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2001

2001 Inductees

Walt Funk

Coach

   Sixteen Ches-Mont league crowns, three District 1 titles and a State Championship-quite an impressive coaching legacy.  Walt Funk accomplished all this in an 11 year tenure as coach of the varsity basketball team and 10 years at the helm of the track team.

   Walt graduated from Phoenixville High School, he then attended Brown Prep for he was named outstanding athlete. His undergraduate work was completed at Pennsylvania State University where he played varsity basketball. Upon graduation, Walt went on to play three years of professional basketball, two years in the Eastern League and one year in the American League.

   Walt came to Coatesville in 1948 from West Lampeter High School, where he was head basketball coach. He assumed the position of assistant basketball coach and remained there until four years later. In 1951, he was named as the head basketball coach. During the next 11 years, Coatesville was a basketball powerhouse. Walt’s teams captured seven Ches-Mont Championships, one district 1 Championship and one Eastern Regional Championship.

   Walt became head track coach in 1950. He continued to produce winning teams. What coach track for the next 10 years. His teams won the Ches-Mont championship. Nine times, won the district 1 championship twice and was crowned the state champion in 1952.

   As director of athletics, Walt was a member of the committee that formed the Ches- Mont league. He also served as a member of the PIAA steering committee. Later, Walt was head basketball coach at the West Chester University.

   Walt has been the recipient of many awards. One particular note is an award from Cheyney University the Advancement of Human Relations through Athletics. He was also awarded membership in the Philadelphia Chapter of the Four Chaplains, a group that recognized service of all people regardless of race or faith. 

   Walt passed away on Jan. 15, 2015 at the age of 92.

 

Bill Renfrew

Coach

   To paraphrase a famous quote, "some see things as they are and ask, why. Others see things as they have never been then ask, why not" Bill Renfrew exemplifies this saying. He has been a teacher, a mentor, a coach and innovator throughout his life.

   Bill graduated from Chambersburg high school in 1952, where he lettered in track. He attended West Chester University and was a member of the tennis team. Bill began his teaching career at Conestoga high school. He began the boy’s tennis program there and was a biology teacher.

   Bill came to Coatesville in 1961 to teach social studies and biology and to coach the boy’s cross-country team.  His 15 year coaching record was 106 wins, 28 losses and one tie. His team won the Ches-Mont championship in 1966 and one of his runners became district 1 champion in 1967, his team finished seventh in the state.

   The prestigious steel city invitational cross-country meet, which is now in its 37th year was founded by Bill. In 1975, he added a girls division to the race, a novel idea at that time in history. Bill had been coaching a promising Coatesville senior at the time. Terry Brown went on to win the first ever steel city girls division title that year. In 1974, Bill helped establish Coatesville girls first cross country team and in 1975,  With Bill's assistance, the girls track team was formed.

   Boy’s indoor track was another program christened by Bill in 1962. Two years later it became a full-fledged sport. Concurrently, there was a need for an organization which would facilitate competition between schools with indoor track teams. Bill was one of a few coaches who established the greater Philadelphia track and field coaches Association. He served as meet secretary, vice president and six years as president.

   Throughout his years at Scott Intermediate High School, Bill has coached with boys and girls varsity tennis teams. He also created the fishing club and the sportsmen's club and was very active in Coatesville ski club.

   In the community, will has been a leader in his church, and served as CATA president, president of the Wagontown swim club and was director of the Chester County tennis championships.

 

Walt Downing 1974

Football

 

  A true scholar athlete, Walt Downing was not only an All-Star football player, but an outstanding student in school citizen.

   As early as Walt’s sophomore year, it was obvious he would have great success in football. Walt was named to the coaches All Ches-Mont team and the WCOJ All Ches-Mont team. By his junior year, Walt had added track and wrestling to his athletic endeavors. He was sectional wrestling champ in the heavyweight division in 1972.

   In Walt's senior year, he continued to participate in track and wrestling. He won the heavyweight class at the Lititz Lions wrestling tournament. Walt football accolades, however, were numerous. He was the team's MVP and was named the Outstanding Football Player W. N. A. R. 4 County All-State Scholastic Team. Walt was also selected for the Philadelphia Inquirer All Suburban Team, was honorable Mention Associated Press High School All-State Athletic Team, was Honorable  Mention Big 33 pick, and was named to the Prep All-American football team. Other awards included Muscular Dystrophy, Hope Chest All-Star Team and Military Order of the Purple Heart Outstanding Lineman. Walt’s off the field extracurricular activities included participation in the Meistersinger's choral group. He was a member of the Fellowship of Christian athletes and was an honors graduate in 1974.

   Walt’s football fortunes took him to the University of Michigan. In 1975, his sophomore year, Walt was chosen as Honorable  Mention All Big 10 at offensive guard. He played in the Orange bowl that year. In his junior year, Walt made first-team All Big 10 at center, was Honorable Mention All-American and completed his season playing at the Rose Bowl.

   In 1977, what was Captain of the University of Michigan squad. He repeated as all Big Ten center.  He again played at the Rose Bowl, and was also invited to play in the Hula Bowl and the Japan Bowl. He was picked for many All-Star teams that year, including: Playboy All-American First Team, UPI All-American first team, TSN and All-American first team, All Coaches All-American first team, Kodak All-American first team, AP All-American 2ND  team. What was honored by the Touchdown Club of Columbus, Ohio as best collegiate offensive lineman. In 1978, Walt was inducted in the city of Coatesville's Hall of Fame.

   Walt played professional football from 1978 until 1985. In his first year, he was named to the all NFL Rookie Squad. His experiences included a five-year stint with the San Francisco 49ers from 1978 through 1983. The 49ers were the 1981 Conference Champions and went on to win Super Bowl XVI. In 1983, the team won the Divisional Championship. Later Walt play the San Diego Chargers and the Denver Gold.

 

Paul J. Chenger 1956

Baseball

   Paul Chenger began his illustrious baseball career as a youngster on the playing fields of Coatesville. He returned years later and gave back the support and leadership that he had received from the town and its constituents.

   While in high school, Paul was an outstanding three sport athlete. Baseball, however, was his passion. Paul's three-year pitching record with 17 wins and 5 losses. The final game of his high school career against Downingtown, Paul struck out the first 14 batters. By the games end he had registered 21 strikeouts from 26 batters.

   Paul attended West Chester University and as a freshman played three varsity sports. After his sophomore year, he signed with the Milwaukee Braves organization and play professional baseball for the next five years. During his first year with the Braves, Paul won 19 of his first 20 games. He was named MVP of the Nebraska State League in 1959 and in 1960 was selected the Topps player of the month in the Northern League.

   In 1964, with his professional baseball days behind him, Paul returned to Coatesville to teach and was appointed assistant baseball coach. The following year, he became head baseball coach. In his seven-year tenure, Paul's team accumulated a record of 104 wins and 22 losses.

   Paul Became the Assistant Principal and Then Principal of the Coatesville Area Senior High School.

   In 1968, Paul played in the national amateur World Series. In 1991, he was inducted into the West Chester University Baseball Hall of Fame.

 

Terrence J. Williams 1966

Wrestling

(1948 -1992)

   A champion wrestler and an accomplished musician, Terry Williams, had earned many accolades at an early age. As a small child, he was a musical prodigy and music remained an integral part of his experiences in school.

   Terry's interest in wrestling began in junior high school where he won his first trophy. As a sophomore, wrestling on the varsity squad, he was the Ches-Mont champion at 138 pounds the record of 13 wins and 2 losses.

During his junior year, Terry was undefeated with 11 wins. He established a 20 match win streak that included six pins and was the Ches-Mont champion again. Terry was also the district 1 and section 2 champion and 145 pounds and met his own defeat in the Regional finals.

   Terry's hard work and talents came to fruition during his senior year. He again won the Ches-Mont, District 1and Section 2 championships. This year, however, he progressed to the finals of the State Championship and became the first Chester County wrestler to win the state championship.

Terry was named the Ches-Mont league outstanding wrestler. He also received recognition as the Most Outstanding School Citizen. His talent and love of music enabled him to be selected for the Meistersinger's in Redmen choral groups. Upon graduation, he attended Waynesburg University, renowned for its wrestling program.

 

Mark Curlett 1974

Golf

 

    Mark Curlett is simply the best golf of the Coatesville has ever produced.

    Mark began winning golf tournaments the age of 12 he became Junior Club Champion of the Coatesville Country Club. He repeated as champion for the next four years. In 1972, his final year as a Junior golfer, he not only won his fifth Junior title, but also began a streak of five consecutive club championships at the Coatesville course.

   In 1973, he was the Philadelphia Junior champion and the medalist in the United States Junior qualifying Philadelphia.

   As a member of the Coatesville high school golf team, Mark was a three time Ches- Mont champion and held undefeated match play record. During his senior year, Mark’s brilliant high school career was capped with a victory the PIAA state championship in which he broke the course record in the final round.

   Mark went on to the University of Maryland and upon graduation became a member of the professional golfers Association. He has won numerous honors and distinction including:

1976         Medalist in the United States amateur qualifying Philadelphia

1974-78  Member of the Philadelphia Mason-Dixon cup team

               Three-time member of the Philadelphia compher cup team

1980       Pennsylvania open third-place finish

1980       Philadelphia open low Pro

               Course record holder at the hardscrabble country club (33-39/62)

1985       Co-founder Arkansas PGA  Junior golf tour.

               Nominated PGA teacher of the year for 2001

               Nominated PGA Junior golf teacher of the year for 2001

 

George T Holmes,  Jr. 1974

Track

   In the 15 years that George Holmes ran competitively in track, he left his mark on track arenas from Scott Field to the Coliseum in Los Angeles.

   George first became age group competition while in elementary school. By the time he finished eighth grade he had set a national age group record in the 120 yard high hurdles. This was only the beginning of many honors that were to follow. The next year, he placed third in the high hurdles at the national Junior Olympics Championship. He was also part of the 880 yard relay that set a national age group record.

   As a participant on Coatesville's indoor and outdoor track squads, George claimed many honors. At the Eastern States Indoor Championship, George was champion in the 60 yard high hurdles. He also took first as a member of the mile relay team. George was nationally ranked as the fastest time in the 60 yard hurdles for high school boys. George was also honored as the MVP for the Coatesville indoor track team.

   George continued his winning ways on the outdoor team. He was a nine time Ches- Mont champion. Here numerous District 1 and State Championship medals, including a state record setting performance as champion in the 110 meter high hurdles with a time of 13.7. He also was recognized with honors in the 100 yard dash (9.8) and the 220 yard dash (21.7), tying a state record in the latter.

   At the Penn relays, George won first place in the 110 meter High Hurdles and Was a Member of the Championship of America Mile Relay Team. He was proclaimed the Most Outstanding High School Athlete at the Penn relays.

   George was Eastern States Champion in the high hurdles and ran to a second place in the prestigious Golden West Invitational. At that meet he also garnered sixth in the 220 yard dash with a time of 21.3.

George was named as a track and field high school All-American. He received a scholarship to Essex County College and was nominated as a Junior College All-American six times. He has been ranked among the top 10 in the world in the 110 meter hurdles, the 160 meter dash and 200 meter dash. Was a member of the shuttle hurdle relay team that set a world record and he participated in the 1984 Olympic trials in Los Angeles.

 

Colleen Cahill Smith 1986

Hockey

   In this year of sport "specialization," Colleen Cahill Smith was a multitalented athlete who excelled in all three of her chosen sports. Colleen was a four-year starter for both the varsity hockey and lacrosse teams. In her senior year, she also starred for the varsity basketball team.

   Although Colleen captained both the hockey and lacrosse teams in her senior year, it was on the hockey field the Colleen's ability her most recognized. In her four years as a varsity player, the team rose from perennial last-place in the Ches-Mont Lake two district 1 playoffs. She was named to the first-team all Ches-Mont hockey team for three years consecutively.

   As a senior, she captured the Ches-Mont league scoring title while leading her team to the most successful season in school history. Colleen also set team records, for the most shots taken, the most goals scored and the most goals scored any single game. Not surprisingly, Colleen was selected as MVP for hockey in 1986. She was also voted most outstanding athlete award.

   Colleen was among the first female athletes from the Coatesville schools to receive an athletic scholarship. She attended counseling University and was a four-year starter hundred hockey and lacrosse. Colleen continues to play hockey and lacrosse, competing as well and softball.

 

Rose Gushanas 1988

Lacrosse

   Rose Gushanas has set standards in Coatesville lacrosse that will be difficult, if not impossible to surpass.

   Rose with was a three sport athlete. She played varsity field hockey and lacrosse for four years. In her junior and senior years, rose played on the varsity basketball team. She was a member of the 1988 undefeated Ches-Mont champion girls basketball team. Rose was recognized in both hockey and lacrosse as an All Ches-Mont team member in 1987 and 1988.

   Although Rose was talented in many sports, her prowess was most noted in lacrosse. Rose was a leading scorer on the lacrosse team for each of her four years. As a Junior, she set a school record for goals scored any single game. She scored 12 goals on two occasions. As a senior she broke this record, scoring 14 goals twice during the season. Rose also set the school record for total goals scored in a season. She broke her own record as a senior with 103 goals by season’s end.

   Rose was honored at the end of her junior year by selection to the Pennsylvania Schoolgirl Lacrosse Team which played in a National Tournament in Columbus, Ohio. Her senior year was capped off with a new school record for goals scored in a career. Rose’s four-year total of 295 goals eclipsed the existing mark by 77 goals. Rose received an athletic scholarship to Temple University to play lacrosse.

 

Gail "Gussie" Brown 1955

Basketball

 

  In the years before title IX, women athletes had little encouragement to pursue their interest in sports. Gail Brown was one of the few women who rose to athletic prominence despite the lack school and community support.

   A three sport competitor, Gail was co-captain of the basketball team. She also lettered on the hockey team and in swimming.

   After high school, Gail entered West Chester state teachers college where she played softball and continued to Excel and basketball. She was co-captain of the basketball squad and in 1956 selected for an All-Star team that played in an exhibition before a Philadelphia Warriors game. Later that year, Gail played in the world basketball tournaments and was chosen MVP.

   Upon graduation, Gail continued to play basketball on the West Chester alumni team from 1959 to 1963. While a teacher in the Nether Providence and Penn Delco school district, Gail coached a variety of sports, including softball, hockey, baseball, lacrosse and tennis. She also has coached softball and basketball on the collegiate level. She retired from the Penn Delco school district in 1990.

   Gail has continued to be involved in athletics. She has won many local and statewide golf tournaments and has won medals and the national senior games in golf and other sports. Some of her golf honors include; Delaware State amateur champion (1974 and 1985), Delaware State senior champ (1989), Pennsylvania State senior champion (1990), Central Pennsylvania amateur champion 1997 and Central Pennsylvania senior champion (1896). Gail is also played in four national USGA championships. This year, Gail was runner-up Pennsylvania State senior tournaments.

 

Richard "Rip" Hamilton 1996

Basketball

   Coming from a town steeped in basketball heroes, Richard "Rip" Hamilton became the first Coatesville alumni to play in the National Basketball Association.

   Through his high school career, Rip led the Coatesville boy's basketball team to three consecutive Ches-Mont championship seasons. An All-State pick during his junior and senior years, Rip became the leading scorer in the history of the boys basketball program. His abilities were recognized nationally as he was the first Coatesville player to be named to the McDonald's All-Star team. He was also chosen to play in the Roundball classic in Pittsburgh, competing against the nation's best high school players.

   Earning a full scholarship to the University of Connecticut Rip became a three-year starter. He was All-American as a sophomore and led Connecticut to the "Elite Eight," making the winning shot in the last second of the game.

  As a junior at Connecticut, Rip was named as a first-team All-American. He finished third in the national voting for the John Wooden Award, given to the nation's outstanding basketball player. Rip led Connecticut to the national championship, scoring 28 points in the final game. He was voted the Most Valuable Player of the NCAA Final Four Tournament.

   The Washington wizards of the national basketball Association selected Rip as the seventh pick overall in 1999. He is in his third season with the team and last year was the Wizards leading scorer. Rip has remained connected and committed to the city of Coatesville and has given back much to his community