Kent Smith (Courtesy photo)
AURORA, Colo. — The Colorado High School Activities Association Hall of Fame has announced its 29th Hall of Fame class, a nine-member group that depicts the rich history of the Association, along with providing real-life examples of what participation, coaching, leading and advocating for students can do. Each of these people has established themselves as a role model for today’s young people seeking their way to adulthood.
The CHSAA Hall of Fame’s Class of 2017 includes three of the state’s top former athletes in Tricia Bader-Binford (Roaring Fork), Jenny Coalson (Ellicott) and Joe Silva (Fruita Monument), along with four coaches in Bobbi Brown-Vandenberg (Boulder), Don Kimble (Limon), Ken Shaw (Regis Jesuit) and Kent Smith (Boulder/Highlands Ranch/Ponderosa). Official Brian Richmond (Fort Collins) and an administrator L. D. Elarton (Lamar) round out the Class of 2017.
Being selected for the CHSAA Hall of Fame speaks volumes about the impact the honorees have made to the high school landscape in Colorado. The CHSAA is humbled to be a part of the ceremonies that elevate and recognize these individuals and teams who excel amongst their peers.” CHSAA Commissioner Rhonda Blanford-Green said in making the announcement.
“The selection committee struggles with the make-up of the class every year. They debate and advocate knowing that there are so many good people deserving of this recognition. The single most important item to the committee is the impact that each of these inductees, like those that came before them, have had in their respective areas of the state. The 29th class reflects the efforts, passion and love Colorado has for high school activities,” CHSAA Hall of Fame administrator Bert Borgmann said.
The committee, which is headed by Bob Marken (Buena Vista). Committee members aside from Marken include Kevin Boley (Legend), Larry Brunson (CHSAA Hall of Fame), Michele DeBerry (Boulder Valley Schools), Dick Katte (CHSAA/NFHS Hall of Fame), Jeremy Kerns (Byers), Shelli Miles (Widefield), Mike Miller (Cheyenne Wells), Dan Mohrmann (CHSAANow.com), Carol Sams (Grand Junction), Cherie Toussaint (Pueblo SD 70 Schools) and Kendall Wilson (Poudre).
The Class of 2017 will be inducted during a ceremony on Wednesday, January 24, 2018, at the Radisson Hotel-Denver Southeast (I‑225 and Parker). Individual tickets may be purchased for $50 each by contacting the CHSAA. The festivities get underway at 6:30 p.m. Seating is limited.
The selection of the one student participant to the CHSAA Hall of Fame puts the total number of participants in the hall at 68. There are now 69 coaches/sponsors, 28 administrators, 17 officials and 11 significant service contributors enshrined in the CHSAA Hall of Fame that began in 1989. There are also four teams in the hall. The Hall of Fame now features 197 inductees.
One Biography of the newest additions to the hall include former San Luis Valley coach Kent Smith.
Having just retired after 53 years of coaching, Smith is one of the state’s top coaches, regardless of sport. And, he is noted for his integrity and ability to build better people through activities. He has been the head boys’ basketball coach at Boulder and Ponderosa, the head cross country coach at Ponderosa and Highlands Ranch, as well as the head boys’ soccer coach at Aurora Central. Additionally, he served as head girls’ basketball coach at La Veta and Alamosa. His teams have won state titles in basketball (twice at Boulder) and cross country (six times at Highlands Ranch). He runs a dog and horse rescue ranch near Walsenburg.
Additionally, the staff has selected Varsity, a company dedicated to the dynamic, athletic and high-profile sport of spirit to receive the Colorado Tradition Award. The staff has also selected Woodie Smith, a former coach and athletic director at Overland High School to receive the Distinguished Service Award this year.