Inductee Class of 2014
(Sault Ste. Marie)
An all-state hockey player and three-year baseball letterman at Sault High, Whitney Bell made his biggest splash in football. He was a two-time U.P. Dream Team and two-time all-state lineman at Sault, was a second-team Football Gazette lineman at Ferris State University, played in Arena Football League (Green Bay and Grand Rapids) and Canadian Football League (British Columbia) and helped the B.C. Lions win the Grey Cup (2006).
Mike (Carr) Caruso
A radio broadcaster from 1972-2012, Mike Caruso broadcast state championship games for six area high schools, handled the first wrestling broadcast in the area, from 1972-2009 he broadcast the Pine Mountain Ski Jump tournament and World Cup meets in 1996 and 2000, and did a weekly interview show with Michigan State University basketball coach Tom Izzo. He played Wishigan League baseball from 1966-88 and was MVP of the Felch Labor Day tournament (1975). He also played fastpitch softball for 20 years and spent 25 years as a Babe Ruth League baseball umpire.
All U.P. football and basketball player and Class C all-state football player at Bessemer High School, Jim Corgiat ran for more than 1,000 yards in 1956 and 1957 and was also a standout in track and field. Earned 12 varsity letters. He was known for his tapemeasure home runs and participated in the Milwaukee Braves' Silver Sluggers game. Turned down a minor league baseball contract offer to play football for Michigan State University, and averaged 27.5 yards per catch as a sophomore and helped the 1961 team to the best defensive record of allowing only 50 points. Had a tryout as a punter for Green Bay Packers in 1962. Achilles tendon injury short-circuited career. Helped Lansing Rockets win 1962 fastpitch softball ASA state title in 1962 and hit more than 700 career home runs in slowpitch softball for Oakland Merchants and helped Detroit Kennedy Optical win ASA Class C state slowpitch title in 1979.
Terry Duval spent more than three decades coaching football, wrestling and track teams at Escanaba High School (a total of 100 years). He was 205-60 in 17 years as head wrestling coach, and was an assistant for 13 years. He was also head boys track coach for seven of his 36 years with the program and was jayvee football head coach and assistant varsity football coach during 34 seasons. The U.P. team wrestling championship trophy is named in honor of Terry Duval. He wrestled, ran track and played football at Kingsford High School.
A three-sport athlete at Big Bay de Noc High School and MVP of the Lake Superior State University golf team, Jon LeBrasseur found tremendous success as a girls basketball coach in Texas. He compiled a stunning 850-211 record with 14 state championships in 35 years at tiny Sacred Heart High School in Muenster. The Tigerettes won seven straight titles (1998-2004). He also coached football, cross country, track, boys basketball and boys and girls golf, also winning state titles in track and golf.
A charter member of Michigan Tech University's sports hall of fame in 1985, Bill Lucier spent six seasons as Tech's head football coach (1963-68), leading the Huskies to two Northern Intercollegiate Conference titles. He was Associated Press small college coach of the year in Michigan in 1963 and NIC coach of the year in 1963 and 1965. He participated in seven NCAA hockey championship games, winning three as a player at University of Michigan and two as a Michigan Tech assistant coach (1962-1965). He also had a runner-up finish as coach and third place as a player.
Holly Jean (Anderson) McCullah
The "Speedball Queen" pitched two teams to Upper Peninsula fastpitch softball titles, at age 14 and then returning 18 years later after becoming the mother of nine children. She threw a no-hitter and struck out 15 in her first game back and was 46-3 in four seasons after her return that included helping Horner's Hornets win the Class D state title in 1970. She was also a standout bowler, with two perfect 300 games and a high 778 handicap series and excelled in independent basketball. She died at age 57 in 1994.
A three-time Upper Peninsula cross country champion at Menominee High School, Mike Photenhauer set records at every course he ran. He also set U.P. Class A-B track records in the mile, 1,600 meters and two-mile. He earned 12 varsity letters in track, cross country and wrestling. He was a four-year letterman in cross country and track at Central Michigan University, was Mid-American Conference cross country freshman of the year (1980) and was a MAC all-star in track and cross country (1981 and 1983). He was second in the NCAA regional two-mile in 1983.
Sharon (Schultz) Ruibal
A standout in the early days of high school girls basketball and track (1973-76), Sharon Schultz then earned three basketball letters at Northern Michigan University. She led Escanaba to three U.P. Class A-B track titles and twice won the 440-yard dash. She led the Eskymos to two Class A district basketball titles and had a school single-game record 33 points. She then became a sportswriter at the Green Bay Press-Gazette (1982-96) and USA Today (1996-2000), where she handled coverage of the Olympics, National Hockey League and college sports. She also became editor-in-chief of GirlsGymnastics.com for legendary gymnastic coach Bela Karolyi.
Jill (Gobert) VanDamme
After earning 16 varsity letters at Mid Peninsula High School, Jill Gobert was a threeyear basketball starter at Northern Michigan University. She scored a Mid Pen girls record 1,614 points and was Class D all-state in 1996. She was a two-time All-U.P. cross country pick, won seven U.P. track titles and helped win the U.P. Class D track title (1995), and was golf MVP. At NMU she started 87 consecutive basketball games, scored 1,243 points and was a three-time GLIAC all-academic choice and District 4 Kodak All-American. She also coached high school girls basketball and girls and boys track in California, girls basketball and track at Gladstone and at Mid Pen was boys track coach and girls basketball coach. She became the first female to coach a boys U.P. championship team, to the 2007 Division 3 track crown.