HALL OF FAME HONOREES
CLASS OF 1999
Don Fullmer, a Jordan High School graduate, was a world middleweight contender in the 1960s, posting a 54-20 pro record after competing in four sports for the Beetdiggers. A younger brother of champion boxer Gene Fullmer, Don was a fixture in the Utah boxing community since he participated in his first amateur fight at the age of 5. After going undefeated in 65 amateur bouts, he turned professional at the age of 17 and would fight in 79 bouts over the next 16 years, compiling a pro record of 54 wins, 20 losses and five draws. Fullmer became president of the Rocky Mountain chapter of U.S. Golden Gloves in 1962 and helped run boxing gyms in Utah.
Stephen Lester, of Magna, set 15 American Masters (over-40) age-group records at distances from 5K to the marathon, earning No. 1 rankings in the 45-49 and 55-59 age groups from the U.S. Track and Field Federation. In 2015, he was ranked No. 13 among Legends of the St. George Marathon, based mostly on his Masters performances. In 1989, Lester set an American record for a 5K at age 46 when he ran 15:26 at the Carlsbad 5000. Lester had run more than 80,000 miles by the time he retired from competition in 1999. He was inducted into the USTFF Masters Hall of Fame in 2014.
Wat Misaka, an Ogden High School graduate, played for the University of Utah’s 1944 NCAA and 1947 National Invitation Tournament championship teams, before and after military service. The Utes beat Dartmouth in the NCAA title game in New York’s Madison Square Garden. In the NIT title game, also in New York, Misaka was credited with holding Kentucky star Ralph Beard to one point. Misaka is widely heralded as the first Asian-American to play in the NBA as a draft selection of the New York Knicks in 1947. He helped Ogden High School win a 1940 state championship and then attended Weber Junior College before enrolling at Utah.
Joe Nelson was the Skyline Conference scoring leader during his Brigham Young University career that ended in 1950, after he played for Spanish Fork High School. Nelson also competed successfully in football and track and field for the Dons. Nelson left BYU as the school’s No. 1 all-time scorer with 1,494 points in three seasons. In 1948, he scored a Skyline Conference-record 37 points against Denver. Nelson toured the country in 1950 as a member of the College All-American team, playing 18 games against the Harlem Globetrotters. He played a year of professional basketball with the Waterloo Hawks and St. Paul Lights.
CLASS OF 1998
Though his career was cut short by a serious leg injury, Allen Holmes had great influence on both the Weber State and University of Utah basketball programs. Holmes starred at Weber when it was a junior college. He led the Wildcats to the NJCAA National Championship in 1959. The 6-foot-5 guard averaged 28.8 points per game in that tournament. The Phoenix native was a two-time NJCAA All-American. Holmes, who is the father of former NBA player and Coach Byron Scott, enjoyed good success as a member of the Runnin’ Utes before his serious injury. The Weber State Allen Holmes Diversity Symposium bears his name. He worked for many years as a counselor in the Utah state prison system.
Vance Law became one of Utah’s best known athletes as a member of a fine Provo High basketball squad that included brother Verl, Brett Vroman and Gifford Nielsen. But he made his name in baseball. He played third base for the Pittsburgh Pirates, Chicago White Sox, Montreal Expos, Chicago Cubs and Oakland A’s as well as a season with the Chunichi Dragons. The son of the great Vernon Law enjoyed his best season in 1988 when he hit .293 with 163 hits and 78 RBIs and was selected to the 1988 All-Star Game. Law holds an American League record for the longest errorless game by a third baseman after playing all 25 innings of the longest game in American League history in 1984. He returned to Provo as the head coach at BYU from 2000 to 2012.
Henry Marsh, a BYU graduate and Hawaii native, ranks among the greatest U.S. steeplechasers of all time. He set the American record in the event in 1985. He began as a miler in high school, but became a steeplechaser at BYU. He started slow, but had his first breakthroughs in 1976, finishing second in the NCAA championships, second at the Olympic trials and 10th at the Olympic Games. Marsh won his first U.S. National title in 1978, the first of four he would capture. That was just a start. He was the top-ranked U.S. Steeplechaser 10 times, setting the American record four times. He was also a member of the 1980, 1984, and 1988 Olympic teams, achieving his best result of fourth in Los Angeles. He represented the U.S. 19 times in international competition.
Fred Roberts burst on Utah’s basketball scene as a junior at Bingham High, helping lead the Miners to two straight state titles. From there, he attended BYU where he started in all of the Cougars’ games as a freshman, hitting double figures in scoring 17 times. He shot a career average of 55 percent from the field. He was drafted and went on to play in the NBA for 13 seasons including stints with San Antonio, Utah, Boston, Milwaukee, Cleveland, the Los Angeles Lakers and Dallas. His best five years (1988-1993) were with Milwaukee, averaging 10 points per game. He was the only player in NBA history to play on a team with Larry Bird (Celtics in 1986) and Magic Johnson (Lakers in 1995).
Jeff Rolan became the University of Utah’s first NCAA swimming champion. He surprised the field and the legendary Mark Spitz by winning the 100-butterfly in 1975. At the time, he was only the third man in NCAA history to swim the distance in under 49 seconds. He also placed in three other events during that NCAA meet, including setting a record for his leg of the freestyle relay. He won three events at the Western Athletic Conference championships in 1976 and broke his own butterfly record in 1977. He was an All-American swimmer in 1976 and 1977. After he graduated in 1978, Rolan swam on the U.S. National team and then coached the Cottonwood High swim team.
CLASS OF 1997
Lewis Feild ranked among the greatest rodeo cowboys of his generation. The long-time Utah County resident won his first all-around title in 1985 and went on to win two more all-around championships and two bareback titles. Feild was inducted into the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association Hall of Fame in 1992. He was the first “RoughStock” contestant in PRCA history to win $1 million. Feild was a national high school rodeo finalist three times and captured PRCA Rookie of the Year honors in 1990. He was a charter member of the Utah Rodeo Hall of Fame. Feild also competed for Utah Valley University in the National Intercollegiate Rodeo Finals for three years.
Bill Korns made his mark in amateur golf before turning professional. He was a six-time Utah State Amateur Champion, winning titles in 1941, 1942, 1946, 1948, 1950 and 1951. He might have even won more of those had he not served his country during World War II from 1943 to 1945. The member of the Utah Golf Hall of Fame won the Intermountain Amateur four times and the Salt Lake Amateur five times. He also served as president of the Utah Golf Association in 1948 and headed the Utah and Idaho chapters of the PGA. Korns became a long-time teaching professional, finishing his career in 1971 at Riverside Country Club in Provo.
Missy Marlowe had more than a little to do with gymnastics becoming a huge and important sport at the University of Utah during her stellar career, but her personal achievements were much more. She spent five years on the U.S. National Team, finishing second at the U.S. Nationals in 1987. At the 1987 Pan American Games, Marlowe finished first on the uneven bars and fourth in the all-around, leading the U.S. to a gold medal. She was a member of the 1988 U.S. Olympic team. Marlowe enrolled at the University of Utah after her Olympic career, leading the Utes to NCAA titles in 1990 and 1992 and a second-place finish in 1991. She set an NCAA record at the 1992 NCAA championships by winning four individual championships. Marlowe won 12 All-American awards, the second most in NCAA history. She is the only NCAA gymnast to score a perfect 10 in all four events. She went on to be a youth gymnastics coach.
Karl Schleckman, a Granite High graduate who led the Farmers to a state title in 1932, made his mark in both wrestling and football at the University of Utah. He was a varsity tackle in 1934, 1936 and 1937, earning two All-Conference awards and serving as a team captain in 1937. He was an honorable mention All-American in 1938, the year he also played in the East-West Shrine Game. As a wrestler, Schleckman was undefeated from 1935 to 1938. He qualified in the quarterfinals of the Olympic tryouts in wrestling in 1936. The all-around athlete also lettered in track, where he threw the hammer.
Jay Van Noy made his name as an all-around athlete who played football, baseball, basketball and track and field. He became known first as a member of the 1946 North Cache state basketball championship team. When he was 16, he was given a chance to play professional baseball with the St. Louis Cardinals organization. He started his baseball playing career in Pocatello and played with the Cards alongside Gas House Gang greats Stan Musial and Enos Slaughter. Van Noy, a 1950 Utah State graduate, went on to coach baseball at BYU, leading the Cougars to two conference titles. He was Logan City Parks and Recreation director for 15 years. Van Noy also served as president of the Northern Utah Chapter of the Major League Baseball Players Alumni Association.
(All Former Inductees Honored)
CLASS OF 1995
Ed Eliason became one of the nation’s top archers, putting together an impressive list of credentials in a long career. He was selected to be a member of the U.S. Olympic team in 1972 and was a member of that team every year through 1993. Eliason was voted male Athlete of the Year in archery in 1982, 1990, 1991 and 1992. In 1989 and 1990, he was the National Indoor Champion. He was a four-year member of the Pan-American Archery Team. He was the Olympic Festival champion in 1989 and 1991 and the national outdoor archery champion in 1989 and 1991.
Mark Enyeart was among the best athletes to come out of the Vernal area. After winning the 100- and 220-yard dashes at Uintah High School, Enyeart went on to run for Utah State University. There, he was a five-time track All-American, three-time NCAA 800-meter champion and national 800-meter AAU winner. He set the world record in the 600 meters, an NCAA 800-meter record and was a member of the U.S. Olympic team in 1976. Enyeart ran as a member of the U.S. National touring track team, competing against Poland and the Soviet Union. After his athletic career, he became an FBI agent.
University of Utah fans who like nothing better than to remember in-state rivalries should know basketball star Bill Kinner. He held the record for most points scored against BYU (280 points in 17 games) and against Utah State (180 points in 16 games). The Ogden High graduate led the Tigers to the state title in 1932 and was an all-state center. He played in every game for the Utes for four years. He was selected all-conference center in 1932 and 1936 and as a consensus All-American in 1936.
George Marks earned two titles in his lifetime as a golf executive, one as “Mr. Golf” for his tireless contributions to the sport of Golf in Utah and around the United States. The second moniker was “Gentle George” for his easy-going attitude in the rules-interpretation world. He was chairman of the U.S. Golf Association Rules Committee, serving 21 years on the National Rules Committee. The Worland, Wyoming, native and graduate of Denver University, was on the national stage, but served his beloved Utah as Rules Committee Chairman for the Utah Open. He served as the director and executive chairman of the Utah Golf Association from 1966-1983. Marks was a member of the Salt Lake City golf advisory staff and was inducted into the Utah Golf Hall of Fame.
Jim Osborne became a Utah tennis stalwart in a variety of different ways. He was the top player for the University of Utah from 1963 to 1967. There, Osborne was a three-time collegiate All-American, a two-time Western Athletic Conference champion and a four-time All-Conference selection. Osborne was a member of the U.S. Junior Davis Cup Team in 1963, a year where he also was a member of the U.S. Olympic team. The former professional player also participated on the U.S. World Cup Team. Osborne played on the pro tennis tour from 1967 to 1972. He was a two-time national doubles champion and a winner of seven senior national doubles and singles titles. Osborne, who coached tennis at BYU, was ranked number one in singles and doubles in the 35 and over division.
CLASS OF 1994
Rulon Jones ranks among the top Utah high school graduates to play professional football. The Weber High star played for the Denver Broncos from 1980 to 1989, earning Rookie of the Year honors in 1980. He was a Pro Bowl selection in 1986 and 1987. In 1987, he was named the defensive Player of the Year while setting a record with five quarterback sacks. He was a captain on the Broncos’ 1986 and 1987 Super Bowl teams. Jones graduated from Weber High in 1976 and Utah State in 1980. He was the PCAA Player of the Year in 1980 and was selected as a member of the Sporting News All-American team that season.
Few Utahns enjoyed as successful a baseball career as Vernon law. After winning 12 letters in high school, he signed a professional baseball contract with the Pittsburgh Pirates. Vernon played professionally for 19 years, winning the Cy Young Award in 1960. He won Comeback Player of the Year award in 1965 and also won the Lou Gehrig and Babe Didrickson award. Known by his nickname “The Deacon,” Law was named as the Pirates’ all-time right-handed pitcher. After retiring as a player, Law coached at the AAA level of professional baseball for six years before serving as the pitching coach for BYU from 1970 to 1979.
Dick Motta was an outstanding coach at Weber State, but he made his name as a National Basketball Association coaching legend. The graduate of Utah State and Jordan High started his coaching career at tiny Grace, Idaho, in 1959. He then went on to coach Weber State for eight years, helping establish the Wildcats as a top NCAA performer. As an NBA coach for a number of teams, he ranks among the winningest coaches in history with 846 victories. He also ranks among the top in the “most-games-coached” category with 1,728. In 1979, he coached the Washington Bullets to an NBA title. During a brief retirement from coaching, the colorful Motta was a television color commentator for the Detroit Pistons. He came out of retirement in 1994 to coach the Dallas Mavericks.
Al Warden was a legendary Utah sports writer who worked for many of the state’s biggest newspapers. He wrote with The Salt Lake Tribune, Salt Lake Telegram and Deseret News in Salt Lake City before moving on to the Ogden Standard Examiner where he became the sports editor in 1926. He helped organize Utah’s All-American baseball game and the Western American Winter Sports Association. He was also instrumental in the formation of the Idaho Baseball League and the Pioneer League. Warden served as a director for the Football Writers Association of America for four years and was the Intermountain representative on the Football Hall of Fame selection committee for five years. He also served as president of the National Golden Gloves Association.
CLASS OF 1993
Wade Bell got his track start at Ogden’s Ben Lomond High School where he was the Utah half-mile and mile champion and won the mile in the Golden West Invitational in 1963. He attended the University of Oregon, where he became one of the nation’s best distance runners. He ran a 3:59.8 mile in 1966. That year, he also won the 800 meters at the Commonwealth Games. He was a three-time All-American runner for the Ducks. Bell won the NCAA and AAU national titles in 1967 in the 800-meter run. He was selected for the U.S. Olympic track team in 1968 after winning the Olympic trials in the 800 meters. He set an American record in the 1,000-yard run in 1967. Oregon honored him by inducting Bell into its sports Hall of Fame in 1983.
LaVell Edwards was so successful as BYU’s football coach for 29 seasons that the school named its football stadium after him. He compiled a 257-101-3 record at the Provo school, winning or sharing 20 conference titles. His 1984 team finished unbeaten and became the national champions. He coached players to numerous All-American selections, two Outland Trophies, four Davey O’Brien awards and the Heisman Trophy. He won the Bobby Dodds Award as the national college Coach of the Year in 1979. Edwards was an All-Conference lineman at Utah State University before becoming one of the winningest coaches in college football history.
Boyd Pexton was a top all-around athlete, establishing himself as a fine tennis player for much of his life, but he made his biggest mark in the bowling world, both as an official and as a bowler. Pexton was president of the American Bowling Congress -the largest sports membership organization in the world -in 1989 and 1990. He served as an ABC board member for 25 years. He was the all-events bowling champion in 1970 and bowled in the ABC National Tournament for 30 straight years. He also served as president of the Salt Lake City Bowling Association in 1967. Pexton was instrumental in securing the national bowling tournament for Salt Lake City in 1996. He was inducted into the Salt Lake City Bowling Hall of Fame in 1986.
Wilma Swenson enjoyed a long softball career, winning numerous local and national honors along the way. Her career included pitching 45 no-hitters, a fact that earned her induction into both the Utah Valley and Utah State Halls of Fame. She won a state title with Hill Air Force Base in 1943, setting a home run and strikeout record in the process. Swenson went on to pitch 11 years for the Utah Shamrocks, winning numerous state and regional titles, as well as a second place finish in the 1953 World Tournament. She earned All-American honors that year. In 1952, the softball star played pro softball with Chicago, where she was named Rookie of the Year and chosen for the All-American team.
CLASS OF 1992
Not many athletes go through their college career with an unbeaten mark. But that was the record Merrill Croft left at BYU. In four years of college wrestling, Croft never lost a match. He began his career at Provo High, where he graduated in 1935 after an exceptional wrestling career. Merrill was the captain of the Cougar wrestling team in 1937 and earned All-American honors for his efforts. That was also the year that he won the individual national AAU championship.
Few people have influenced the Utah sports scene more than Larry H. Miller. Most know him as the owner of the Utah Jazz basketball team who built what is now Vivint Smart Home Arena. But Miller, a 1962 West High graduate, also built a record in softball. He played and sponsored nationally ranked softball teams for over 30 years. His pitching gained Honorable Mention All-Around status and he was instrumental in gaining Salt Lake City’s bid to host the World Softball Tournament in 1992. That was also the year that he was inducted into the National Softball Hall of Fame.
Weber High School all-around athlete Archie Skeen enrolled at the University of Utah in 1957 and was a standout catcher for two years. He won the 1959 Skyline Conference batting title, hitting .490, and was named the District 7 MVP and a first-team All-American after leading the nation in home runs and RBIs. His RBI record stood for 38 years. Skeen played professional baseball for five seasons in the Boston Red Sox organization and was an All-Star selection in three leagues. He was inducted into Utah’s Crimson Club Hall of Fame. While attending Utah State, he once threw a baseball a record 376 feet.
Long-time BYU golf coach Karl Tucker created a coaching legacy at the Provo school. After playing numerous sports at Orem’s Lincoln High and BYU, Tucker established himself as one of the nation’s top golf coaches. He was inducted into the National Golf Coaches’ Hall of Fame in 1981. He coached 17 BYU golfers who played on the PGA tour. His golf teams won numerous conference championships and recorded a number of top finishes in NCAA golf. His 1981 BYU team won the NCAA championship, earning him national Golf Coach of the Year honors. Many of his players earned All-American honors.
CLASS OF 1991
Bert Cook began his athletic career at Weber High, gaining all-state honors. He went on to play at Utah State, where he earned four letters in basketball and two in baseball. He became a Helms Foundation all-American basketball player in 1950 and 1951. Cook was drafted by the New York Knicks in 1954, playing two years before entering the Army. He was an All-Army player for two years and also toured South America with the Harlem Globetrotters for two years.
Alan Engen continued the tradition of perhaps Utah’s most famous ski family as a competitor, administrator and historian. He was named one of the Legends of Utah Skiing in 1988, elected to the United States National Ski Hall of Fame in 2004, named to the Crimson Club Hall of Fame in 2004 and inducted into the Intermountain Ski Hall of Fame in 2009. Engen was involved in the ski industry for more than six decades. His competitive career spanned nearly a half-century and his recent contributions have revolved around the promotion and recording of ski history, notably creating a world-class ski museum at the Utah Olympic Park.
Les Goates was both a sports reporter and an athletics organizer. He worked at the Deseret News from 1919 to 1964 as a reporter, sports editor and editorial writer. That stint included a daily column that ran for 44 years. His writing helped him win the Hot Stove League award for services rendered as a writer and official scorer in the Pacific Coast League for 30 years. He helped organize the Utah-Idaho Baseball League and the Pioneer League. Goates founded the Utah State High School Honor Team in basketball. The long-time writer also was influential in organizing the Mormon Church’s M-Men basketball program. Goates was awarded the Freedom Award and Utah Champions trophy.
Gifford Nielsen exploded on the Utah sports scene as an all-around athlete at Provo High, where he earned all-state honors in football and basketball. The Provo basketball team, of which he was captain, was one of the strongest in Utah history. From there, he earned first-team All-American honors as a BYU quarterback, one of the first great signal callers to graduate from BYU (1976). He was drafted in the third round of the NFL draft by the Houston Oilers. He played eight seasons, throwing 20 TD passes and amassing 3,255 passing yards. Giff was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame in 1994. After his football career, Nielsen became a popular television radio host in the Houston area.
While bowling is a sport that often does not receive much attention, Slattery did her best to change that. She won the National All-Star bowling championship in Philadelphia in 1965, averaging 197 for 77 games. Among 500 entries, she won the Beat the Champ series in Cleveland. Locally, Slattery won the Ritz Queen Classic five times and the Utah State Banquet of Champions. She is a member of the Utah State Bowling Hall of Fame.
CLASS OF 1990
Soft-spoken Marion Dunn earned a reputation as a sports writer in a career that spanned decades. His stories appeared in the Utah Daily Chronicle, the Salt Lake Tribune, the Salt Lake Telegram, the Deseret News, the Provo Daily Herald and United Press International. The Bingham High graduate served as president of the Football Writers of America in 1989, and was a long-time member of that group’s board and All-American selection committee. The author of books on Bingham Canyon and the Bonneville Salt Flats was awarded the Best in Nation Award for sports writing contests that included bowling, softball and basketball.
Jeff Judkins first came on the Utah sports scene as an all-around athlete at Highland High, earning all-state honors in basketball and all-region in baseball. From there, he played basketball for the University of Utah, earning All-Western Athletic Conference honors for three years. He was a second team All-American in academics and led the WAC in scoring for two years. Jeff played pro basketball for the Boston Celtics, Detroit Pistons and Utah Jazz. After retirement from the NBA, he went on to become an assistant basketball coach at the University of Utah, and head women’s coach at BYU.
Few Utahns could boast of once having played football for Notre Dame’s legendary Knute Rockne, but stellar Tooele athlete George Melinkovich could make that claim. He was an all-around sports star at Tooele who played football, basketball and track, earning All-State honors in football in 1928 and an All-American award in 1929. “Mink” attended Notre Dame in 1930, playing for Rockne, Elmer Layden and Hunk Anderson. He was the first sophomore to start first team for the Fighting Irish. He was selected as a first-team All-American fullback in 1932. Melinkovich returned to Tooele after his college career where he coached for 22 years.
Marvin Melville was one of those who helped put Utah skiing on the world stage. He competed in skiing for both Granite High and the University of Utah. In 1959, he won the NCAA downhill, slalom and the combined. He was a member of the U.S. Olympic team from 1956 through 1958 and was on the 1960 FIS team. After his competitive career, he coached the 1964 women’s Olympic ski team and then moved on to coach the University of Utah ski team from 1963 through 1966. In 1969, he chaired the U.S/ Ski Association’s Alpine Committee.