000 points and 1,000 rebounds in a career. She was named to the 1997 All-Big 12 Conference second team and earned honorable mention All-American laurels after leading CU to the league’s inaugural tourney championship. She was a member of three Buff tournament championship teams and appeared in four NCAA Tournaments. After graduation from CU in 1999, she played two seasons for the NWBL’s Colorado Chill. She is now an assistant coach at Utah State.
Leonard Vahsholtz, Pikes Peak International Hill Climb
Woodland Park’s own superstar won 18 titles (the most by any driver) on the Pikes Peak International Hill Climb, the nation’s second oldest auto race behind the Indianapolis 500. In cobbling together a legendary career in the fabled race, the Mobridge, South Dakota native became the “Winningest Driver on Pikes Peak.” His titles came in three divisions- stock, sprint and super truck, and he ended his run last year with a triumph in the Open Division in his 2005 Ford Explorer. Since his first PPIHC run in 1977 in a Torino dubbed “The Red Sled,” he chalked up 95 wins in 139 races on the Hill. He was the event’s 1977 Rookie of the Year and also teamed with his son, Clint, to record more father-son titles than anyone else, surpassing Bobby and Robby Unser. He and his family have been Woodland Park residents since 1963, and during an impromptu drag race with a pal on Highway 67 in 1965, legend has it that he got the inspiration to become a great racer. (he lost the race and $5.00, by the way). The Race to the Clouds became the beneficiary of that decision. He retired in 2007 after winning the Open Class with a record 11:30.536, the best ever for a two-wheel-drive, full-bodied vehicle.
Chris Fowler, ESPN
The Colorado Springs Palmer High School (Class of 1980) and 1985 University of Colorado graduate is the popular primary studio host for ESPN’s top-rated football College GameDay show and its basketball edition, along with hosting the cable giant’s Classic’s SportsCentury, the network’s signature series (He has won two Emmys), and numerous other top-shelf assignments including ESPN’s Heisman Trophy Presentation, horse racing’s Triple Crown, Grand Slam tennis events, and the network’s X Games. He joined ESPN in 1986 as the host/reporter for Scholastic Sports America and began his college football sidelines stint in 1988. He worked for KCNC-TV and KMGH-TV in Denver and covered prep sports for the Denver Rocky Mountain News after graduation from CU. Fowler received a bachelor of science in radio and television degree in Boulder in 1985, and was the first recipient of the Alan Berg memorial Journalism Scholarship awarded by the Denver Press Club. He once worked as a public address announcer for prep hockey games at the Sertich Ice Arena in Colorado Springs and did a stint on the now defunct Colorado Springs Sun.
Jerry Carle, Colorado College Football
During a stellar 33-year tenure as head football coach of the CC Tigers, Jerry Carle chalked up a 137-150-5 mark and saved football from extinction on the campus in 1960. His most memorable span was the period 1971-76, when he utilized the old-school single wing offense and ran up a 46-7-2 record and took his 1975 team to the NCAA Division III playoffs, losing to Millsaps, 28-21. He coached Tiger gridiron greats like All-Americans Don Soukup, Ed Smith, Daryl Crawford, Terry Hoadley, Ray Bridges, and Scott Robertson, and CC Hall of Famer and NFL Films mogul Steve Sabol. Carle also served as the Director of Athletics at CC from 1957-1982 and retired in 1990. Counting his time as an assistant coach, 1948-51, and with a timeout for Marine Corps service, he was part of the Tiger sports scene for parts of five decades. The 1948 Northwestern University graduate and native of North St. Paul, Minnesota, is still the winningest coach in Tiger football history. He was inducted into the CC Athletic Hall of Fame in 1996. During his playing days at Northwestern, he was a blocking back for the immortal Otto Graham. He had originally enrolled at Minnesota, and played for Gopher head coach and legend Bernie Bierman and famed assistants Bud Wilkinson (Oklahoma) and Dal Ward (Colorado)
The 1965 Palmer High School Baseball State Champions
The Terrors won the state AAA title by defeating Greeley and Denver Thomas Jefferson by identical 3-2 scores in Greeley. Coach Jerry Hughes called his team at the time the best in state history. Palmer racked up an 18-1-1 season record on the way to winning the crown. Catcher Larry Williams was the team captain and the squad boasted two of the state’s best pitchers in Tom Medlicott and Phil Johnson.