Inductee Class of 2006
A three-sport standout at Newberry High School, Jeff Bender set 27 school records for the Indians. He then set 13 more records as quarterback of the Central Michigan University football team. The Chippewas were 26-13-5 in his four seasons as a starter (1988-91) and played in the California Raisin Bowl in 1990. He was the Mid-American Conference's freshman of the year in 1988, was conference MVP in 1990, was a four-time MAC academic selection and was an academic All-American in 1990. Bender received the NCAA outstanding scholar-athlete award in 1992 and the MAC Humanitarian Award in 1992. He was inducted into CMU's Hall of Fame in 2002.
(Sault Ste. Marie)
A three-year letterman in football and track at Cornell, Ia. College, Russ Bruce earned Midwest Conference all-star honors as a linebacker and was co-captain of the 1952 football team. In track he set the Cornell high jump record of 5-feet-11 3/4 inches. He was head football coach at Iron Mountain High School (1958-61) and was U.P. Class B football coach of the year in 1959. Iron Mountain won conference championships in 1959-61. Bruce earned a doctorate at the University of Wisconsin and taught physical education at Eastern Michigan University (1964-67) and at Northern Michigan University (1967-76). He was head of the physical education department at Lake Superior State University (1976-87). Bruce founded the Northwoods Orienteering Club at LSSU in 1976, and the LSSU team won the United States Federation (USOF) Intercollegiate Championship in 1977. An active participant and organizer of orienteering, Bruce was a USOF board member for nine years and received the coveted USOF Silva Award in 1987. He was a member of the organizing committee for the 1993 World Orienteering Championships in New York state.
In 28 seasons as head coach of the Ewen-Trout Creek High School boys basketball team, Tom Caudill became one of 18 coaches in the state to record 500 victories. Caudill (513-145 through the 2005-06 season) is a two-time Upper Peninsula Class D Coach of the Year and the Panthers twice have been U.P. Class D Team of the Year. E-TC captured 19 Porcupine Mountain Conference titles, seven Great Western Conference titles, 11 district crowns and two regional championships and a Class D state runner-up trophy during his tenure. Caudill also coached track for 35 years, winning 11 conference titles, five regional crowns and three U.P. Class D runner-up titles.
Albert "Bubba" Dapoz
Regarded as one of the all-time best football players at Norway High School, Albert Dapoz was virtually a one-man team in leading the Knights to the U.P. championship in 1938. Dapoz played fullback and linebacker and scored all the points when Norway beat Marinette, Wis. 32-7. A third-team all-state pick in 1938, Dapoz briefly played football at Tulane University before joining the Merchant Marines. He died in 1999.
A three-year starter at quarterback for the Michigan Tech University football team, Jay Dishnow helped the Huskies win two Northern Intercollegiate Conference championships. He was co-MVP as a junior and co-captain as a senior. He set a school record by throwing five touchdown passes in one game in 1966. A member of Tech's Sports Hall of Fame, Dishnow is a member of the Football Advisory Council that has assisted the University since March 2003 in raising $1.3 million to sustain and improve the football program, which includes a Verdie Cox honorarium endowment. Dishnow starred in football, basketball and track at Iron Mountain High School and was basketball MVP as a senior.
An all-state running back at Kingsford High School in 1962, Don Edens returned to serve his alma mater as a coach in three sports (football, track and basketball) before spending 17 years as athletic director. He led the campaign to approve a $1.7 million project for new athletic facilities in 1987, and directed the U.P. Track Finals for seven years. Edens received the Allen W. Bush Award from the Michigan High School Athletic Association in 2001. His football playing career at Northern Michigan University was ended by a shoulder injury.
Eddie "Bud" Gibbs
The career batting record-holder at Michigan State University with a .398 average, Eddie (Bud) Gibbs also stole 16 bases in 1931, which is eighth on MSU's single-season list. He batted .454 in 1931, which is fourth all-time for a single season. He was captain of the MSU team in 1930 and 1931, then signed with the Detroit Tigers in 1931 and played with four minor league teams before leaving baseball in 1932. He lettered in football, basketball and track at Menominee High School. Gibbs was elected to the Michigan Senate in 1954.
A member of the U.S. Ski Team, Mark Konopacke finished 18th in the 1988 Olympics as a ski jumper at Calgary and was the highest placing American jumper. He also made the 1992 Olympic team in France. Konopacke competed with the U.S. World Cup team from 1983-88, placing as high as fifth in 1985 at Lahti, Finland. He set a hill distance record at Lahti. He won three national ski jump championships (1983, 1988, 1991) at 70 meters. Konopacke won a World University Games bronze medal in 1983 and took silver and bronze medals at the World Games in 1989. He won the Pine Mountain tournament in Iron Mountain in 1985.
(Sault Ste. Marie)
An All-American hockey player at Michigan State University, Carl Lackey spent more than 20 years as a player before becoming a youth coach. He was captain of the 1957 Sault team which won the state and national junior championship, then joined MSU and earned three letters. He was an All-American and team captain as a senior. Lackey then played for the Toledo Blades in the International League and Marquette Iron Rangers and Green Bay Bobcats in the U.S. Hockey League. In 1974 he played for the USA team which won the world championship in Yugoslavia. He retired in 1975 and became a youth hockey coach in Green Bay.
A three-year hockey letterman at Michigan Tech University, Bruce Riutta skated for the USA team in the 1968 Olympics in Grenoble, France. He was on the USA team which won the Class B world championship in 1970 in Bucharest and also played for the national team in 1969 and 1971. Riutta was a first-team All-American in 1966 and 1967 and helped Michigan Tech win the NCAA hockey title in 1965. A football star at Hancock High School, Riutta also played on national championship hockey teams on the Midget and PeeWee levels for the Copper Country Junior Hockey Association. Riutta later spent eight seasons playing for the Green Bay Bobcats in the U.S. Hockey League. He played a major role in helping establish the Ashwaubenon, Wis. high school hockey program and has spent more than 25 years as a coach.