Spokane, WA -- The Spokane region boasts more than its share of athletic excellence. That's why we love honoring those who make Spokane a special place for sports. On Oct. 22 at the Spokane Veteran's Memorial Arena, the Inland Northwest Sports Hall of Fame will honor seven outstanding people. Pat Falloon, Carl Johnson, Bobby Brett, Jerry Krause and Gary Lindeblad will be inducted to the Hall of Fame. Local athletic contributions of Mel Olson and Mike Vlahovich will also be honored with the addition of their names to the Scroll of Honor. The Induction Ceremony is open to the public and begins at 11am with Inductee Introductions and reception followed by the program and luncheon beginning at 11:45am. Tickets are now available for purchase, $30 per person. Visit us online for more about the Inland Northwest Sports Hall of Fame.
2013 HALL OF FAME INDUCTEES
Pat Falloon - Spokane Chiefs Hockey - The Manitoba native led the Spokane Chiefs to the 1991 Memorial Cup junior hockey championship in Quebec after storming through the Western Hockey League playoffs. Falloon was named tournament most valuable player, scoring eight goals in the Chiefs' four wins. He finished his three-year career (1989-91) as the Chiefs' all-time goal scorer with 146 plus 194 assists. He scored 138 points, including 64 goals in 61 games, during the Memorial Cup run. He was the first draft pick in the history of the San Jose Sharks franchise and second overall behind Eric Lindros in the 1991 National Hockey League draft. After a solid rookie season when he led the Sharks in scoring with 25 goals and 59 points, he played for Team Canada in the World Championships. He played in 575 NHL games (1991-2000) with five teams and had 143 goals and 179 assists.
Carl Johnson - University of Michigan track and field, Lewis and Clark High School (deceased)- The son of a Spokane doctor was the silver medalist in the long jump in the 1920 Olympic Games in Antwerp, Belgium, with a jump of 23 feet, 3 ¼ inches, missing the gold medal by 2 ¼ inches behind Sweden's William Petersson. In 1915, he won four events and broke three city records for Lewis and Clark in the all-city dual with North Central at Glover Field in Peaceful Valley. Marks included 15.8 seconds in the high hurdles and 22-6 ½ in the long jump. He and Evan Pearson of NC were sent by local boosters to what was called the National Interscholastics meet, staged by Amos Alonzo Stagg at the University of Chicago and luring athletes from 130 schools in 15 states. Johnson placed second in the 220-yard low hurdles (25.6) and fourth in the high jump (5-10), and won the long jump with a leap 23-4 ½, missing the national high school record by less than an inch. That mark still stands as LC's school record, 98 years later. A 1915 LCHS grad, Johnson then enrolled at the University of Michigan, the alma mater of his father. He was a member of the track team from 1918 to 1920. He led Michigan to the 1918 Western Conference (Big Ten) championships both indoors and out, winning three events in both. In 1919, he became the first athlete to win four events at the Big 10 meet, setting records in the long jump (24-1) and high jump (6-2 ¼). As team captain in 1920, he won four events at a meet in Chicago and set a Big 10 record in the 60-yard hurdles (7.6 seconds). In his Michigan career, he won 16 Big Ten titles and was the 1920 Big Ten Conference Medal of Honor winner. He was a charter inductee to the University of Michigan track hall of fame in 2006, 74 years after his death. He died at age 34 from peritonitis, the result of acute appendicitis.
Bobby Brett - Pro sports owner - Born in Brooklyn and raised in El Segundo, California, the real estate investor purchased the Spokane Indians baseball team of the Northwest League in 1985. He moved to Spokane five years later in 1990 after purchasing the Spokane Chiefs of the Western Hockey League. Under his leadership the Indians and Chiefs have become model franchises. More than nine million spectators have attended Brett productions including the Memorial Cup, Junior Hockey's first outdoor game, NHL exhibition game, Northwest League All-Star Game and the USISL Premier League Soccer Championships when his group owned the Spokane Shadow soccer team. The Chiefs have won two Memorial Cups and hosted one Memorial Cup Tournament. Brett's Indians have won eight Northwest League championships while partnering with Spokane County to make Avista Stadium a minor league gem. He has also been a consistent supporter of youth activities in Spokane County. He is a graduate of Cal Poly Pomona with a teaching credential from Loyola Marymount University. He's owned several other minor league baseball franchises and has served two terms on Minor League Baseball's Board of Trustees.
Jerry Krause - Basketball book author, researcher, coach - The Nebraska native was head basketball coach at Eastern Washington University for 17 years and has worked at Gonzaga University for 20, seven as part-time assistant coach and 13 as director of men's basketball operations for head coach Mark Few. For 35 years he has been research chairman for National Association of Basketball Coaches and was a long-standing member of the NCAA Basketball Rules Committee. He was involved in rules changes that brought about the 45-second and later the 35-second shot clock, the 3-point shot and the breakaway rim. Other changes he's helped introduce include improved backboards, padding around backboard and raising the bottoms of backboards. He received award from the NABC for inventing, developing and patenting a device to test rims for consistency, now used at all Division I schools and in the NBA. He's served as a clinician across the world: Pacific Rim, South America, northern Europe, every province in Canada and the U.S.His books (34) and videos (33) are read and used worldwide. He presents each year at the Final Four. He recently passed Clair Bee (the Chip Hilton Books) as the most prolific author of basketball books in history. During his EWU tenure he had just three losing seasons and is the second winningest coach in school history, 262-196.
Gary Lindeblad - Golf pro - He has spent 40 years as a professional at golf courses in the Inland Northwest and founded the Rosauers Open Invitational golf tournament in 1988. The tournament raises more than $125,000 annually - more than $2.5 million in all - for the Vanessa Behan Crisis Nursery, a nonprofit organization that serves abused children in the Spokane area. He graduated from North Central High School in 1968 and received an accounting degree in 1972 from Eastern Washington University, where he played in the NAIA national championships four years. He helped his teams win three conference and four district titles. He became a golf pro, first spending 12 years at Liberty Lake Golf Course. Then he moved to Indian Canyon Golf Course in 1985. Golf Digest named Indian Canyon one of the top 25 public courses in the United States. Lindeblad has received more than 40 Inland Empire Chapter and Pacific Northwest Section awards for his service to the PGA, golf instruction and junior golf. In 1995, Gary was named Golf Business Magazine's "Golf Professional of the Year." As a tribute to his mentoring skills, at least 12 of his former employees have gone on to become head golf pros or head golf coaches. His playing career also continued to flourish after leaving Eastern, including titles in the 1990 Rosauers Open and the 1995 Lilac City Invitational. Lindeblad has played on 11 PNWPGA Section Hudson Cup teams, was the captain in 2004 and has won numerous chapter and section titles. In 2007, he was voted into the Pacific Northwest Section of the Professional Golfers' Association of America (PNWPGA) Hall of Fame.
Scroll of Honor Inductees
Mel Olson - Radio broadcaster, coach - For 50 years Mel Olson has been the play-by-play broadcaster at KSBN radio in Moses Lake, making the call for football, basketball and wrestling. He is probably best known for broadcasting the wildly successful Chiefs wrestling program. With his wife and assistant Vicki feeding him information, Olson has been a unique presence at prep wrestling matches throughout the state. He was head wrestling coach at Chief Moses Junior High from 1958-75, compiling a 140-10 record. He also coached junior high football with equal success. Twenty of his junior high wrestlers became state prep champions. He helped start the Moses Lake kids' wrestling program in the early 1960s. He is a former national sailing champion, National Ski Patrol member and bicyclist. He spent more than three years in the Army where he was awarded the Bronze Star for valor and the Purple Heart during the Korean War. He graduated from Davis High School in Yakima in 1946 and Washington State University in 1950 and received a Master's Degree in 2005. He was also inducted into the Washington Chapter of the National Wrestling Hall of Fame in 2004.
Mike Vlahovich - Sportswriter, volunteer - In 2013 Mike Vlahovich reached his 45th consecutive year of covering prep sports in the greater Spokane area, first as sports editor for the Spokane Valley Herald (24 years), then 21 years at The Spokesman-Review. He's covered more than 150 state tournaments - not games - every H.S. sport (18), plus assorted college sports, Hoopfest, Bloomsday, adult recreation sports, summer youth sports and more. Behind the scenes, the West Valley High School and Washington State University graduate spearheaded the Inland Northwest Sportswriters and Broadcasters athlete, team and coach of the year awards. For more than 40 years, Vlahovich has spent countless hours researching nominees and compiling and counting the ballots. He was also a volunteer and committee member for the annual Sports Awards Banquet and the Junior Sports Luncheon. He has served as SWABs president for more than 20 years and is a 25-year member of the Inland Northwest Sports Hall of Fame committee. He has been a longtime volunteer for the Spokane Valley youth baseball league, serving as coach and schedule maker.