2023 Spring Honors & Awards Banquet

Wednesday, April 5, 2023
Reception: 6 p.m.
Banquet: 7 p.m.

Little America Hotel
500 South Main Street
Salt Lake City, UT 84101

Banquet Tickets: $75 per person
Table of Ten: $750 per table

Visa, Mastercard and Discover cards accepted.  PayPal Account not required.
ONLINE REGISTRATION CLOSES at 6 p.m. on Tuesday, April 4, 2023.

  • Purchase tickets early; seats assigned on first come, first serve basis
  • Tickets will be mailed Thursday, March 23, 2023.
  • Tickets ordered after Wednesday, March 22 will be held at “Will Call”

Please call Steve Gardner at 801-376-7301 with any questions regarding the purchase of tickets.

2023 USHOFF Hall of Honor

Distinguished High School Coaches, Coach of Merit & Distinguished Service Award Recipients:

Distinguished Service

Chris Santacroce

You might say flying is in Chris Santacroce’s blood. He started as a full-time paragliding professional in 1992 and traveled the world as an elite Red Bull athlete. He flies everything from airplanes to powered and unpowered hang gliders, paragliders, and para-motors. He has done hundreds of skydives and BASE jumps.

His world changed dramatically in 2009 when he suffered a paragliding accident. He injured his spinal cord, which resulted in him spending almost a year in a wheelchair. After making a full recovery, he had a different view of life. He said he went from a wholehearted “Look at me and what I can do” sort of mentality to a world where the only question was “What can I do for you?”

He decided to devote the rest of his life to taking everyone flying, with no exceptions and no cost. Thus his Project Airtime was born. Santacroce now spends almost every day at the Point of the Mountain in Draper, as well as around the country getting the physically challenged into the air.

The 50-year-old owner of Superfly Paragliding Instruction has won numerous community awards for his service. He was honored by Real Salt Lake in 2015, was featured in a segment of HBO Real Sports with Bryant Gumbel, was inducted into the Paraglinging and Hang Gliding Hall of Fame, and honored with the “Above and Beyond Award” at the 41st Annual Dinner of Champions at the University of Utah.

Santacroce is a Colorado native who came to Salt Lake City to get his undergraduate degree from the University of Utah. He and his wife Susie are parents of Zane and Cloe.

Coaches of Merit

Ken Wagner

Basketball has taken Ken Wagner around the world.

Wagner began his storied career coaching at Lehi High School, where he coached from
1978 to 1983. His teams won two state championships and 3 region championships. From there, he went to Dixie College – now Utah Tech – for five years. His teams tied for the league championship twice and won the league out right two times.

That caught the eye of BYU-Hawaii, an NAIA and then NCAA Division II school. That’s where Wagner made his biggest impression as a coach. He won just over 500 games going 6-4 in NAIA tournaments and 12-11 in the NCAA Division II tournaments, where his teams appeared 11 times.

His work earned him the NCAA Division II National Coach of the Year. He served as the division’s all-star coach twice. His teams finished second one time and was in the Sweet Sixteen 3 times in NCAA Division II. They were a Final Four member of the NAIA championships. He coached nine NAIA all-Americans, six NCAA Division II All-Americans and one Division II Player of the Year.

Wagner’s coaching prowess also took him to Taiwan, where he was the World University and National Team coach for the women’s teams for four years. His teams won the Asia University Championship and a bronze medal in the World University Games.

But coaching wasn’t the only thing in Wagner’s resume, He spent 23 years as the athletic director at BYU Hawaii. He was a board member for the NCAA Division II tennis championship committee, the basketball championship committee, and served on the basketball rules committee for all divisions. The school transitioned from NAIA to the
NCAA Division II while Wagner served as the athletics director, and won over 20 National Championships as an athletic program.

Assistants who coached under him included well known Utah coaches Rob Nielson, Dave Rose, Quincy Lewis, Carl Ingersoll, Glen Potter, John Wardenburg, David Evans, Paul Peterson, Steve Trumbo, and Jarinn and Brandyn Akana.

Ken graduated from BYU with post graduate work at the University of Utah. He is married to the former Lisa Taylor. They have four children, Jenna, Kelsey, Kenyon and Gehrig.

Distinguished High School Coaches

Kory Bosgieter

Kory Bosgieter was one of the most dominant high school football coaches in Weber
County for over 25 years, amassing a record that would be the envy of any coach.
He spent much of his career in Weber County.

He prepped at Bonneville High School where he played for legendary Laker coach, Thom Budge. After playing football at Weber State University, Bosgieter began his ascension in the coaching ranks. He spent 18 years as a head coach in his career including being an assistant coach at Snow College in 2003.

Bosgieter got his first head coaching job at Weber High School, where he coached form 1994-2002. His Warriors won the 4A state championship in 1999, the school’s second state championship in its 96 year history. He was selected as the 1999 UFCA Coach of the Year. He also served as the athletic director and was awarded the Weber School District’s E+ Team Award in 2002.

He succeeded Blaine Monkers at the helm of Fremont High School in 2008 where he stayed as head coach until 2016. In 2011, the veteran coach was named the UHSAA Coach of the Year. He was the 2014 All-Area Coach of the Year as well. His career included four Region One titles. Bosgieter coached the Silverwolves to the 5A state finals in 2010 and 2011 led by future NFL player, Nick Vigil.

Over his impressive career, he amassed a record of 108-87 with 5 region titles (1 at Weber and 4 at Fremont). His teams make the state playoffs 12 times in 18 years. His record at state included a 15-11 overall mark and a 3-1 record in the
state semifinals. In 2020, his alma mater honored him for his outstanding career by inducting him into the Bonneville Laker Athletic Hall of Fame.

He resides in Washington Terrace. He and his wife Diane have two children, Blake and Brooke.

Mike Favero

Long time Logan High football coach Mike Favero left quite a legacy when he stepped away from the Grizzlies’ program after the 2015 season. From state championships to allstate
players, there was little he didn’t accomplish.

In 17 years as head coach, his teams won five state championships, finished second once and amassed eight region titles. His career record was an eye-popping 149-60.

“I didn’t spend a lot of time worrying about winning,” Favero told the Logan Herald-Journal when he retired. “I tried to build a program that gave us the best chance to be successful. I’ve lost a lot and had my butt kicked many times.”

Favero coached 12 Utah National Football Foundation Scholar-Leader Athletes, six Utah Most Valuable Players and 56 first-team All-State players. His accolades included being the 2018 National Football Foundation and College Hall
of Fame Utah Chapter Outstanding High School Football Coach. In 2008, he was the UHSAA Coach of the Year and the National Federation of High School Coaches Western United States Coach of the Year. Favero was a five time Utah Football Coaches Association Coach of the Year.

He was also invited to be a national speaker for Glazier Football Clinics educating coaches and promoting the sport of football. “I view stepping down as a celebration as opposed to being sad,” Favero told the Herald Journal. “Obviously, there is some sadness associated with it. I love Logan High School. It’s been 28 years of joy.”

Favero was born in San Diego where he attended Helix High School, the same high school Bill Walton attended. He received graduate and post-graduate degrees from Utah State University. The Logan resident is married to Heidi and they have two sons, Jace and Easton.

Mike LaHargoue

Few high school coaches can match Mike LaHargoue’s record in four different sports. Over the course of a 27-year career, he coached boys’ soccer, girls’ soccer, softball and baseball, compiling an eye-popping record of 530 wins, 76 losses and four ties.

Where didn’t he have success?

He won four girls’ soccer state titles and one baseball championship. His teams finished second in state eight times, include six in soccer, one in softball and one in baseball. His women’s soccer teams played in 14 Final Fours. He coached softball for five years, making the state semifinals four times.

When LaHargoue coached soccer at Mountain View, two of his players were Shauna Rohbock and Noelle Pikus-Pace, who both earned silver medals in the Winter Olympics. As an assistant baseball coach, he helped develop players such as former BYU assistant Ryan Roberts, Los Angeles Dodger and Yankees player Mitch Jones, Angels player Casey Child and Salt Lake Community College coach D.G. Nelson.

As head coach at Lone Peak, his girls’ soccer team took home three second-place state finishes and three league titles. His baseball teams captured one state title, finished second once and won region twice.

These resulted in some nice honors over the years, including winning Utah Softball Coaches Association Coach of the Year in 2000, Utah High School Soccer Coach of the Year and Salt Lake Tribune Women’s Soccer Coach of the Year in 2001. The Daily Herald named him Baseball Coach of the Year in 2008 and one of the top 100 People in the State of Utah in 2007. He was the Daily Herald Baseball Coach of the Year in 2010 and the Utah High School Coaches association Coach of the Year in 2010.

He and his wife Susan live in Highland. They are parents of Kamden and Trevor, and grandparents to two grandsons Ziggy and Sunny. LaHargoue attended BYU with post graduate work at Grand Canyon University. He is currently an adaptive PE teacher for the Alpine School District.

“I want to surround myself with quality assistant coaches who can help out,” he said. “This is not my show. I rely on them to help me out a lot.”

Steve Marsing

Only an elite few Utah swimming coaches can match the success of Steve Marsing, who found success in 10 years at Skyline, 15 years at Hunter and 8 years at Wasatch.

In his 33 years as a prep coach, Marsing won four state men’s swimming championships, one women’s swimming title, 10 state men’s and women’s water polo championships and 21 women’s and 17 men’s region titles.

Marsing, who now lives in Francis, graduated from Kearns High School and the University of Utah. He did post graduate work at BYU and Utah. He formerly served as the athletic administrator for Hunter and Wasatch High Schools and currently serves as the Swim Director for the UHSAA.

He has been honored with numerous awards recognizing his illustrious career. These include the1999 National women’s Swim Coach of the Year; the1999 and 2011 Section 7 Men’s Swim Coach of the Year; the USCA Coach of the Year 12 times, the 2011 UHSAA Men’s Coach of the Year, and the 2012 NISCA Outstanding Service Award. As athletic director, Steve received the 2008 UIAAA State Award of Merit.

Marsing served for over 30 years as the Utah High School State Swim Meet Director and over 15 years as the Utah State Water Polo Tournament director. He spent a term as the coaches’ representative at the USA local swim board and
served two terms as the Utah Swim Coaches Association President.

Steve served one term as President of the UIAAA and multiple terms on the UIAAA ADEC board.

Marsing and his wife of 45 years, Susan, are parents to Shawn, Chad, Ashley and Tyler. Steve and his wife are enjoying every moment with their 9 grandchildren.

Lee Mitchell

The best way to describe Lee Mitchell is that he was a pioneer for Utah high school soccer. And he was pretty darned successful in that capacity.

“Mitchell is a pioneer in the sport of soccer,” Utah High School Activities Association Executive Director Rob Cuff told Ron Bevan of City Journals. “He is a great ambassador to high school sports. His impact and influence on soccer in Utah will never be forgotten.”

Mitchell was the only soccer coach at Alta High School for 35 years. He coached boys and girls teams from their start as recognized high school sports in 1983 and 1989.

During that illustrious career, Mitchell won eight boys’ titles and eight girls’ titles. At one point, he captured a record four straight girls’ championships. The now retired coach was inducted into the Utah High School Activities Association’s Circle of Fame in 2020. He leads the state in total wins with 427 on the boys’ side and 414 girls’ victories.

Mitchell had never coached soccer when taking over Alta’s program. “We figured it out as we went,” he told Bevan. “I had a learning curve I had to go through. The first few years were rough.”

Mitchell built his programs on the principles of hard work, cohesiveness, respect and integrity. With many soccer players coming from club and comp teams, that cohesiveness was probably his biggest challenge.

In the end, Mitchell will always be known as one of the pioneers of Utah High School soccer.

Mitchell and his wife Kim have 6 children, Kelli (deceased), Ashley, Jessica, Elijah, Kaden and Mason.

Mike Ripplinger

In November of 2003, legendary Box Elder High School wrestling coach Mike Ripplinger was recognized on the floor of the United States Congress as an “Everyday Hero.” The hundreds of young men he mentored in 32 years of coaching at the Brigham City school would likely add a hearty “Amen” to that accolade.

Ripplinger’s record speaks for itself. He won six state wrestling titles and finished second 13 other times. He coached the Bees to 25 region championships. His wrestlers won 58 individual state titles while another 298 finished in the top 6 state places. Nineteen of his athletes captured all-American honors.

These accomplishments earned him Utah Wrestling Coach of the Year honors seven times. He was the National Wrestling Coach of the Year in 2005 and was four times the Western Regional Wrestling Coach of the Year. He was inducted into the Utah Wrestling Hall of Fame in 2018.

Ripplinger also gave back to the sport he loved. He served six years as the USA Utah State Kids Wrestling Director and is a past president of the Utah Wrestling Coaches Association. The veteran coach also was a star in the classroom, being named Box Elder Teacher of the Year during the 2017-2018 school year.

Mike told Patrick Carr at the Ogden Standard Examiner in an interview when he retired, “Good support from family, my wife had to be really patient, she’s just a rock-solid support. I’ve had great assistants, so they’ve taken quite a bit of the
work. It’s a great community. A lot of good support.”

The native of Driggs, Idaho, is married to Tracey Kay. They are the parents of Britney Tyger, Brandon, Matthew, Holly Mellor and Kaylee Gutke. Ripplinger, who graduated from Ricks College and Weber State University, retired in 2018.

Cindy Stuart

Cindy Stuart seemed an unlikely person to become the winningest high school volleyball coach in Utah history.

She was a basketball player in high school and college. Her basketball playing days took her to UNLV, where her team destroyed Utah State by almost 100 points in 1977. That resulted in her being offered a job as the Aggies’ women’s basketball coach when she was 21.

According to a 2019 story on her retirement by KSL, Stuart coached the Aggies from 1978 to She met her husband, the late Bill Stuart, a cattle rancher who took her to tiny Randolph.

She was approached about coaching volleyball, not basketball. “They wanted me to coach their volleyball and I said ‘well I don’t even know how to keep score in volleyball.’” She was a quick study.

Coaching at tiny Rich High School, with a short stint at Evanston, Wyo., Stuart put together quite a record. From 1986 through 2018, she recorded 722 wins and 15 state championships. Those titles included four straight with her daughter Sammi.

In the KSL story, she credited BYU men’s coach Carl McGown for being a mentor. And, yes, Stuart also got a chance to coach girls’ basketball at Rich, taking the head job for four years.

Since retiring from coaching, Cindy has continued teaching both high school and elementary school kids. “Other than that,” she told KSL, “I’m probably going to help the grandkids and the calves.”

Cindy and the late Bill Stuart are the parents of Sammie, Louie and spouse Chelsie, Tyler and spouse Kylee and Parker and spouse Katie. They have 10 grandchildren.