By Patrick B. McGuigan
The Athletic Hall of Fame at Bishop McGuinness Catholic High School in Oklahoma City will induct four alumni at a gala ceremony on October 19 in the Commons assembly area at the school on N. Francis Avenue.
Former state Rep. Kevin Cox, class of 1968, is among the inductees. Cox was a star running back on a football squad that lost only to turnpike rival Bishop Kelly of Tulsa during the 1967 season. He was first-team All-City his senior year, then all-state in track and field competition. Frank Hughes, the long-time football coach for the Fighting Irish, said Cox was the best football player he ever coached.
Also honored for their athletic prowess and for subsequent life achievements are James P. Kelley, Thomas C. Wolf, M.D., and Sarah Jane Connelly Lyssy. Wolf was a football lineman for McGuinness in the 1960s, who went onto a successful career at Oklahoma State University. Sarah Connelly was one of the nation’s best high school tennis players, before going on to a successful collegiate career at Notre Dame University.
The quartet will join previous groups of McGuinness Hall of Fame inductees who competed for the school. Honored in 2011 were Ricky Manning, 1979; Terrance Crawford, 2000; Marco DeGiusti, 1968; Amanda Jordan Van Straten, 2001, and Coach Virgil Grantham. Also, the 1989 Men’s State Championship team was honored as a group.
Inductees for 2009 were Jerry Picket, 1970, Gene McDonnell Beaver, 1990, Frank Ille, 1987 and Kevin Connelly, 1999. The 2007 contingent included Larry Link, 1957; Mark Perrault, 1975; and Coach Garry Looper. The 2006 class of inductees were Carter McBride, 1976; Leslie Schmitt, 1977; and Coach Joe Cook.
Honored in 2005 were Bobby Green, 1974; Jim Kopp, 1968; Tish Kierl Milligan, 1973; Mary Norwood Rompf, 1984; and Coach Robert “Joe” Trosper. The 2004 class included Jim Burton, 1962; Vicki Luetkemeyer Connelly, 1973; Tim Horan, 1960; Cassandra McCurdy, 1973; Bobby Sine, 1967; and Coach T. Philip Kierl, Sr.
The first group inducted into the school’s athletic hall of fame were honored in 2003, including Ben Cronin, 1956; Jerry Haddock, 1959; Frank J. Helderle, 1953; Fred Marsh 1959; Robert E. Minnis, 1963; tom Sullivan, 1962; Coach John Gavula; Coach Eddie Joseph; and Father Davis Monahan.
The Bishop McGuinness Catholic High School Hall of Fame was established in 2003 as a way to recognize the greatest atheltes in school history. These individuals are permanently recognized in a room off the lobby of the McCarthy gymnasium. Inductions took place annually at first, but an every-other-year tradition has taken hold in recent years.
Organizing the 2013 inductions is Gerald E. Kelly, president of the hall of fame induction committee.