CHSAA Hall of Fame announces 2015 class

Hall of Fame CHSAA

(Ryan Casey/CHSAANow.com)

AURORA — The Colorado High School Activities Association Hall of Fame has announced its 27th Hall of Fame class, including an 11-time state championship volleyball coach, a cornerstone in the CHSAA's large group music programs, a legendary swimming and diving coach, a 13-time state track and cross country champion, a six-decade sports reporter, an Olympic Gold Medlist, a standout hoopster and a long-time baseball and administrator in this year's class.

The CHSAA Hall of Fame's Class of 2015 includes Judy Beardsley (Merino/Sterling) who won 11 state championships in volleyball, Jess Gerardi, one of the state's finest band directors and music judges, Maurice "Stringy" Irvin (Littleton), a standout swimming coach at Littleton High School and 13-time track and cross country champion, Natalie Hughes (Palisade). Additionally, the CHSAA Hall of Fame is inducting long-time — active in six decades — reporter Irv Moss (The Denver Post), six-time Olympic champion and multi-All American swimmer Amy Van Dyken, one of the state's legendary basketball players Chuck Williams (Denver East) and long-time baseball coach and administrator Art Wollenweber (Sheridan) will be added to the list of inductees this year.

"This is one of the most exciting days of the year for the Association. We have the opportunity to demonstrate the end results of the many people who represent the values of educational athletics," CHSAA Commissioner Paul Angelico said in making the announcement. "This class, like those before it, shows the character, integrity and class that comes from participation in something bigger than one's self.

"From three absolutely educationally-focused coaches and music directors, to a career education administrator, to three highly successful athletes and adults, to a man who has literally spent over 50 years marking these accomplishments, this class reflects all that is high school sports and activities."

"The selection committee agonized over the selections, knowing that there are so many good people out there deserving of recognition," said CHSAA Hall of Fame administrator Bert Borgmann. "The one item of most importance to the committee is the impact that each of these inductees, like those that came before them, had had in their respective areas of the state. The 27th class reflects the efforts, passion and love Colorado has for high school activities."

The Class of 2015 will be inducted during a ceremony on Wednesday, January 27, 2015, at the Radisson Hotel-Denver (I-225 and Parker). Individual tickets may be purchased for $50 each by contacting Whitney Webermeier at wwebermeier@chsaa.org. The festivities get underway at 6:30 p.m. Seating is limited.

The selection of the one student participant to the CHSAA Hall of Fame puts the total number of participants in the hall at 60. There are now 63 coaches/sponsors, 28 administrators, 16 officials and nine significant service contributors enshrined in the CHSAA Hall of Fame that began in 1989. There are also four teams in the hall. The Hall of Fame now features 180 inductees.

Biographies of the newest additions to the hall include:

Judy Beardsley (Merino/Sterling) – One of the finest volleyball coaches in the state, Beardsley's teams have won 11 state titles, including 10 at Merino and one at Sterling. Her teams compiled records of 502-88 (85%) through last year. She was named Class 1A Coach of the Year on 10 occasions and has earned numerous other coaching honors, including induction last spring into the CHSCA Hall of Fame. Her teams were runners up four times, finished third on three occasions and earned three trips to the final four. Beardsley was named coach of the year on 16 occasions, including 2000 when she was the National High School Coaches Association's National Coach of the Year."

Jess Gerardi (Durango/Englewood) – The "godfather" of blending marching band and concert bands, Gerardi is recognized as the state's most balanced instrumental music director. His bands have excelled at the highest level, at the state, regional and national levels. He served in nearly every role possible in the Colorado Music Educators Association and Colorado Bandmasters Association (CBA). He is an accomplished judge as well, judging strings and bands with aplomb. Gerardi is a member of the CBA's Hall of Fame and the Colorado Music Educators Association's Hall of Fame. He was named "Citizen of the Year" in Englewood and "Colroado's Outstanding Music Educator" by the National Federation (NFHS) in 1994.  In 2006, Gerardi received the covetous "Citation of Excellence" award from the National Band Association. Of note is that Gerardi served as director of entertainment for the Denver Broncos Football Club and was director of the Denver Broncos Band from 1967 to 1998.

Maurice "Stringy" Ervin (Littleton) – A coach for five decades, Erwin's girls' swimming teams won five state championships and his boys' teams won another seven. He has coached 19 individual state champions, as well. He has also coached football and baseball. He has won too many honors to count and has been an integral part of the leadership team for the CHSCA. For a man who never learned to swim himself, Ervin can always be found at the pool coaching all levels of swimmer. He was a classroom teacher for LHS for over 30 years and is a meticulous record keeper. He was named the 1998 National Swimming Coach of the Year. He is the recipient of The Denver Post's Dave Sanders Award (2001), as well as multiple other coaching and leadership awards. As a three-sport high school athlete at LHS, he led his teams to a state championships in football (quarterback) and basketball.

Natalie Hughes (Palisade) – One of the state's most prolific runners, Hughes won 13 individual state titles in high school. She won three cross country titles (1997, 99, 00) and then won titles in the 800, 1600 and 3200 meters in track and field. She went on to run at Florida State where she was a seven-time All-American and eight-time All-ACC runner during her time with the Seminoles. She still holds the mile record at FSU.

Homer "Irv" Moss (The Denver Post) – Moss has been writing prep sports stories since 1955 and was in integral part of the early coverage for high school sports in Colorado. He and Manual Boody (CHSAA HoF 1990) were the first two newspaper writers to give life in the major papers to prep sports. He printed the CHSAA championship programs until 1988. He was hired as a part-timer while still a student at Denver West. If you are anyone in high school sports, you can't pass on into the next world without an obituary from Irv Moss. He was instrumental in developing the Metro vs. Suburbs Baseball All-Star game at Bears Stadium and remains one of the state's most compelling voices in sports, serving as a resource for prep, collegiate and professional sports in Colorado.

Amy Van Dyken-Rouen (Cherry Creek) – Van Dyken is now one of the world's most recognizable athletes after a stellar swimming career at Cherry Creek High School and Colorado State University. In high school, she set the state record in the 50 free and 100 butterfly. Her teams won state titles each year from 1987-1991. She was named the 1991 Female Swimmer of the Year. She competed in the Olympics winning six Gold Medals. After suffering a serious injury several years ago, she has become a strong spokesperson for the Paralympic athletes and those with spinal cord injuries.

Edward "Chuck" Williams (Denver East) – An all-state basketball and track athlete at Denver East High School, Williams is one of the state's finest basketball players. He played on three state championship teams, winning in football (1962), basketball (1964) and track (1964). He also played on a football and basketball team that finished runners-up. He earned All-State honors in football and basketball as a senior. He is a member of the DPS's All-Century Teams in both football and basketball.

Art Wollenweber (Sheridan) – One of the state's iconic coaches and administrators, Wollenweber baseball teams won over 300 games, captured seven league titles and made the state tournament eight times. As an administrator for SHS, Wollenweber played a key role in the Metro League, serving as the league secretary/treasurer from 1973-1989. He spent many years on the CHSAA Board of Control (Legislative Council) and was a member of the CHSAA Executive Committee (Board of Directors).

Additionally, the staff has selected Western Dairy Association to receive the Colorado Tradition Award. The staff has also selected Senator Nancy Todd (Aurora) and Rashaan Davis (Highlands Ranch HS) to receive the Distinguished Service Award this year.