DENVER -- The Selection Committee of the Colorado Sports Hall of Fame voted six individuals -- including Missy Franklin, Daniel Graham and Todd Lodwick -- to be inducted at the 55th annual banquet, set for April 3 at the Hilton Denver City Center (1701 California St.).
Joining five-time Olympic swimming gold medalist Franklin, football standout Graham and six-time Nordic Combined Olympian Lodwick as April inductees were local legendary wrestling coach Bob Smith, longtime Colorado School of Mines coach and athletic administrator Marvin Kay, and inspirational multiple-sport athlete Tom Southall when the Class of 2019 was selected today. The Selection committee will pick the 2018 Athletes of the Year at a January 2019 meeting as the Colorado Sports Hall of Fame recognizes collegiate, high school, Olympic/Pro athletes at the Denver Hilton City Center banquet.
Missy Franklin, a former longtime resident of Centennial who graduated from Regis Jesuit High School, becomes one of the youngest people ever voted into the Colorado Sports Hall of Fame at age 23. She's competed in the last two Summer Olympics, winning five gold medals and one bronze in swimming. At age 17 in the London Games, she earned four golds and a bronze, with the wins coming in the 100- and 200-meter backstroke, the 4X200 freestyle relay and the 4X100 medley relay. She added a 4X200 freestyle relay gold after swimming in a preliminary race at Rio de Janeiro in 2016.
In addition to success on the Olympic stage, Franklin has won 11 gold medals at the world championships, a record number until the mark was broken by Katie Ledecky in 2017. All told in international competition -- the Olympics, world championships, short course world championships and the Pan Pacific meet -- she's claimed 16 gold medals, six silvers and five bronze.
Franklin has previously been honored by the Colorado Sports Hall of Fame three times -- as the High School Female Athlete of the Year in 2010, as Athlete of the Year in 2011 and as Amateur Athlete of the Year in 2012. Franklin, a native of Pasadena, Calif., who swam for two years at Cal, holds dual citizenship -- American and Canadian -- but chose to compete for the U.S. swim team. She moved to Athens, Ga., at the beginning of 2018.
Daniel Graham has been a standout tight end in Colorado at the high school, college and the professional level. He played at Thomas Jefferson High School in Denver -- where he was also a linebacker, placekicker and long snapper, in addition to being a basketball player -- at the University of Colorado and for the Denver Broncos. During his senior season at CU, Graham won the John Mackey Award as the nation's top tight end.
His success while with the Buffs led to the New England Patriots drafting him in the first round in 2002 (21st overall). With the Patriots, he proved both an outstanding blocking tight end and an effective receiver. Twice with the Patriots, he won Super Bowl titles, and he was named a team captain in December 2006.
The Broncos signed Graham in March 2007 and he became an offensive captain in Denver for the 2008 season. While with the Broncos -- a stint which lasted until March 2011 -- Graham had his photo on the cover of Sports Illustrated during a 2009 game against Dallas. Graham later also played for the Tennessee Titans and New Orleans Saints before retiring in August 2013.
Graham played 11 seasons in the NFL, catching 224 passes for 2,490 yards.
Todd Lodwick, a native of Steamboat Springs who still lives there, was a longtime fixture on the U.S. team in the Nordic Combined, a combination of ski jumping and cross country ski racing. From 1994 through 2014, he participated in six Olympics, making him the first U.S. athlete to compete in six Winter Games. The most successful Nordic Combined competitor in U.S. history, he was picked by his teammates to be the flag bearer for the opening ceremonies at the 2014 Olympics in Russia.
Lodwick claimed a silver medal in the 2010 Olympics in the men's team event. Individually, his best Olympic showing was a fourth place in the individual normal hill/10-kilometer event, also in 2010. He earned two individual gold medals at the 2009 world championships, becoming the first person in the sport to win both the ski jumping and cross country portions of the same event. He also has six World Cup victories and 19 national championships -- including eight in ski jumping -- to his credit.
Lodwick initially retired in 2006 but returned to competition in 2008.
Bob Smith has been a fixture on the Colorado wrestling scene for six decades. For 33 years he coached the Wray High School program in eastern Colorado, leading the Eagles to a remarkable 10 state team championships during the stretch from 1960 through '88, in addition to seven second-place finishes. Thirty-nine of Smith's wrestlers at Wray earned individual state championships. He was named the National High School Coaches Association Wrestling Coach of the Year in 1984 and earned Colorado wrestling coach of the year honors eight times.
Smith won state medals as a wrestler at Denver North High School in 1953 and '54, and claimed the Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference 115-pound title in 1958 while at Colorado State College (now the University of Northern Colorado). After his 33 years as wrestling coach at Wray HS, Smith took over the program at Fort Hays State in Kansas. In his last four seasons at Fort Hays (1997-2000), the school posted four top-12 national finishes. He was the RMAC Wrestling Coach of the Year in 1997.
Smith has been inducted into an array of halls of fame: Northern Colorado (1989), Colorado High School Coaches (1989), Colorado High School Activities Association (1998), National Wrestling (2001), Kansas Wrestling Coaches Association (2001), National High School Coaches Association (2007) and the Fort Hays State University Sports HOF (2017). And now, next up will be the Colorado Sports Hall of Fame.
Marvin Kay contributed on many, many levels to Colorado School of Mines athletics over the years -- as a competitor, a coach, athletic director and a professor of physical education.
Kay retired as Mines' athletic director in 2004 after a nine-year run in that position. More than 40 years earlier, he excelled as a wrestler and a football player at the school, where he was also president of his junior and senior classes. He was named a Small College Football All-American.
After a two-year stint with the Army Engineer Corps, Kay returned to his alma mater in 1966 as a freshman football and swimming coach. By 1969, he was the head football coach, a title he would keep until taking the A.D. job in 1995. He led the Orediggers to 84 wins in football as head coach and coached 13 All-Americans over the years, earning several conference and district coach of the year honors along the way. The football stadium at Mines is named Marv Kay Stadium.
Kay served as mayor of Golden from 1988 to '96 and was a member of the city council for 12 years.
Tom Southall has excelled as a multi-sport athlete, teacher and coach in Colorado over the decades. Despite being born without an arm below his right elbow, Southall earned four letters each in three sports at Steamboat Springs High School -- football, basketball and track & field. And he participated in band and student council to boot. Southall led Steamboat to the 2A state football title in 1979 and to three state championships in track. He was named the Colorado Sports Hall of Fame's High School Male Athlete of the Year for 1980. That same year he won the prestigious Freddie Steinmark Award for his excellence as both a student and an athlete.
Southall went on to compete in football and track at Colorado College. He led the nation in punt return yardage and he long-jumped a CC-record 24 feet and helped CC run a 41.7 time in the 400-meter relay.
Southall was named Eaglecrest High School's 1996 Teacher of the Year. He was inducted into the Colorado High School Activities Association Hall of Fame in 1999 and into the National High School Hall of Fame in 2016, becoming the 22nd person from Colorado to earn the latter honor. He has worked tirelessly over the years with Special Olympics and Paralympics, in addition to the Colorado High School Coaches Association. He accompanied the Paralympics team to Beijing for the 2008 Olympic Games.
Tickets for the Colorado Sports Hall of Fame Banquet are $200 each and Sponsor tables start at $2,500. For additional ticket and table information, please contact the Colorado Sports Hall of Fame (www.coloradosports.org, 720-258-3536). The Colorado Sports Hall of Fame & Museum is located at Gate 1 on the west side of Broncos Stadium at Mile High at 1701 Bryant Street in Denver.
Since its inception in 1964, the Colorado Sports Hall of Fame has inducted 258 individuals prior to Tuesday’s selection meeting. The first Class of 1965 featured Earl “Dutch” Clark, Jack Dempsey and former Supreme Court Justice Byron “Whizzer” White. Peyton Manning, Alex Burl, Joe Glenn, Tracy Hill, Sam Pagano and Rashaan Salaam were inducted into the 2018 Colorado Sports Hall of Fame Class, this past April.