HALL OF FAME HONOREES
CLASS OF 1989
Hugh Cannon helped establish Davis High School as a long-time Utah track power when he set a high school discus record in 1932. He played basketball for both Davis and BYU and also was a track star for the Cougars. Cannon held the conference record in the discus for 20 years, a sport where he set an American record in 1943. He won the national AAU discus title in 1943 and 1944, and set a world record in the sport in 1943. Cannon captured the Penn Relays title in 1943 and 1944.
Cleverly, a Davis High and University of Utah graduate, was one of the more influential baseball players of his era. After winning all-state honors in basketball and football for the Darts, Cleverly went on to play basketball and baseball at the University of Utah, where he was the first two-sport letterman to be elected to the school’s Athletic Hall of Fame. Cleverly was selected first-team All-American on the Little American team in basketball for players 5-feet-10 and under. In 1951, he earned first-team All-American honors as a second baseman. He played professional baseball in the Cleveland Indians organization for eight years and was a long-time basketball coach at Viewmont High.
Jim Gaddis began his fine athletic career lettering for three years in skiing and golf at East High and the University of Utah. While competing for the Utes, he won the NCAA alpine championship in 1961 and the combined alpine title in 1962. He earned NCAA All-American skiing honors in 1960 and again in 1962. In 1962, he captured the national giant slalom title. Gaddis continued his legacy of skiing excellence by winning three national Snow Cup titles and four other national skiing championships. He then passed on his knowledge and love of skiing by founding the Utah Junior Ski Program.
Harry James was one of the 20th Century’s great influences on the Utah tennis scene. Though perhaps best-known as the University of Utah tennis coach for 26 years, James had a national footprint as well. He served as the president of the Intercollegiate Tennis Coaches Association and vice president of the National Public Parks Tennis Association. James’ Ute teams won 12 Western Athletic Conference championships and he coached seven All-Americans. On the area tennis scene, he was president of the Utah Tennis Association and the Intermountain Tennis Association. He was also the director of the Salt Lake County Recreation tennis program.
Hack Miller was known for his colorful prose as the Deseret News sports editor for 40 years, earning a reputation as a college and outdoor writer. The Granite High and University of Utah graduate was an outstanding basketball player, winning all-state and all-conference honors in basketball. He served as president of the U.S. Basketball Writers Association, a director of the Outdoor Writers Association of America and a member of the U.S. Football Writers Association. Hack covered six Olympics, two World Series, four U.S. Open golf championships, the Masters twice and golf’s Tournament of Champions for 25 years.
CLASS OF 1988
Merrill Douglas made his mark in football as both a player and as an official. He played football at Granite and Olympus High Schools, earning all-state fullback honors his junior and senior seasons. That earned him a chance to play college football at the University of Utah, where he was All-Conference his junior and senior years and the conference scoring leader in 1957. Those efforts earned him the right to play in the East-West Shrine Game in 1957. From there, he played professional football for five years with the Chicago Bears, the Dallas Cowboys and the Philadelphia Eagles. After his playing career, Douglas was a long-time NFL referee.
Few Utahns could match Hammel’s passion for tennis as a player, coach and tournament official. Hammel played tennis at East High, where he later coached tennis, and the University of Utah. In 1948, he was ranked third nationally in men’s singles. That led to a career in senior tennis where he was ranked number one in 1981 in the 55-year-old division. He remained ranked in the top 10 in singles and doubles for the next 10 years. He represented the U.S. on the Britannica Cup team in London, winning all three matches and going unbeaten. A generation of tennis players also knew him as the colorful organizer of The Salt Lake Tribune’s No Champs tennis tournament.
Jan Bucher, a Highland High and University of Utah graduate, was one of the pioneers of ballet skiing and also one of its most accomplished practitioners. She won the world title seven times and the national championship six times. In World Cup competition, she captured an amazing 46 titles. Bucher won the Carrera Award, the U.S. Freestyle Athlete of the Year and the United States Ski Association National Freestyle Championship award, all during the 1983 season. Those honors gained her fame and features in numerous national magazines and on television programs.
Suzy Harris Rytting was one of the pioneers of Utah ski racing and among the first to be selected to represent the United States in Olympic skiing. The East High and University of Utah graduate was selected on two U.S. Olympic teams (1949 and 1952) as well as one National Federation team. Those selections earned her the honor of being inducted into the National Ski Hall of Fame in Michigan, Rytting won the Herbert Snow Cup in downhill in 1947 and the Harriman Cup in the downhill in 1948. She became a national champion in 1948, when she won nine races. She was named one of Utah’s Top 50 Athletes of the 20th Century by The Salt Lake Tribune in 1999.
Few Utahns excelled in as many different sports as Frank “Buss” Williams. After graduating from Davis High School, where he was All-State in football and wrestling for two years, Williams won eight letters at Utah State University. He was western division wrestling and discus champion while competing for the Aggies and All-Conference in football for two years, He competed in the javelin, hammer throw and high hurdles. He earned medals in the national AAU track meet in the hammer throw, discus and 56-pound hammer throw. Williams also played professional football for the New York Giants and Green Bay Packers before serving as the USU Athletic Director for nine years.
CLASS OF 1987
Utah football’s reputation for producing some of the nation’s top punters began with Marv Bateman’s play for the Utes in the late 1960s and early 1970s after graduation from Highland High School. He was an All-Conference punter two years in a row who played in the East-West Shrine Game, Hula Bowl, Coaches All-American Game, and the Coaches All-Stars. He was a consensus All-American. Drafted in the third round in 1972 by the Dallas Cowboys, Bateman played pro football for Dallas, Buffalo, San Francisco and St. Louis and was named an All-Pro while at Buffalo.
Gus Becker, a long-time Ogden brewer who was probably known as much for the beer that bore his name as for his athletic prowess, established quite a record as a trap shooter. He represented the United States in the 1924 Olympics and at one time, held the world record for double and single handicap trapshooting. Becker proudly made Ogden his home. He was the Utah State Trapshooting champion in 1916, the St. Joe Valley Champion in 1918, the Chesapeake champ in 1930 and Ogden Gun Champion in 1934. He also tested a number of Browning Arms inventions.
Jenson did a bit of everything in Utah sports. He was a state bowling champion and won the state horseshoe pitching contest. A former Salt Lake County Commissioner, he also served on the Utah State Parks and Recreation Board for 17 years. But he is best known as a boxing promoter who worked with young boys and prospective boxers. He trained world champion Gene Fullmer and well-known Rex Layne, bringing stature to Utah during the golden age of boxing with Fullmer rising to fame as Middleweight Champion of the world in 1957 and again in 1959.
Art Teece might be best known as the man who helped bring professional hockey to Salt Lake City. He became involved with the Salt Lake Golden Eagles when the Salt Palace opened in 1969. Though he spent much of his life running and owning concessions at sporting events, he also owned the Salt Lake entry in both the Pioneer and Pacific Coast League baseball leagues. Teece was named the Pioneer League Baseball Executive of the Year in 1968 and Pacific Coast League Executive of the Year in 1976. Hockey also honored him, giving him the Campbell Trophy in 1978. The Utah Multiple Sclerosis Society named him Utah Sportsmen of the Year in 1981.
John Thompson was a high school star at Dixie High School, where he played on a state title team. Then he moved on to play basketball at Montana State University, leading the Golden Bobcats to the consolation title at the 1926 NIT, then a bigger basketball tournament than today’s NCAAs. “The Cat” was All-Conference and All-American from 1927 to 1930 and earned college Player of the Year in 1929. Thompson was inducted into the Helms Hall of Fame in 1929, the Naismith Hall of Fame in 1962, and the Montana Hall of Fame in 1926.
CLASS OF 1986
Dick Felt started his athletic career at Lehi High School, where he was an all-around athlete. From there, he played halfback and defensive back for BYU, earning All-Conference and All-American honorable mention his senior year. He joined the Air Force and was named MVP of the All-Service team in 1959. After that, Felt played professionally for the New York Titans and Boston Patriots. He played with the Patriots for the American Football League title in 1962 and 1963 and was an All-Pro defensive back in 1961. He was on LaVell Edwards’ BYU staff, serving as a long-time defensive coordinator.
Earl Lindley was one of the finest athletes to ever come out of Cache Valley. His career began at South Cache High School, where he earned 11 letters in football, track, basketball, and wrestling. From there, he played football for Utah State University, leading the nation in scoring with 13 touchdowns in 1953. That earned him second team All-American honors. Lindley played professionally for three years for the Edmonton Canadian Football League team, leading it to three straight titles. From there, he was the BYU backfield coach from 1961 through 1968, before finishing his career as a football coach and athletic administrator at Sky View High School.
With her distinctive English accent and love for tennis, Kathy Rothfels inspired hundreds of tennis players with her enthusiasm for decades. The graduate of Bedford College in London, England, was a long-time manager of the Salt Lake Swimming and Tennis Club. She began pursuing national tennis championships in the late 1970s with great success. Rothfels won the national 50 singles championship in 1979 and 1983 and the 1984 national hardcourt singles title. In 1985, she reached the finals of the National Clay Court 55-60 singles division and national grass court doubles. She spent many of her senior years ranked nationally.
Owen Rowe lettered all four years he attended BYU in football, basketball and track, but was best known for his track exploits, especially the low hurdles. In 1927, he had the fastest time in the United States in the 220-yard low hurdles. He was the national AAU champion in 1928 in the 220 dash. Owen won first place in the low hurdles, 100-yard dash, 220-yard dash, broad jump and ran anchor on the 880-yard relay team for BYU in a Rocky Mountain Conference meet. His nickname was “The Human Rocket.”
CLASS OF 1985
Bascom was an all-around rodeo star in the 1930’s, placing second in the Calgary Stampede, and is credited with designing rodeo’s first hornless saddle. Born on a Vernal ranch in 1906, Bascom was known as an inventor, cowboy and artist, earning a national reputation. He created rodeo’s first hornless saddle, helped invent the chute that allows horses and bulls to come out sideways. He was a fine cowboy, finishing second in the World Championship Rodeo in Calgary and winning all-around titles in 1935, 1937 and 1939. He was known almost as much as a sculptor and painter of rodeo-themed art, with collectors displaying his work throughout North America. He earned an honorary membership in the Professional Rodeo Cowboys’ Association of America and the Canadian Rodeo Association.
Doug Howard was one of the best-known high school athletes of the 1960s, starring in basketball for Highland High in 1966. But he made his name as a baseball player for BYU, where he earned All-American honors in 1969 and 1970. Howard played professional baseball for seven years with the St. Louis Cardinals, California Angels and Cleveland Indians organization and was a popular player with the Salt Lake Gulls in 1973. Howard also played guard for the BYU basketball team and was drafted by the Chicago Bulls NBA team in 1970, but elected to play baseball.
Few basketball players have had as much of an impact on Utah hoops as Dick Nemelka. He dazzled the state as a high school, college and pro basketball player. Nemelka began his storied career as an all-state basketball player at West, where he earned high school All-American honors. He was all conference while playing basketball for BYU and was a consensus All-American in 1966. That was the year he led the Cougars to the NIT title. Nemelka was drafted number one by the Atlanta Hawks of the NBA and played on the ABA Utah Stars championship team in 1971.
One of the famous Olsen brothers, Phil Olsen had a distinguished career at Logan High, college and in the pros. Olsen played for Utah State from 1967 through 1969, leading the Aggies to two wins over Utah and BYU and earning first-team consensus All-American honors in 1969. He played in the East-West Shrine, Hula Bowl and College All-Star Games. He was a first-round draft pick by the Boston Patriots of the NFL and played eight years in the pros, including two years as defensive tackle with the L.A. Rams where he played side-by-side with his brother, Merlin in 1971-72. He had 68 tackles and five sacks in his NFL career. Sports Illustrated names him one of Utah’s top athletes of the 20th Century.
While many fans will remember Murray High School graduate Glen Tuckett as BYU’s athletic director, he was one of the Utah’s finest baseball players and coaches. Tuckett coached baseball and football at West High school. After playing professional baseball for nine years, he was the head baseball coach at BYU for 17 years. During that tenure, he served as president of the College Baseball Coaches Association in 1977. He also served as a member of the NCAA Rules Committee for six years. He was voted into the College Coaches Hall of Fame in 1982, inducted into the BYU Hall of Fame in 1982, and won the coveted Dale Rex Award for excellence in athletics at BYU in 1983.
CLASS OF 1984
Dick Ball was known for his friendly attitude and big smile as a basketball official. The 1932 East High graduate officiated in 14 state high school basketball finals and was selected to referee in four NCAA basketball tournaments. He also served many years as president of the Salt Lake Basketball Officials Association and was voted basketball Official of the Century for the first 100 years of Utah sports. Ball also made quite a name for himself in softball. He played on 10 state champion softball teams and coached the 1953 Utah Shamrocks to a second-place finish in the national tournament. Dick was inducted into the Utah Softball Hall of Fame in 1984.
Fern Gardner is truly a pioneer of women’s sports in Utah. Both as an athlete and as an administrator and coach. The Bear River High and Utah State graduate made her mark as an athlete in softball, pitching for the Utah Shamrocks for 21 years. She played in 13 national tournaments, gaining All-American honors in 1970. She was also an accomplished basketball player who played in six national AAU tournaments with the Utah Lakers. She served as both women’s basketball coach and Associate Athletic Director at the University of Utah, ushering the Ute program into the Title IX era. She coached the Utes to 319 total victories, averaging 22 wins a season in eight years as the Ute basketball coach. She was named to the National Association of Collegiate Athletic Directors Hall of Fame.
Hess was an all-conference football player and track athlete for the University of Utah, and became a longtime coach at the school, most notably in wrestling. Though he never wrestled, Marv Hess made his biggest mark in that sport. He was the long-time University of Utah wrestling coach, president of the National Wrestling Coaches Association and a member of the National Wrestling Hall of Fame. Hess also worked as an assistant football and track coach at Utah. He was the head track coach from 1958 through 1964. A fine athlete, he was an all-state football, basketball and track athlete from Davis High in 1944. He played on Utah’s 1947 NIT basketball team and was All-Conference in track for the Utes for three years and All-Conference in football in 1949.
Singleton played and coached in professional baseball for 24 years, winning 13 games as a major league pitcher. Only a few Utahns enjoyed as fine of a professional baseball career as Weber County resident Elmer Singleton. He played and coached in professional baseball for 24 years. That stint included 17 years of AAA play and seven years in the major leagues. His career included a pitching record of 200 wins, 13 of those coming in the Major Leagues. He graduated from Weber High in 1936 and pitched for the Farm Bureau League in Plain City before signing his first pro contract with the Ogden Reds in 1939. The 6-foot-2 hurler was a right-hander.
CLASS OF 1983
Carl Clark was the first pole vaulter in Rocky Mountain Conference history to clear 14 feet. He did it using a bamboo pole. His record stood for 14 years. The Coalville native was undefeated in conference and AAU competition in the pole vault, ranking ninth nationally. He was a champion at BYU from 1937 through 1940. Clark lettered in football, basketball and track at North Summit High School. He was the state high school pole vault champion in 1935. After serving in the Army, he became a dentist, practicing in Magna for 42 years.
Occie Evans became one of the most beloved baseball coaches and organizers in Utah after playing professional baseball with Ogden and Bakersfield in the California League and with Oakland and Seattle in the Pacific Coast League. The University of Utah basketball letterman coached baseball at Westminster College and helped with the organization of the first Little League baseball program in Salt Lake City. A long-time member of the Salt Lake County Sheriff’s department, Evans was responsible for the county’s school safety program for 22 years. He was a three-sport letterman at LDS High.
James “Bud” Jack was associated with University of Utah athletics for more than 40 years. He served as athletic director at the school from 1958 to 1976. He helped found the Western Athletic Conference. On a national level, Jack served as president of the National Association of Collegiate Directors of Athletics in 1971 and 1972. That group awarded him with its highest honor, the James J. Corbett Award. He is also a member of the Athletic Directors Hall of Fame, the Crimson Club Hall of Fame and the Granite High Hall of Fame. Bud was also active in the Olympic movement, serving on the U.S. Olympic Committee from 1965 to 1980.
Maughan was an all-conference football player and track athlete for Utah State, before working as the school’s longtime track coach. In many ways, Ralph Maughan could be described as “Mr. Aggie” after spending five decades as an athlete, administrator and coach at Utah State University. An All-Conference and honorable mention football player in 1942, 1946 and 1947 at USU, Maughan played one year of pro football for the Detroit Lions. He was an assistant basketball and football coach at Utah State before taking over the track program in 1951. He coached track until his retirement in 1988, also serving as the head of physical education and the dean of men. Maughan was an all-stater in football and basketball and state shot put and discus champion for South Cache High School.
CLASS OF 1982
Fred was born in Salt Lake City and attended South High School, where he excelled in swimming, basketball, track and football. He was a University of Utah athletic standout, setting conference records in the javelin throw and winning the conference diving title. After playing running back and cornerback for the Utes in football, he played for the NFL champion Cleveland Rams in 1945. He played 10 years in the pros, and in 1946, led the NFL with a 6.3-yard rushing average. He was named All-Pro by Pro Football Illustrated. He gained fame by developing logos for NFL helmets. He was vice-president of the Denver Broncos for over a decade, retiring in 1981.
The athlete most commonly known as “The Deacon,” was a star basketball and football player at Davis High School in Kaysville. After being selected All-State in both sports, he took his talents to Utah State University where he became All-Rocky Mountain Conference in 1955-56 as both a running back and kicker. He was selected an All-American in 1956. He was the 113th selection in the NFL draft by the Baltimore Colts, but chose the Canadian Football League in 1957-58 with the Saskatchewan Roughriders. He was MVP of the CFL in 1958 after scoring 145 points and was awarded the Dryburgh Trophy. He then played two years with the Denver Broncos.
Rod, known as “The Dragon,” was an all-around athlete in football, baseball and basketball at the LDS High School in Salt Lake City. He was always the leading hitter on the baseball team, paving the way for his career in fastpitch softball. He played on many state championship teams, alongside such legends as Doug Borg and Truman Little. He participated in seven national tournaments and in 1948, led the National Championship tournament in hitting on the Rudy and Headlund team and was named an All-American. In 1953, the Knight’s Wheeler Tire team placed third in the National Tournament in Clearwater, Fla., the highest-ever national finish for a Utah team. Rod, the team’s third baseman, was listed as a near .400 hitter for the entirety of his career.
Movitz skied the Wasatch Mountains from a young age, continuing on the slopes through his East High School days in Salt Lake City, and then on to the University of Utah’s national ski championship years and ultimately taming the hills in the Winter Olympics in St. Moritz, Switzerland. He captained the Utes’ National Intercollegiate Championship team in 1947 when he won the slalom title, a year after he won the slalom in the NCAA championships in
1946. He was on the U.S. team for the 1948 Olympics, competing in the inaugural Alpine event. He served on the U.S. Olympic Ski Selection committee and was a ski instructor for the Squaw Valley Olympics in 1960. He was inducted into the National Ski Hall of Fame in 1970.
Gordon was the original “Dusty” Rhodes. He was an all-around athlete at West High School in Salt Lake City, competing in baseball, basketball, football and track. He broke into pro baseball as a pitcher for Hollywood in the Pacific Coast League. That PCL stint set the stage for the Big Leagues, starting with the New York Yankees. For three years, he pitched for the Bronx Bombers (1929-1932), playing alongside greats like Babe Ruth, Lou Gehrig and Tony Lazzeri. He was traded to the Boston Red Sox and in 1934, posted a 12-12 record, his best season in an eight-year career that ended with the Philadelphia A’s. He won 43 games with a 4.83 earned run average in 135 starts with 47 complete games.
CLASS OF 1981
Ladell was one of the outstanding athletes of all time in Idaho at Malad City High School. At Utah State University, he was a three-year letterman in basketball, earning All-Skyline Conference honors three years and honorable mention All-America honors one season. He was head coach at USU from 1961-71 with a 173-96 record, five NCAA appearances and one NIT showing. He coached the Utah Stars to a pair of division titles in the American Basketball Association and had a 115-43 two-year record. He was USU’s athletic director (1973-83), then head coach at BYU from 1983-89 with a 114-71 record and three NCAA tournaments and one NIT appearance.
The pride of the town of Panguitch, Levi was an accomplished track athlete at Panguitch High School and Utah State University. He set Rocky Mountain Conference records in four events, the 100, 220, 440 and 880. He also set conference records in the broad jump and as a member of the mile relay team. His conference record of 47.8 seconds in the 440-yard dash stood for 32 years. Levi was selected to the U.S. National team versus Great Britain in 1931, running the anchor leg in a comeback victory of the two-mile relay team. That same year he was selected to the U.S. Olympic Track and Field team for the 1932 Games held in Los Angeles. However, the Great Depression took its toll. Despite tremendous fundraising efforts by his hometown, Levi was unable to compete due to travel costs.
“Robby,” a native of Fillmore and a track and basketball star at Millard High School, became a track and cross country legend at Brigham Young University and later a nationally renowned coach of the Cougars’ track team. He competed in the 880, mile and 2-mile events at BYU, setting conference records in the distance races. He was a member of the U.S. Track Team for the 1948 Olympic Games in London, competing in the 5,000 meters. He coached the BYU track team for 40 years. He produced 19 Western Athletic Conference titles. His team earned a Co-National Championship in 1970. He was inducted into the U.S. Track and Field Hall of Fame in 2002 and served as President of the USTF Coaches Association.
George, an Ogden native, attended high schools in Ogden and Salt Lake City, and was a University of Utah graduate. He was once labeled by golf legends Sam Snead and Ben Hogan as “one of the best” from tee to green on the PGA Tour. He was instrumental in organizing the PGA in 1947 and was its executive secretary for seven years. He won the Miami Open and Colorado Open on the PGA Tour. He defeated Sam Snead 6 to 5 in a 1946 PGA Championship match. He won the PGA Quarter Century Championship in 1963, competing against fellow PGA members of 25 years or more. He had 32 holes-in-one during his career.
The native of Tremonton was a high school standout in both football, wrestling (state heavyweight champion) and track. The shot put and discus catapulted him to national stature. After he set state records in the shot put and discus, he won All-America honors in track. At Utah State University, he set conference discus and shot records, finishing second at the NCAA meet and being named an All-American in 1958-59. He was on four Olympic Games discus teams for the United States, 1964 in Tokyo, 1968 in Mexico City, 1972 in Munich (a silver medal) and 1976 in Montreal. He set seven world records over his career.
CLASS OF 1980
Eldon, a Salt Lake City native and Granite High School graduate, was known in BYU football lore as “The Phantom.” Although a quarterback by position, the Y. ran the single wing offense, so he was basically a runner and amassed 1,149 rushing yards as a senior in 1962 and had six 100-yard games. He also passed for seven touchdowns. He was ranked second nationally in total offense. He was a first team All-American as voted by coaches, the first-ever first-team pick from BYU. He was selected to play in the North-South All-Star game, the Senior Bowl game and the Hula Bowl. He played one year with the Edmonton Oilers of the Canadian League. His No. 40 jersey was retired by BYU.
Rex was born and raised in Lewiston, Utah, and came off a sugar beet farm to join the military. It was in the service, with the 11th Airborne Division, where he began his boxing career as he volunteered to fight and won the Pacific Heavyweight Championship in Japan. He won the 1948 Amateur Athletic Union heavyweight championship in Boston. He turned professional in 1948 and fought eight years, compiling a record of 50-17-3, with 34 wins by knockout. He was undefeated in his first 17 bouts. He lost to heavyweight champion Rocky Marciano in May, 1951. He scored victories over champions Ezzard Charles and Jersey Joe Wolcott in non-title bouts.
Reed Knute Swenson was born in Provo and attended schools there, lettering in football. He coached Weber College’s basketball team from 1933 to 1957. He was also Weber’s football coach from 1933-36 and served as the school’s athletic director. His teams won seven conference titles. He was one of the founders of the National Junior College Athletic Association in 1948 and served as NJCAA President for 13 years. He was a key figure in Weber’s transition to a four-year institution and helped form the Big Sky Conference. He received a National Merit award from the NCAA in 1962 and a National Merit Award from the NJCAA in 1962. He was a Helms Hall of Fame inductee for Junior College Athletic Directors for service at Weber College.
Glen was an outstanding all-around athlete at Logan High School and college, participating in football, track and basketball. He was an All-Rocky Mountain Conference basketball player at Utah State University in 1928 and 1929. He was undefeated in the low and high hurdles as an Aggie. He placed third in the low hurdles at the 1929 NCAA track meet. Logan High School’s outdoor athletic complex is named after Glen “Zeus” Worthington, the Grizzlies’ athletic director from 1938-67. He was a longtime member of the National Board of the American Red Cross. He was inducted into the USU Athletics Hall of Fame in 1995.