Inductee Class of 2005
Bob Figuli has run more than 102,000 miles, which is more than four times around the world, since he started running in 1970. He has completed more than 750 road, trail and snowshoe races, 84 marathons and 70 ultra-marathons and has run around Lake Superior. Figuli had a stretch of running ten miles daily that covered 17 years, five months and 20 days (1980-97). He was named male runner of the year in 1990 and 2003 by the U.P.. Road Runners Club and has helped conduct numerous road-race events.
The winner of 146 games in 12 seasons, Bill Gappy was the most winningest basketball coach in Michigan Tech University history when he stepped down in 1985. He was inducted to the Michigan Tech Sports Hall of Fame in 1996. Since leaving the Huskies Gappy has worked in sales and promotional areas for Horner Flooring, a Dollar Bay company which has provided basketball floors for numerous NCAA Final Four Tournaments, college and NBA teams. Gappy was a football, basketball, baseball and track athlete at Alpena, Mich. High School, earned eight varsity letters and joined the school's Hall of Fame In 2004.
An all-around athlete who earned 15 varsity letters at Wakefield High School. Rom Gilbert earned football and tennis letters at Michigan Tech University and spent 26 years as a football official in the collegiate Southeastern Conference. He has also been a rules analyst for ESPN and provides clinics for TV and radio announcers. He officiated the Blue-Gray Game for 15 years.
A two time all-state basketball player, Lowell Johnson earned 12 varsity letters at Negaunee High School. He also played baseball for three years (1954-56) at Western Michigan University, with a career batting average of .365. The Broncos finished second in the NCAA World Series in 1955. He set single-season records for RBI's and runs scored and career records for hits and runs scored. He also played in the Pittsburgh Pirates' organization for two seasons, served as Negaunee's recreation director (1959-62) and coached baseball at Romulus High School (1962-73) and retired as athletic director in 1987.
A 12-year player in the Canadian Football league, Bob Jurasin joined his alma mater as an assistant football coach at Northern Michigan University upon his retirement as a player in 1999. He was a four-year starting defensive lineman at NMU (1982-85) and signed with the CFL's Saskatchewan Roughriders in 1986. He was second in the CFL in career sacks (142) and career tackles (411) and was a three-time CFL all-star. In 1987 he was Saskatchewan's most outstanding player and most outstanding defensive player. He joined the Saskatchewan Sports Hall of Fame (1995), the NMU Sports Hall of Fame (1998) and the Roughriders' Plaza of Honor (2002).
A pioneer in the development of high school wrestling in the Upper Peninsula, Ray Mariucci was also instrumental in starting the wrestling program at Northern Michigan University in the late 1960's. A boxer and wrestler at Michigan State University, the native of Italy coached East Lansing High School to a Class B state wrestling title in 1951 and started the wrestling program at Kingsford High School and helped initiate the Iron Mountain High School program and organized the first U.P. Tournament in 1965 and also coached Golden Gloves boxing in the 1950's. He became the first U.P resident inducted into the Michigan Wrestling Association Hall of Fame in 1991 and wrote a booklet "Upper Peninsula Wrestling Championship - The First Twenty Years" and provided an update in 1998. The Ray Mariucci Award goes annually to the No.1 ranked Upper Peninsula wrestling team. The Kingsford Invitational, the peninsula's oldest wrestling tournament, is called the Mariucci Invitational. He started to promote bocce ball in 1992, and the Dickinson Area Bocce Association is regarded one of the best in the nation.
A coach in three sports at Iron Mountain High School, Rick Olds spent 17 years as the school's head boys basketball coach (274-120). The Mountaineers won 12 Class C district titles and four regional titles in his tenure, reaching the state semifinals in 1993 and 1994. He was a four-time U.P. Class C coach of the year. He spent 25 years coaching football at the freshmen and j.v. levels and was head track coach (1979-94), winning four U.P. Class C titles. He was a four-year track letterman at Marquette John D. Pierce High School and won the U.P. 100 and 220 yard dashes in 1958. He was also a three-year letterman in football and basketball. He was a charter member of The Marquette Iron Rangers semi-pro hockey team in 1964.
A member of The U.S. Ski Hall of Fame, Wil Rasmussen was the National Class C champion in 1947, Class B champion in 1950 and Class A runner-up in 1956. A participant in the 1952 Winter Olympics and a member of the 1953 and 1957 U.S. FIS teams and competed in the World Championship Games in Finland (1958). He coached junior jumpers into the 1970's.
The single-season Michigan High School record holder when he scored 226 points, Bill Santilli led Crystal Falls to the 1975 Class D football state championship. He scored 44 points in the 67-0 semi-final victory over Posen and 24 points and ran for 179 yards in the 50-0 title game victory over Flint Holy Rosary. He became the first Class D player to make the Detroit Free Press all-state dream team in 1975 when he set a state rushing record (1,865 yards). He rushed for 3,953 yards and scored 402 points in his career. As football coach at his alma mater, Santilli led the Trojans to the Division 8 championship game in 2000.
A two-time Upper Peninsula Golf Association champion, Larry Tiziani was captain of the University of Minnesota golf team which reached the NCAA tournament in 1969. Tiziani turned pro in 1975 and has won several tournaments in Wisconsin, including the State Open (1975), Wisconsin PGA Senior title (1997,2002,2003), Wisconsin Senior Open (1999) and PGA Club Pro Championship (2004). He is a four-time Wisconsin Senior Player of The Year and twice has been named the state's top teacher.