Hall of Fame
Valparaiso High School Athletics has announced the 2021 class of inductees into the Athletics Hall of Fame.
The Valparaiso High School Athletics Hall of Fame was established in 1989 to honor those men and women who have brought positive recognition to the school throughout their contributions in athletics.
This year’s inductees include:
- Michael Cavanaugh ‘53 - Cross Country, Basketball, Track
- Alana Hancock Harrington ‘92 - Volleyball, Basketball, Softball
- Clint Keithley ‘01 Tennis
- Kathy McKibben Levandoski ‘78 Basketball, Volleyball
- Chuck Nightingale ‘67 Football, Basketball
- Jeff Rybak ‘84 Football, Baseball
- Rick Underwood ‘70 - Football
- Cindy Willis Douthett ‘82 - Basketball
- Jones Family (Dan Sr. ‘61 - Basketball; Jennifer ‘84 - Swimming; Jessica ‘86 - Manager Football & Track; Colleen ‘88 - Cross Country, Track; Dan Jr. ‘91 - Cross Country, Track; Marcus ‘93 - Cross Country, Track)
- Gioia Family (Dan - Soccer Coach; Carl ‘03 - Football; David ‘00 - Soccer, Basketball; Tom ‘97 - Football, Track)
- Mark Hoffman - Coach Football, Track, Athletic Director
- Charles Stanier - Coach Football
- Karen Devries - Coach Cross Country, Track
“This year’s class is incredible,” Valparaiso High School Athletic Director Stacy Adams said. “Valparaiso High School has a long and rich athletic history. We are looking forward to celebrating the 2021 Hall of Fame class and the legacy of VHS athletics.”
Michael J. Cavanaugh, Sr. - A 1953 graduate, Cavanaugh earned six varsity letters in cross country, basketball and track as a Viking. As a junior, he placed 89th when Valparaiso made just its second appearance at the cross country state meet. That same year, he played on a basketball team that finished 20-5 and won the sectional. He continued his running career at Valparaiso University (1954-55) and New Mexico Western College, where he earned a degree in physical education and math. There he lettered in basketball four years, was the MVP in 1957-58 and set a record for free throws. But Cavanaugh made his biggest mark as a coach. He directed the cross country, basketball and track programs at Wheeler, Hebron and Portage in the 1960s and 1970s before spending 20 years at four different schools in New Mexico. He returned to Valparaiso in 1994, where he was an assistant for the girls cross country program with head coach Karen DeVries until 2012. The Vikings won five state titles in six years from 1999 to 2004, and finished runners-up four times. He also coached mid-distance, the hurdles and high jump events on the track and field team which finished as state runners-up in 2007. He also helped coach Megan Ranegar to the 3,200-meter state title in 2009. He was a lifelong runner himself, and also enjoyed playing golf. He passed away in April, 2019 and is survived by his children: Kerri, Michael, Kristi and Chad.
Karen DeVries – As head coach, DeVries led the girls cross country program to unprecedented heights. During her tenure (1988-2011), the Vikings consistently were the top team in Northwest Indiana and always among the best in the state. In an eight-year span from 1999 to 2006, Valpo won five state championships (1999, 2000, 2002-04) and was runner-up the other three seasons. DeVries led the Vikings to 13 Duneland Athletic Conference titles, 15 sectional and regional championships, and 12 semi-state trophies. Her teams qualified for state 22 of 25 seasons, and had two other third-place finishes (1990, 2011). She won 13 Coach of the Year awards from the ICGSA and IATCCC, and was named National Federation Section Coach of the Year in 2002. Her teams were ranked among the best in the nation four times, including second in 2002 and fourth in 2003. As an assistant track coach, three of her athletes won individual state titles: VHS Hall of Fame member Collette Douglas (1,600 and 3,200 in 1991), Lauren Hardesty (1,600 in 2006) and Megan Ranegar (3,200 in 2009). An excellent runner herself, DeVries won the prestigious Popcorn Panic in Valparaiso three times. She was inducted into the Wadsworth (Ohio) Hall of Fame in 2006, the IATCCC Hall of Fame in 2012, the Medina County (Ohio) Hall of Fame in 2015, and the Grace College Hall of Fame in 2017.
Cindy (Willis) Douthett - For one of the first times in school history, a girl’s athletic team captured the attention of the school and community in the winter of 1981-1982. Hall of Fame coach Dale Ciciora led the Lady Vikings basketball team, known as The God Squad, to the state championship game. Nicknamed the Floor General, Douthett was a senior point guard who led Valpo to a 21-6 record, ending in a 52-45 loss to Heritage at Market Square Arena. The Vikings upset Indianapolis Brebeuf in the morning semifinals to reach the title game. Douthett was named the Patricia L. Roy Mental Attitude Award winner at the state finals, the first in school history for girls basketball. She led the Vikings with 130 assists, scored 118 points and made 75 steals. During her high school career, she also participated in diving, cross country and track. Douthett earned 6 varsity letters, 2 in basketball, 3 in track and 1 in cross country. As a senior in the fall of 1981, she ran on Valpo’s first girls cross country team to qualify for state, placing 85 th individually. She earned a Bachelor’s Degree in education from Indiana University (1987), and a Master’s from Purdue (1992). She spent her 31-year career as an elementary teacher in the Valparaiso Community School system, at Parkview, Cooks Corners and Flint Lake before retiring in 2019. She and her husband, Charlie, live in Kouts. They have a son, Kyle (Jennifer) and two grandchildren: Dominic and Sydney.
Gioia Family - The Gioia family was a fixture in Valpo sports competing in four varsity sports in the late 90s and early 2000s, earning 14 letters collectively. Dan began his involvement in the Valpo Soccer Club in 1985, continuing at the state and local level for more than15 years as a coach and FIFA referee. He also was the announcer for VHS boys and girls soccer games for several years through 2019. Oldest son, Tom, graduated in 1997 after earning a total of six letters in football and track. Tom was a co-captain of the 1996 football team, received all-area honors and was named to the IFCA Academic All-State team. Tom received the VHS Athletic Academic Award as a senior for four years of outstanding scholastic and athletic achievement. He went on to earn two varsity letters in football at Yale, an MBA from Harvard and is currently a private investor in Atlanta, Georgia. Dave, a 2000 graduate, was a soccer star for three great VHS soccer teams in the late 1990s. As a sophomore, he earned all-area honors playing for a team that finished 22-1, the only loss a 1-0 heartbreaker to Carmel in the state championship finals. Named to the all-area teams in 1998 and 1999 as well, Dave was co-captain of the 1999 soccer team, earning ISCA academic and top team player honors in his senior year. He continued playing club soccer in Germany and at Georgetown. He is Managing Director of Business Development at Northwest Natural in Portland, Oregon. Youngest son Carl was a fixture on great Viking football teams in the early 2000s as a kicker. In 2001, he kicked one of the biggest field goals in school history – a game-winning 27-yard field goal in overtime to beat Penn 24-21 in the Class 5A regional. The following year, his 48-yard field goal helped to secure a 16-15 Regional win over Penn. The Vikings were 34-7 in his final three years, and Carl contributed with 30 field goals and 178 extra points. A preferred walk-on at Notre Dame, Carl earned a scholarship, and played on teams along with fellow VHS graduate Jeff Samardzija that went to the Fiesta and Sugar bowls. He graduated from Notre Dame and continued his education in Dentistry and Orthodontics at the University of Louisville. Carl lives in Louisville where he has been an orthodontist since 2013. He continues to be involved in football as a college football official in the Sunbelt/Southeastern Conference.
Alana Hancock - Hancock was the star of the team during a magical era of Viking girls basketball. Teaming with Hall of Fame member Lisa Furlin, the duo helped lead the Vikings to a 94-8 record over four years. The Vikings advanced to the single-class Final Four in back-to-back years (1991-92) after reaching the semistate in 1989 and 1990. A powerful force in the middle, Hancock ranks sixth in school history with 1,028 career points, just behind Furlin’s 1,061. The Vikings won the Duneland Athletic Conference title all four years, and never lost a home game. An excellent all-around athlete, Hancock also played volleyball and softball for the Vikings. As a senior, she batted .369 and scored 29 runs for a team that won the DAC and advanced to the semistate. She continued her athletic career at Ball State, where she was a four-year starter on the basketball team. Hancock started 93 of 104 career games and scored 1,043 points which ranks 26 th in school history. She had 586 rebounds (19 th in school history), ranks ninth with 187 career steals, and led the team all four years in made 3-pointers. Hancock’s single-game career high of 32 points is tied for ninth in Ball State history. She moved on to a career in education, and coach girls basketball at Bloomington North High School. She currently lives in Bloomington and has three children.
Mark A. Hoffman “Coach Hoff” - Hoffman ruled the Viking football sidelines for 35 years (1977-2011), building on the program’s legacy. His 237-153 record as head coach includes a pair of state runner-up finishes (1985, 2002), six regional titles and six Duneland Athletic Conference championships. He was a 25-year-old assistant coach when the Vikings won the 1975 Class 3A state championship. Among his many honors, he was inducted to the Indiana Football Hall of Fame in 2006. He was named Region I Coach of the Year by the Indiana Football Coaches Association 11 times. Hoffman was also boys track head coach (1987-97), boys track assistant (1973-76 and 1981-86), assistant girls track coach (2002-08) and finished his career as athletic director in 2011-12. His boys track teams had a dual-triangular record of 94-4, winning six DAC titles, seven sectionals and 11 Valpo Relays. Throughout his tenure, he also taught health and physical education, and led the school’s intramural programs for 26 years. Hoffman started the Special Needs program at VHS in 1972, and began the weightlifting program in 1977. He was the youngest president of the Indiana Football Coaches Association in 1985 at age 35. Among other honors, he represented Indiana at the NFL Summit Conference in 2007, in 2010 was the Indiana Football Coach of the Year and the IHSAA nominee for National Coach of the year, and coached in the North-South All-Star games as an assistant (1980, 1988, 1999, 2010) and as head coach (2011). A 1968 Andrean graduate, Hoffman was an offensive tackle and played in the North-South All-Star game. He was a three-year starter at Butler, where he earned a master’s degree in 1977. He and his wife, Sue, have been married for 50 years. They have a daughter, Heather (Tim) Walker and four grandchildren – Whitney, Amy, Brock and Ellie.
Jones Family – Anyone who has attended a boys track meet has seen the tall man working with the pole vaulters. That’s Dan Jones, a 1961 graduate who has been coaching Viking pole vaulters and other athletes since 1972. As a student in the late 1950s and early 1960s, Jones was one of the school’s top athletes. He played two years of varsity basketball and was co-captain his senior year. He scored 370 career points for two teams that won sectional titles. He also was outstanding in track, winning conference and regional championships in the pole vault, high jump, and long jump. His children followed in his athletic footsteps. Jennifer (1984 graduate) was a four-year member of the girls swim team. Jessica (1986) was a student trainer for the football team and a manager for the track squad. Colleen (1988), a four-year varsity letter winner in cross country and track, earning MVP honors twice for the cross country team and ran in the 1985 state meet. Dan Jr. (1991) was an outstanding runner. He was twice named cross country MVP, advancing to the state meet as an individual as a junior and helping the team to a fifth-place finish his senior year. Dan Jr. also earned four letters in track and went on to a stellar career at Purdue where he was a five-time academic all-Big Ten award winner. Marcus (1993) also lettered all four years in track and was MVP his junior and senior years. He was also on the cross country team all four years. Marcus, who competed for two years at Purdue, continued running as an adult, competing in the Chicago Marathon. He taught and coached at Boone Grove before moving on to Valparaiso, where he is now a science teacher and boys track assistant coach. He specializes in shorter distances and coached 400-meter individual state champion Travis Sperry in 2016. Most of the family have been involved in coaching Porter County Special Olympics for many years, with Dan Sr. and his wife Jean as head coaches.
Clint Keithley - Perhaps the school’s best-ever tennis player, Keithley finished third in the state singles tournament his senior year in the fall of 2000. His only loss in a 21-1 season was against the eventual state champion in the final four semifinals. That showing capped a tremendous career. Keithley dominated Northwest Indiana and Duneland Athletic Conference opponents on his way to a career record of 90-6. He was the DAC MVP three times, first team all-state four times and helped lead the Vikings to a fourth-place team finish as a freshman in 1997. Keithley, the student body and National Honor Society president as a senior, graduated No. 2 academically in his class with an international baccalaureate diploma. He earned a scholarship to play collegiately at Penn State, where he graduated in just three years. As a Nittany Lion, he was named a first team academic All-American in 2004 along with receiving the Big Ten Medal of Honor and the NCAA postgraduate scholarship. He went on to earn a Master of Architecture degree from Rice University. Clint and his family live in Seattle, Wash., where he is an architect.
Kathy (McKibben) Levandoski - Before being hired as one of the school’s first two athletic trainers beginning in 1987, ‘Coach Lev’ was among the first female Viking sports stars. A 1978 graduate, she was there in the beginning when the IHSAA first sanctioned girl’s sports in 1975-76. Kathy was an All-DAC performer and MVP in volleyball, and had a stellar basketball career playing for Hall of Famer coaches Lorrie Woycik and Dale Ciciora. As a senior in 1978, she led the Vikings to the program’s first sectional championship, leading the team in scoring and assists as well as being named to the All-Conference team for two years. She’s the first female member of the VHS ‘Century Club,’ making 104 consecutive free throws using the Valpo Free Throw method taught by legendary coach Virgil Sweet. Along with her duties as athletic trainer, Kathy was the head coach of the softball program (1989-2010) and assistant coach for girls basketball (1990-2012) which included four state finals appearances. In softball, she led the team to more than 300 victories, winning two conference titles, three regionals and four sectionals. She coached the first Indiana Ms Softball, pitcher Stacey Hrabota, along with eight other Indiana All Stars. She earned an undergraduate degree at Wisconsin-Whitewater, where she played volleyball, basketball and softball and was inducted to its Hall of Fame in 1999. She is married to former Portage baseball coach Tom Levandoski.
Chuck Nightingale - Prior to graduating in 1967, Nightingale was called one of the greatest all-around athletes in school history by local newspaper writers. His accomplishments still hold up to this day. Nightingale starred in football, basketball and baseball for the Vikings. He was the tailback for Hall of Fame coach Tom Stokes in the single-wing offense, equivalent to quarterback. As a senior on a team that finished 9-1, he set a school record with 23 touchdown passes which led the nation that season. He threw for 1,686 yards and ran for 535, and the 2,221 total yardage was an Indiana record at the time. He was named quarterback in the first North-South All-Star football game. In basketball, he played on three sectional-winning teams including a 20-4 squad in 1964-65 and 20-5 in 1965-66. He scored 725 points in his career, with a single-game high of 33. Nightingale played shortstop and was the leadoff hitter for the baseball team. He earned a scholarship to Notre Dame, where he played for legendary coach Ara Parseghian. He was on Irish teams that played in the Cotton Bowl in 1970 and 1971. Nightingale has been a local attorney for more than 40 years. His children Chad (class of 1990), Sean (2000), Trevor (2004) and Natalie (2008) all graduated from VHS as well.
Jeffrey Allen Rybak, Ph.D. - Rybak may have been a star football and baseball player in the early 1980s, but he was much more … a scholar, a friend to everyone he met and an all-around nice guy. The 1984 graduate was a two-year starting quarterback for the Vikings, setting the single-game school record for passing yardage with 305 in his final game – a mark that stood for nearly 20 years. As a baseball pitcher, he had ERA’s of 2.78 as a junior and 2.94 as a senior. He is the only pitcher in school history to win four games in one week, which included a no-hitter in the 1983 sectional against Wheeler. Rybak was one of the school’s strongest athletes at the time, bench-pressing 315 pounds, still a school record for a quarterback. He played baseball and football at the University of Indianapolis. In baseball, he was a four-year letterwinner and received the team’s mental attitude award in 1988. Rybak moved to receiver for the football Greyhounds and was an all-conference performer in 1987. Jeff continued competing and working out throughout his life. An excellent student, Rybak eventually earned a Ph.D. from Indiana State University and worked as a Senior Scientist based at NASA’s Glenn Research Center in Cleveland, Ohio. Unfortunately, on February 10, 2013, Rybak passed away at the age of 47 while competing in an ice hockey game in Toledo, Ohio. He is survived by his wife, Amy, and three children: Nicholas, Erica and Ian. His parents, Mary and Ted, still reside in Valparaiso.
Charles Edwin Stanier - Stanier coached the offensive and defensive lines on the best football teams in school history in the late 1960s and 1970s. He was part of a Hall of Fame staff that included Sid Reggie and Tom Stokes (1967-76) and Mark Hoffman (1977-80). The Vikings were 143-36-1 during his tenure, which included three undefeated teams (1969, 1970, 1975) that employed the single-wing offense. The 1975 team was 12-0, and won the state championship on an icy November night at Viking Field over Carmel, 14-13. Charles also coached wrestling for 15 years. He taught social studies at VHS from 1967 to 2000. Charles grew up in Gary, graduating in 1959 from Horace Mann where he was a dominant lineman who received a scholarship to play at Duke. At Duke, he was an all-Atlantic Coast Conference performer before his career was cut short due to two knee injuries. Charles received a Master’s Degree from Butler. One of his proudest achievements was his induction to the Indiana Football Hall of Fame in 1998. Charles was able to enjoy his retirement years with his wife, Janice, living in lake houses in Angola, Ind., as well as Georgia, Kentucky and North Carolina. He passed away in January, 2021 and is survived by Janice along with daughters Jennifer Green, Becky DeRuntz and Laura Knight.
Rick Underwood - Prior to the IHSAA establishing a state tournament for football, Underwood led the Vikings to the best season a team could have in 1969. Underwood was the tailback in Coach Tom Stokes’ single-wing offense, and led the team to a perfect 10-0 record and No. 6 ranking in the AP and UPI polls. It was the first time in school history the program reached double figures in wins. Underwood produced 1,052 yards in total offense. A highlight came in a season-opening 40-2 win over Lew Wallace, when Underwood rushed 16 times for 91 yards with four touchdowns. The team finished the perfect record with a 54-0 win over Plymouth, as Underwood threw for one TD and ran for two more. The 1970 graduate was a two-year letter winner in football, and was named team captain in both football and track. He led the track program in scoring as a junior and senior, winning the Duneland Conference title in the 440-yard dash as well as anchoring the first-place mile relay team. After one season at Western Illinois, Underwood transferred home to Valparaiso University where he started at defensive back for the Crusaders in 1972 and 1973. Underwood has spent more than 40 years in the transportation/logistics industry. He resides in Walnut Creek, Calif., where he enjoys playing golf and being a fan of the San Francisco Giants. He and his wife, Sue, have two children: Michael and Lisa.
Anselm Family- Across four decades and three sports, the Anselm Family made its mark in Valparaiso. Together the family combined for 37 titles. Mike Anselm got things started with Sectional wins in wrestling. The family’s success continued through the next 3 decades including 10 Conference titles, 17 Sectional titles, 7 Regional titles, 2 Semi-State titles and one State title. Debbie, a two time MVP, accumulated 14 individual and team titles before leading the team to VHS’s first ever State Gymnastic title in 1981. Stacy and Jamie were members of the girls’ basketball team that won Regional titles in ’89 and ’90. Jamie continued as a starter in ’91 and ’92 teams that earned back-to-back Final Four appearances. Jeff Anselm was an MVP and is on the all-time Valparaiso High School Scoring list with 468 points. He went on to play for Miami Dade College. Jeff was All-Conference, Region 8 All-State, Region 8 All-Star and Primetime Sports MVP. Scott was a 2 time MVP and is on the Valparaiso High School all-time scoring list with 1,135 points. Scott continued his career at Valparaiso University where he still holds single season records ranking 2nd in steals, 5th in assists, and 6th in 3-point percentage and career season records 20th with 1,195 points, 7th with 360 assists and 4th with 174 steals.
James Arnold - Dr. Jim Arnold graduated from VHS in 1988 as one of the best runners in the school history. Arnold was All-State four times, All-American once and finished 16th at National’s as a sophomore. Additionally, he ran on two State Championship teams that were undefeated and ranked 7th in the nation. Thirty years later, Arnold still holds the fastest 5000 meter time and the third best 3200 time in VHS history. As a well-rounded student athlete, he graduated with a 4.1 GPA and was the recipient of the first VHS Athletic/Academic Award. Arnold was recruited by hundreds of colleges and was accepted to Harvard University. He chose to attend Indiana University on a full academic scholarship and earned varsity letters for the track and cross country teams. Arnold won the Coaches Award for Freshman and was named Academic All-Big Ten every season. Dr. Arnold graduated for the Indiana University School of Dentistry in 1996 and moved back to Valparaiso where he established Smile by Arnold & Associates. He and his wife Sarah are raising four amazing children.
Butterfield Family - For almost a decade the Butterfields dominated the Viking football landscape. From the 1968 team through 1976 team (9 consecutive years). HOF Coach Tom Stokes could count on winning Butterfield leadership to help the Vikings claim an amazing 4 of the 6 undefeated Viking seasons. Those Butterfield led teams achieved a winning percentage of 85% (79-13-1) which is the greatest in any 9 year period in Viking history. Steve (1970) was the sole captain and only 2 way starter for the undefeated 1969 team. He was voted first team All-State and received a scholarship to Indiana University graduating with honors. His collegiate athletic career was cut short by injury. Jeff (1971) was a captain for the 1970 season, making him 1 of only 3 players to start for the Vikings in consecutive undefeated seasons. He received All-State honors and earned a scholarship to Western Illinois where he starred as quarterback and defensive back. Larry (1973) was a captain of the 1972 team and earned first team All-State honors as center. He enlisted in the Navy after high school and as a reserve graduated from Indiana University to return to Naval Aviation Officer School (AOCS). He served our country for 9 years as an Enlisted and Officer. David (1977) was an instrumental part of the 1975 undefeated Class 3A State Championship Team. His 1976 team was also undefeated in the regular season (10-0), and finished the year (10-1). He was awarded All Duneland Conference honors. David resides in New Lenox, Illinois where he has served as School Board President and Village Trustee for decades.
Rob Cavanaugh - A 1990 VHS graduate, Rob Cavanaugh excelled on the basketball court, leading the Vikings to two Sectional Championships. During his senior season, Cavanaugh averaged 18.5 points per game and led the Vikings in assists, ranking him 3rd all time in assists for a single season (206). Cavanaugh also set the Indiana High School State Consecutive Free Throw Record, making 72 consecutive free-throws in competition and connecting on 102 of 104 free throws to begin his senior season. He finished his VHS career ranked #1 in free throw shooting for a single season (150/163, 92%) and #1 in Viking history for career free throw shooting (189/213, 88.7%). He also finished his VHS career ranked #1 in 3 point percentage for a single season (51.6%) and #2 in 3-point percentage for his career (44.1%). He was selected to the 1990 all area first teams by the Vidette Messenger, the Post Tribune, The Times, and the South Bend Tribune and was a member of the 1990 All Sectional Team. Cavanaugh continued his basketball career at Valparaiso University from 1990-1994. While at VU, he was a four year starter and a member of the first team in Valparaiso University’s Division 1 history to win 20 games in a single season. During the 1993-1994 season, he was the Dick Koenig assist award winner and finished 3rd in total assists and assists per game in the Mid-Continent Conference. Cavanaugh finished his career at Valparaiso University ranked #1 in 3 point FG percentage (42.3%) and #4 in all time assists (329) and career FT percentage (82.5%). Rob, his wife Heather and their five children; Sami, Matt, Tommy, Becca and Brady reside in Valparaiso.
Erik Chilian- A 1985 graduate, Erik Chilian was one of the school’s most well -rounded athletes in the 80’s. As a junior, he was instrumental in the VHS Cross Country State Championship. In Track and Field, he finished 6th in the 2-mile at the State Finals with a time of 9:27. That same year, he started on the Conference and Sectional Basketball Championship Team. As a senior, Erik placed first in over half of the cross country meets in which he competed. He won Sectionals and Regionals in the mile and placed 4th in the State Track and Field, running a 4:12 mile. He was also a second-year starter and key contributor on the team that again won both the Conference and Sectional Basketball Championships. Chilian attended the United States Military Academy at West Point, served in the Army and held various positions within PepsiCo INC. He now lives in Camas, Washington, with his wife Shannon and Son’s Nathan, Zachary and Matthew.
Angie Cook Moon - As a former AAU National Floor and Vault Champion, Angie Cook entered Valparaiso High School with high expectations. She responded to the call, winning the State All-Around, Balance Beam, and Vault titles her freshman year while delivering runner-up performances in the other two events. Cook added another All-Around and Beam State Title, a runner-up finish and four more individual event medals. During her career she won the Duneland Conference and VHS Most Valuable awards, VHS Most Consistent awards, and held school records for Vault, Beam, Floor, and All-Around. A fierce competitor, Cook helped lead her team to a State Championship and a State Runner-up finish, as well as a #1 ranking in the State all four years. She has worked with the youth gymnastics program since her freshman year in high school. As a volunteer coach for the VHS program since 2000, the team has earned seven State titles, four runner-up finishes, one third, and two fourth place state finishes, as well as thirteen Regional titles (as of 2017). Angle Cook Moon resides in Valparaiso with her husband Tony, and their two children.
John Cook - Serving as Head Wrestling Coach from 1977 to 2002, Coach John Cook’s teams compiled a record of 361-112, for a winning percentage of .763. During these years, 35 Viking wrestlers advanced to the IHSAA State Tournament and 10 competed in the Championship Match. Thirteen of Cook’s wrestlers finished in the top 3 of the state and 2 were crowned State Champions. Two Viking wrestlers were awarded the IHSAA Mental Attitude Award. Coach Cook served as president of the Indiana High School Wrestling Coaches Association, and was inducted into the Indiana Wrestling Hall of Fame in 1997. He was inducted into the Earlham College Athlete Hall of Fame in 2001. From 1998-2002, Cook served on the NFHS’s National Rules Committee, the first Indiana coach to ever be appointed. Cook was also director of the High School Division of National Wrestling Coaches Association 2002-2010.
Terry Cox - Beginning in 1973, Terry Cox was a fixture on the sidelines for several sports at Valparaiso High School and Thomas Jefferson Junior High for many years. A 1969 Hobart graduate who earned two varsity letters in football, Cox came to Valparaiso immediately after graduating from Ball State. He contributed to the development of many young athletes at TJ for eight years before becoming an assistant football coach at the high school. As an offensive coordinator, he helped lead several Viking football teams to successful seasons including State Runner-Up finishes in 1985 and 2001. Terry spend 27 seasons as a varsity Football Assistant Coach, 8 years as the Assistant Athletic Director and 3 years as varsity Track and Field Assistant Coach at VHS. Terry coached Football, Wrestling and Girls Basketball at Thomas Jefferson Junior High as well. Terry and his wife Kathy retired in 2006 and now live in Clearwater, Florida.
Michael Eugene Jones - A 1986 graduate, Michael Eugene Jones holds the basketball career record for shooting percentage at .609. He shot over 60% for three straight seasons (.603, .608 and .613). He is ranked 5th on the all-time scoring list with 1,340 points. As a senior he averaged 23.7 points a game earning First Team All-Conference for the third straight year. He was also voted First Team UPI All-State. His highest scoring games included 41 points against North Judson as a junior and 40 points against Lafayette Jeff his senior year. Jones went on to a four-year career at Valparaiso University, where in 1988 he scored 19 points in the Crusaders 71-68 upset of undefeated and 19th ranked Notre Dame. After graduation, Jones went into teaching and coaching at Wheeler High School. He was the head coach in 2010 when Wheeler won the 2A State Championship becoming the only school in Porter County history to win a State Championship in boys’ basketball. In 2011, Jones was selected to the Indiana Basketball Hall of Fame Silver Anniversary Team.
John M. Knauff - In 35 seasons as freshman basketball coach (under legendary coaches Virgil Sweet, Dale Ciciora, Skip Collins, and Bob Punter), John Knauff’s teams won nearly 600 games at a 70% winning rate; 4 of his teams were undefeated. His 9 seasons as JV boys’ golf coach (under long-time coach Wayne Lichtenberger) produced a record of 152-10, a 94% winning edge. As Varsity girls’ golf coach from 1998-2006, he guided his teams to an overall record of 93-3 (97% wins), including an unprecedented 63-0 mark in Duneland Athletic Conference play. His teams won 9 DAC titles, 8 Sectional crowns, and 1 Regional championship. He took girls to the State meet in 8 or his 9 campaigns, with 3 of his squads finishing in the top 10, highlighted by a 4th place finish in 2005. His teams also won 25 regular season invitationals. 34 players were named all-DAC, including 4 MVP’s; 4 players made the Academic All-State team, while 7 others earned Academic All-State Honorable Mention. Knauff was named Girls’ Golf Coach of the Year in 2003. John was also the public address announcer (“Voice of the Vikings”) for boys’ basketball for 34 years, football for 12 years, and girls’ basketball for 10 years. He served as freshman Athletic Director at Thomas Jefferson for 11 years and assistant Athletic Director at VHS for 4 years.
Dave Knott - Dave Knott graduated 10th in the Class of 1965, and he also earned 7 varsity letters in football, baseball, and basketball. In 1964 he set school records in passing yards and total offense, and recorded a 94 yard touchdown run, the longest in school history. Dave also intercepted a record 7 passes as a DB. The 1964 Vikings had zero fumbles for the season, a remarkable record for a single wing team. Dave matriculated at Wabash College, graduating in 1969 with a degree in math and economics. He set career records for passing yards and TD passes, and was elected team captain in 1968. As the head football coach at Paoli, Peru, and Lafayette Jeff from 1970-1984, Dave’s teams compiled a 100-56 record. At Lafayette Jeff, the Broncos were 69-28 with 5 North Central Conference championships, and a record 30 straight conference wins. Since 1985, Dave has worked as a financial advisor for AXA Advisors, earning Hall of Fame and Distinguished Service Awards. Dave continues to compete, winning National Top Ten finishes in the javelin, discus, and high jump in Masters Track and Field events. Dave has been married to Barbara for 47 years. They have 3 children: Sarah, Betsy, and Jake.
Micky Mannel - As a 1981 graduate, Micky is proud to be the first gymnastic state champion for the Vikings. In 1979 she won the State title in Vaulting and placed second in the All-Around and Beam. She worked hard to progress from beginning level to optional competition during her years under the dedicated coaching of Lori Cook. She was on the All-Conference Team every year during high school, capturing many individual wins and helping her team to victory in 1980 and 1981. She consistently won individual titles in Sectionals and Regionals and competed at State three years. She won a total of ten State medals during high school. Micky was honored to be team MVP in 1979 and was given the Mental Attitude award in 1978. After graduation, her parents continued to support the team. Her dad, Jim, announced VHS gymnastic meets for the next 30 years. She earned her degree at the University of Evansville. Her career as a nurse has offered her opportunities of National Intensive Care and flight nursing in Phoenix before she studied to become a Pediatric Nurse Practitioner. She now lives in Prescott, AZ with her husband Kevin.
O’Neill Family - The O’Neill brothers were synonymous with Viking basketball success throughout the 1960’s. Oldest brother Martin (Chip) graduated in 1960, having contributed to three teams that went 54-21. Steve, a 1962 graduate, let the 1961-62 team to an 18-7 record and a Sectional championship. He averaged 13.5 points with a single game high of 31. Mike was the only 1,000 point scorer in the family, tallying 1,006 points for an average of 16 per game. As a senior in 1964-65, he led the Vikings to a 20-4 record. His junior year, the Vikings won the Sectional, Regional and advanced to the Semi-State championship game where they suffered a 73-67 loss to Lafayette Jeff. Younger brother Tom graduated in 1971, finishing his career with a 15.2 average. All four played sports in college; Chip played football at Yale, while Steve played basketball at Purdue, Mike at Davidson and Tom at Virginia Tech. The O’Neill Family total of 2,463 ranks second in school history.
Joe Otis - Joe Otis graduated from VHS in 1970 playing on Sectional championship teams in basketball his junior and senior year for legendary coach Virgil Sweet. He is the career and single season scoring leader at Boucher Gym with 1,113 points and 544 points respectively. Joe played at Northwestern University and was selected to the Big Ten All-Star team that toured Australia, New Zealand, and Tahiti for a month in the summer of 1972. As a senior he played for Tex Winter, the architect of the Triangle Offense, and scored a high of 25 points at Purdue. After college he was an assistant coach at Valparaiso University until 1980 when he became the boys’ basketball coach at LaPorte High School. Over the next 21 seasons he won 8 Sectionals, 3 Regionals, and one Semi-State Championship going 296-188 overall. In 1997 the Slicers went 22-5 and played in the last single class IHSAA Final Four in front of 29,000 fans. A disciple of Coach Sweet’s Valpo Free Throw Method, his 1991 and 1997 Slicer teams are among the Top 10 free throw shooting teams of all time nationally. In 2009 Joe returned to VHS as the boys basketball coach for four seasons winning the Sectional in 2011. He was the girls basketball coach his final year retiring in 2014.
Brett “Poli” Polizotto - As a student athlete and then as a teacher and coach, Brett Polizotto can honestly say he is a Viking for life. Brett was named 1987 National High School All-American by the National High School Coaches Association by placing 4th at the Nationals. He was a member of the 1983, 1985, 1986 IHSAA Cross Country Team Champions. Poli was awarded the 1986 IHSAA Cross Country Mental Attitude Award. He earned 4 Academic All-State honors and 3 Hoosier Harrier All-State Honors in cross country. On the track, he set the school record of 9:09.96 in the 3200 and placed 7th, 3rd, and 2nd at the IHSAA State Track Meet, earning another 3 Hoosier Harrier All-State Honors. Brett was a 3 year varsity cross country letterman at Indiana University Bloomington. He earned the 1990 Indiana University Scholastic Achievement Award. He also ran track for three years. Coach Poli was the VHS head track coach from 1998-2015 accumulating 109 wins and 11 losses in the DAC, earning 9 DAC titles, 15 Sectional titles and 4 Regional titles. Poli was also an assistant cross country coach from 1994-2003 earning two more IHSAA State Cross Country Championships in 1997 and 2000.
Pete Sattler - Versatility has consistently been used to describe Pete Sattler throughout his tenure at VHS and beyond. While at VHS he earned 10 varsity letters across swimming, track, and football. With this success in all three sports, swimming remained predominate. Pete helped the team achieve three DAC titles, three Sectional titles, and three top ten State finishes. Individually he became a 13 time State Finalist, a four time Sectional, and a four time DAC Champion. He was an All-American, and set 4 school records. Pete also participated in track as a four year Regional finalist running as a sprinter and a hurdler. He was a two year starting kicker for the football team. Following VHS, Pete continued swimming as a Miami University Redhawk and played a large role on the team to help them to become the 1997 Mid American Conference Champions. He was the proud winner of the Miami Mental Attitude award and named All Mid American Conference for his performance at the MAC Championship meet a total of ten times between 1994 and 1997. This included winning the 100 Breaststroke to become the 1995 MAC Champion. Pete was also a school record holder for the Redhawks. Following his athletic career Pete returned to VHS to teach Science and Philosophy as well as Coach Women’s Swimming and Diving.
Lorrie Woycik - Lorrie is a pioneer educator and coach. A native of Staten Island, NY, she graduated from Valparaiso University in 1952 and has contributed to Valparaiso Community Schools and the city for more than six decades with no signs of slowing down. Lorrie started teaching at Vale Day School, now know as Porter County Education Services, in 1957. She was the original coach for Special Olympics in Valparaiso, starting in 1969 when the program first began in Indiana. Throughout the years, she has coached “HER KIDS” in swimming, basketball, softball, volleyball, skiing and many other sports. Along with her husband Barney, a VHS graduate, she was the Ski School Director at the Pines Ski Area. Lorrie was the first girls’ basketball coach at Valparaiso High School, starting the program in 1974 and leading the team for its first two seasons. She has received many Special Olympics honors throughout her life, and is also a member of the Valparaiso University Athletic Hall of Fame. She and Barney had three children and she now has 15 great grandchildren. “Kids are my business” is her motto. Says Lorrie, “God has blessed me richly, and I thank Him every day!”
Mark Allen - 1976 VHS graduate, Allen is considered one of the best ball carriers in school history. Allen played on two of the schools’ best football teams, including the undefeated Class 3 A state championship team in 1975, his senior year. Allen, a tailback in the single wing offense of Hall of Fame Coach Tom Stokes, rushed for 795 yards, passed for 860 yards, passed for 8 touchdowns and scored 16 total touchdowns. In the 14-13 championship game victory over Carmel at Viking Field, Allen scored Valpo’s first touchdown on a 64 yard punt return. On his years playing varsity, the “Big Green Machine” won 19 consecutive games beginning with the second game of the 1974 season. Allen also played basketball, first earning varsity time as a sophomore. He finished with 164 career paints. Allen went on to play football in college at the University of Cincinnati and Arizona State, and played professionally in the USFL. He lived most of his adult life in Valparaiso before passing away in 2008.
Charles E. "Skip" Bird - No one contributed more to the success of the Valparaiso boys swimming program than Charles E. “Skip” Bird. After receiving his BA and MA degrees from Valparaiso University, Skip returned to his alma mater (VHS Class of 1958) to teach English in 1963. He became varsity swim coach in 1967, a position he held through the 1998 season. His teams won more than 300 dual meets, 19 Duneland Conference championships, 18 sectional championships and produced 17 All-American champions while annually advancing several athletes to the state championship meet. The Vikings’ best overall state meet finish was third place in 1985. Bird was named Indiana State Coach of the Year in 1980 and again in his final season. During his more than 30 years of teaching and coaching, he received many academic and athletic awards including two most prestigious honors: Sagamore of the Wabash presented by Indiana governor Evan Bayh and the Disney Teacher Award in 1992. Recognized by national high school and university swimming coaches for his exceptional leadership, dedication and services to the National Interscholastic Swimming Coaches Association of America and the sport of swimming and diving in the United States, Skip was inducted to the Indiana High School Swimming and Diving Hall of Fame in 2007. He was recognized by his fellow Indiana coaches who voted him into the Indiana Swimming Hall of Fame, where he also received the “Doc” Counsilman Award for his lifetime of coaching and mentoring swimmers. “Doc” was Skip’s mentor for more than 50 years and Skip’s most cherished friend. Known for a wonderful sense of humor, Bird influenced hundreds of VHS graduates, not only his swimmers but also his English class students. He passed away in February, 2011 at age 70 and is survived by his wife Betsy, daughters Mary and Patty, and the greatest joys of his life, grandchildren Sydney, Logan and Blake Spillers.
Collette (Douglas) Huffman - A 1991 graduate, Collette Douglas Huffman is one of the best runners in school history who continued as a professional until her 30s. As a high school senior, she stunned the crowd at the IUPUI Track Stadium in Indianapolis by winning individual state titles in the 1,600- and 3,200-meter runs on a blistering hot day. Huffman set seven Duneland Conference records, and was the Keebler Invitational National Champion in the 3,200 in 1991. Huffman competed briefly at Ball State before transferring to Valparaiso University, where she became the most dominant runner ever at the school and was inducted to the Hall of Fame in 2003. At VU, she was a two-time All-American and was named Mid-Continent Conference Athlete of the Year in 1999. As a professional sponsored by Nike, she represented the United States on 11 national teams and qualified for the Olympic trials in 2000 and 2004, competing in distances ranging from 1,500 to 5,000 meters. Huffman lives with her husband, Ric, son James and step-children Ryker and Sara in Indianapolis where she is director of Community Programs at the Dyslexia Institute of Indiana.
Tom Hampson - A 1966 graduate, Hampson was a dominant basketball player on three mid-1960s high-scoring and successful teams directed by Hall of Fame coach Virgil Sweet. Hampson, a 6-foot-7 center, still owns every major rebounding record in school history. Hampson finished his career with 911 rebounds, 349 more than any other player in school history. His two best single-season totals of 387 (1965-66) and 306 (1964-65) rank 1-2 on the school single-season list, while his 212 rebounds as a sophomore ranks sixth. Hampson could also score. He ranks 13th on the school’s all-time scoring list at 1,012 points, one of just 14 players to score more than 1,000. VHS won sectional titles all three years Hampson played on the varsity, a streak that reached 10 in a row his senior year when the Vikings went 20-5 and also won the Northwest Conference title. He helped lead the 1964 team to a regional title, when Valpo reached the final eight of the single-class state tournament. Valpo’s three-year record was 58-18 while Hampson played. Hampson attended the University of Oklahoma, where he earned a varsity letter in 1969 and led the freshman team in scoring. He had a 25-year career in federal law enforcement.
Adolph Jankowski - A 1937 graduate, Jankowski was one of the school’s premier athletes of the mid-1930s. Jankowski was voted Best Boy Athlete in the school as a senior, after he had successful seasons in football, basketball and golf. Jankowski was the leading rusher on the football team as a junior and a senior. He played varsity basketball for three years, scoring 255 career points during an era when scores rarely reached the 30s. One of his teammates was future Olympian and VHS Hall of Famer Campbell Kane. Jankowski was on the 1935 team that finished 18-9 and won a sectional title. He was a top golfer throughout his high school years, a sport he continued to play throughout his life. Jankowski owned his own business in town for many years. His wife, Betty, was a 1938 graduate. They had eight children who all graduated from VHS. Jankowski continued to attend and support VHS athletics before passing away at age 87 in April, 2005.
Greg Kirby - Making the switch from coaching boys basketball, Greg Kirby took an already successful VHS girls basketball program to the next level. Kirby coached the Lady Vikings for 16 seasons beginning in 1990-91. His first team finished 24-2, and he exited with an overall record of 324-58, an incredible winning percentage of .848. Kirby’s teams won 13 Duneland Conference titles, including eight in a row from 1991 through 1998. The Vikings won 13 sectionals, including seven single-class titles, nine regionals and four semi states. VHS advanced to the state finals in 1991, 1992, 1996 and 2000, finishing as state runners-up in 1996 and 2000. The 1991-92 team finished 26-2, which is still the best in school history. Kirby was named the Indiana Coaches of Girls Sports Association Coach of the Year three times, coached two first-team all-state players and four Indiana All-Stars. He left VHS after the 2006 season to become an assistant coach at Valparaiso University.
Rebekah (Porter) Peterson - One of the most decorated gymnasts in school history, Rebekah Porter graduated in 2004 with six individual and one team state championship. As a senior, Porter scored a school-record 9.9 to win the individual vault title, won the floor exercise and captured the all-around title with a score of 38.025 leading the Vikings to the team championship. She was also named the Mental Attitude Award winner at the state meet. Earlier that season, she returned from a stress fracture to lead the Vikings to the Duneland Conference title by winning the all-around title. As a junior, she amassed a first-place all-around score of 38.05 at the state meet, winning individual titles in the floor exercise and vault as the Vikings placed third as a team. Porter also competed and placed well in several national meets. An excellent student, she earned a full scholarship to the University of New Hampshire.
The Reggie Family - For more than five decades, the Reggie family has been involved in VHS sports and academics. Father Sid Reggie began teaching social studies at VHS in 1964, when he also started a successful career as a varsity assistant and head JV football coach. Through 1980, his JV teams amassed a record of 103-25-2 with undefeated seasons in 1972, 1974, 1976 and 1979. He was a key member of Coach Tom Stokes’ staff when the Vikings won the Class 3A state football championship. Daughter Erica, a 1981 graduate, was a member of the first VHS team to win a state championship in gymnastics. She earned four letters in gymnastics and twice was named the team’s mental attitude award winner. Son John, a 1984 graduate, was a key contributor on Valpo’s 1983 state cross country championship team. He was an all-Duneland Athletic Conference runner and also won his team’s mental attitude award. Daughter Lisa was a two-year varsity basketball player before graduating in 1985. Son Peter, a 1989 graduate, played football. Mother Maredith helped Sid organize athletic banquets, including designing unique programs featuring items such as poems or crossword puzzles. Sid continued to teach until 2010. Erica is an industrial engineer for Southwest Airlines in Dallas, John is a mechanical engineer in Richmond, Calif., Lisa is a retail store director in Denver and Peter is a high school Spanish teacher in Dallas.
Amy (Shurr) Agema - A 1997 VHS graduate, Amy Shurr Agema is one of the most versatile athletes in school history. She excelled in diving, basketball and track and field. Amy was the state diving champion in both her sophomore and senior years, one of just four divers in state history to accomplish that feat. She is the only diver to win four consecutive Duneland Conference titles, and was inducted to the Indiana High School Swimming and Diving Hall of Fame in 2007. She is one of just six divers to receive that honor. Shurr not only excelled as a diver, but also earned three varsity letters in basketball and four in track and field. She had an outstanding junior year, placing third in the state diving finals in the fall, leading the basketball team in minutes played on their way to the state championship game in the winter and leading the 4 x 800 relay team to a third-place finish at the track state finals in the spring. For those accomplishments, she was named the Northwest Indiana Times Athlete of the Year. During her senior year, Shurr won the state diving championship in the fall and led the 4 x 800 relay team to a state championship in the spring. At Indiana University, she competed in diving but suffered an injury before moving on to compete in the prestigious Little 500 bike race four times. She currently works in pharmaceutical sales and lives with her husband, Michael, in Chicago.
Sarrah (Stricklett) Mosher - A 1996 VHS graduate, Sarrah Stricklett Mosher was the leading scorer on the Vikings’ team that advanced to the state championship game against Center Grove her senior year. She hit a last-second game-winning shot against Lake Central in the Lafayette Semi state to give the Vikings a berth in the state Final Four. A 6-foot-1 post player, Stricklett averaged 18.7 points and 7.8 rebounds as a senior and 10 points and six rebounds as a junior. She was named an Indiana All-Star after her senior season. The Vikings won a school-record 21 consecutive games her senior year and finished with a 23-4 record. She also won a Duneland Conference title in the high jump as a senior. Mosher went on to have a fantastic career at Valparaiso University. She was a member of VU’s first Mid-Continent Conference regular-season championship team in 1998-99. She ranks second in VU history with 1,498 points and is the school’s all-time leading rebounder with 772. She was named an all-conference player four times, and earned the tournament MVP as a sophomore. Mosher was inducted into VU’s Hall of Fame in 2006.
Shannon (Swanson) Domico - A 1994 graduate, Shannon Swanson Domico was a key performer on state championship gymnastics teams in 1991 and 1994. She was named team MVP as a senior, and went on to win a silver medal in a national gymnastics meet in Michigan. As a freshman, she placed fifth in floor exercise and eighth on beam in the state meet and was named the team’s most improved gymnast. Domico received the mental attitude award twice in her career. She also participated in cross country for three years, running in the state meet as a sophomore, and was a member of the track team for three years until she was slowed by a knee injury. She graduated with a 4.3 GPA and attended Indiana University, where she stayed active as a runner and competed in the Little 500 bike race in 1997. Domico and her husband, Robert, have three children and reside in Monaca, Pa., where she is a Senior Systems Analyst for PPG Industries.
Ellison (Tipton) Carter - A 2000 VHS graduate, Ellison Tipton Carter earned 11 letters in gymnastics, soccer and track and field. Ellison was the Vikings’ third individual all-around state champ for gymnastics coach Lorie Cook. As a junior in 1999, she won the all-around title as well as the uneven bars and balance beam to lead the Vikings to a second-place team finish. As a freshman, she placed second all-around and in the floor exercise and balance beam to lead the Vikings to the state championship. She won the floor exercise and was fourth all-around as a sophomore, when the team repeated its state title. An elbow injury cut short her senior gymnastics season, but she did return to compete in track and field. She was a regional qualifier in track, competing in the hurdles, long jumps and various relays. She attended Indiana University, where she excelled in the pole vault. As a junior and senior at IU, she was named Academic All-Big Ten and advanced to the NCAA regional in the pole vault.
Sue (Watts) Collins - A 1980 graduate, Sue Watts Collins is the first basketball player in school history to be named an Indiana All-Star for the annual Indiana-Kentucky All-Star series. She had an outstanding senior season, scoring a record 469 points, a 26.1 average that ranks No. 1 in school history. She twice scored 40 points in a single game, was named Player of the Year in Northwest Indiana and voted MVP of the Duneland Conference. She also averaged 13 rebounds per game, and finished her career with a scoring average of 17.2 points per game. Collins went on to a four-year career at Indiana University, where in 1983 she helped the Hoosiers win their only Big Ten title in school history and advance to the NCAA Tournament. She was a two-time recipient of the IU Student Academic Award for combining excellence in athletics with outstanding classroom performance. She has a business degree from IU and a master’s from the University of Notre Dame. Collins is vice president and CEO of Capgemini Corporation and resides in Valparaiso.
Tim Bishop- Tim was a member of the class of 1994. He starred in football, basketball and baseball at VHS earning 9 letters. He was the first Viking to be selected an all-star in football, basketball, and baseball. He received a full ride scholarship to Indiana University for football. Tim’s senior season he was selected athlete of the year by The Times and The Post-Tribune. In June of 1994 he was drafted by the New York Mets baseball team and played for their minor league affiliate, the class A Columbia City Bombers. Tim Bishop is considered by many to be Valparaiso High School’s greatest all-around athlete.
Bob Comeford- Bob graduated from VHS in 1963. He lettered 4 years in track and cross country. In track he high jumped and long jumped, ran hurdles and ran middle distance. He set many school records at VHS. Bob gave many hours of his time helping coach many of the middle school and elementary students in track and field. He attended Southern Utah State College where he ran track and received his teaching degree. He was the 1972 track athlete of the year for Southern Utah State College. In 1966, while in the military he ran for the U.S. Army track team in the Balboa Relays in Panama. As a teacher/coach in Utah his teams won 5 state championships, 4 runner-up state championships and 12 regional championships. Bob has coached and taught for 31 years.
The Copper Family- Walt and Barb (1960-1985 contributors), Mike (1965) and Tom (1964). Mike played basketball and baseball and ran cross country and track at VHS. Tom played basketball, golf, and football at VHS in addition to running cross country and track. For nearly 30 years Viking basketball players honed their skills on the outdoor court at Gardner Elementary School. The court was right outside the back door of Walt and Barb Copper’s home. Their basement was always open for players and neighborhood kids to get a drink. Walt supervised and often played in the highly competitive games played at Gardner. For many years the summer weight program was run out of the Coppers’ garage. Walt and Barb’s support and generosity helped many hopeful young men realize their dreams of playing for the Vikings. Mike was VHS’s outstanding athlete in 1965. He was a captain and leading scorer in his senior year. Voted to the all sectional and regional teams. Tom was class president and voted all conference in basketball. Mike attended Indiana State University playing basketball and Tom attended Washburn University and Indiana University playing basketball and golf. Mike was MVP and captain of the ISU basketball team that was NCAA runners-up. Mike is a member if the ISU athletic hall of fame and an honorable mention small college All American. The Copper family home was the gathering place for VHS basketball players of all ages over the years.
Bryce Drew- A 1994 graduate of VHS, Bryce starred in tennis and basketball for the Vikings. A member of the 1993 Viking tennis team that made it to the final 8. Best known for his exploits on the basketball court, Bryce was the leading scorer on the greatest team in Viking history. The Vikes went 28-1 that season, finishing as state runner-up. Bryce won the coveted Arthur Trester Mental Attitude Award and was named Indiana’s Mr. Basketball. He went on to play for his father, Dr. Homer Drew, at Valparaiso University where he led the Crusaders to 4 conference titles and 3 straight NCAA appearances. In the 1998 NCAA Bryce became famous for “The Shot,” a last second three pointer that sent the Crusaders to the sweet 16 for the first time in school history. Those heroics earned Bryce and the Crusaders an ESPY award that year. A member of the USA team for the world games in Italy in 1997. The 16th player taken in the NBA draft by the Houston Rockets, Bryce went on to play for 6 seasons in the NBA including one season with the Chicago Bulls and 3 seasons with the New Orleans Hornets. A member of Valparaiso University’s hall of fame and holder of numerous scoring records at VU, at the time of his induction into the VHS Hall of Fame Bryce was the associate head coach of the Crusaders.
The Furlin Family- The Furlin family children were outstanding athletes at VHS from the late 1970’s to the mid 1990’s. Jeff graduated in 1980, Joe graduated in 1989, Laura graduated in 1990, Lisa graduated in 1992 and David graduated in 1995. The student/athletes earned as a family 18 letters in the sports of basketball, track, baseball, tennis and gymnastics at VHS. Jeff attended Ball State University and lettered in basketball all 4 years. Jeff’s teams were conference champs and made the NCAA tournament. Joe attended Indiana University and graduated from Indiana University School of Medicine as an ob/gyn. Laura attended Indiana University and received her MBA from the University of Chicago. Lisa attended Indiana University and lettered in basketball all 4 years. Lisa’s teams made the NCAA tournament twice and she is a member of the 1000 point club at IU. David attended Bowling Green State University and lettered in basketball for 3 years. The Furlin family has brought several championships to Valparaiso through their many years in sports. Their success could not be achieved without the dedication and support from their parents, Sam and Bunny, and the strong support amongst all six siblings.
Jeanette Gray - Jeanette is a 1999 graduate of VHS. She lettered 11 times in volleyball, golf, basketball and softball during her career at VHS. In basketball she was a 3-time all-DAC selection and MVP her junior year earning 1st team all-state selection as a senior. Jeanette was an AAU all-American and Indiana all-star selection in 1999. In golf, basketball, and softball she was an academic all-state selection and was 2nd team all-state her senior year in softball…she was the VHS academic/athletic award winner her senior year. Jeanette attended Valparaiso University and lettered four years in basketball – three years as captain. She was named the university’s athlete of the year in 2003. She was a two time academic All-American. In 2008 she was inducted into the Valparaiso University athletic hall of fame.
Stacey (Hrabota) Westbrooks - Stacey graduated from VHS in 1993. She earned 6 letters in volleyball and softball at VHS. Stacey was named the first ever Miss Softball for the state of Indiana in 1993. She played on the North all-star team her senior year in softball. Stacey was all DAC, All State and MVP her senior year. She still holds 18 of the records in softball at VHS. She attended Austin Peay State University playing both volleyball and softball. Stacey is a current member of the ICGSA Hall of Fame and has been inducted into the Indiana softball hall of fame.
Pat Murphy - A three sport standout in football, basketball, and baseball at VHS. “Murph” was a leader on and off the field as evidenced by his election as president of the class of 1961. A graduate of St. Joseph’s College, Coach Murphy went on to a 32 year coaching career at VHS. He spent 19 seasons as an assistant football coach, 4 as the JV baseball coach, and 28 as the varsity baseball coach. Over the years he coached numerous all stars in football and baseball. He is the Vikings all-time winningest baseball coach with 483 victories. Highlights included 2 DAC championships and 13 sectional championships. His philosophy was “Work hard, play smart, and most of all, have fun!”
Chuck Oliver - Chuck graduated from VHS in 1977. He played football and basketball and ran track at VHS earning a total of nine letters at VHS. He played on the 1975 Viking state champion football team. In football he was all DAC, All State, North all-star team, and Parade All American. Chuck attended Purdue University and played football for the Boilermakers as a quarterback. “Great team, great coaches and great memories.”
Bob Punter - Bob coached and taught for 38 years in the Valparaiso school system. He spent 18 years as the head varsity basketball coach and 11 years as the JV basketball coach. He also served many years as a football, golf and track coach. His varsity basketball teams recorded 302 wins making him the Vikings’ all-time winningest coach. His teams won 9 DAC championships, 9 sectional championships, 2 regional championships, 1 semi-state championship and 1 state runner-up in 1994. Bob won many coach of the year awards during his career. In 2002 he was selected an assistant coach for the Indiana all-stars. Bob has degrees from Indiana State and Valparaiso Universities and in 1986 he was named teacher of the year.
R. James Risk - Dr. Risk served as superintendent of Valparaiso Community Schools from 1970 until 1990. A 1945 graduate of Milan High School, He also attended Indiana University where he earned his teaching degree in mathematics in 1948. Dr. Risk oversaw the staffing and equipping of the newly built Valparaiso High School that opened in 1972. He was the driving force behind the auxiliary gyms that were built at Thomas Jefferson and Ben Franklin Middle Schools in the late 70’s. In 1987 he pushed for the building of the fieldhouse and fitness room at VHS, an area used by all sports. Many coaches credit the building of these facilities with the Vikings’ dominance of the all sports championship in the DAC. Noted for saying, “If you’re going to get something done, do it!” Since his retirement, he has remained a devoted Viking fan and still attends many Viking sporting events.
Scott R. Schroer - A 1984 graduate of VHS, Scott starred in cross country and track. He also lettered twice in basketball. In 1983 he led the Viking cross country team to the state championship, finishing 6th and winning the coveted IHSAA Mental Attitude Award. His coach, Skip Collins said, “I was involved in coaching numerous sports for over a quarter of a century. In that time span, no individual was ever a greater leader of his/her team than Scott Schroer in the fall of 1983. He constantly set a superb example. Not only was he spectacular on race days, he finished first in every single practice run for the entire season ... on a team full of good runners. He never took a day off. I’m not sure if VHS has ever had, in any sport, a finer representative of what we want Viking athletes to be.” Scott was a DAC all conference runner in 1981, 1982 and 1983 and the MVP in 1983. He was a member of the 1983 IHSAA sweet sixteen basketball team. He attended Bradley University where he continued his cross country and track career. At Bradley University, he set the 3000 meter steeplechase record. Scott graduated cum laude with a BS degree in engineering physics.
Yvonne Ute Bowman Otley- A 1986 Graduate, Ute Bowman Otley won 3 varsity letters in basketball. Under the tutelage of Hall of Fame coach Dale Ciciora, she lead her teams to 2 sectional and 2 DAC championships while being named VHS MVP twice and the DAC MVP once. She was named all-State and academic all-State following her senior campaign. She graduated as VHS's all-time career leading scorer. Ute went on to star for 4 years under Coach Jacqueline Hullah at Dartmouth. She was on 4 Ivy League championship teams and finished as the school's all-time leader in assists (1 game, 1 season, and career) while climbing to 9th on the all-time scoring list. Since her graduation in 1990, she has been a teacher and varsity basketball coach in New York and Georgia and has been named "Coach of the Year" twice. She currently resides with her husband in Woodstock, Georgia.
Jennifer Rose Cole- A 1989 Graduate, Jen Cole earned 9 varsity letters in volleyball, basketball, and softball. She was All DAC five times (1 VB, 2BB, and 2B). She was VHS MVP in basketball twice and DAC MVP once. She made All-Star teams in both basketball and softball. She led her teams to three sectional titles, and one regional title, and finished her career with numerous school records to her credit. She continued her basketball and softball career at LaSalle University. In basketball, she won all-conference honors four straight years and was named academic all-American 1st team and honorable All American her junior year. As a senior, she led the nation in FT % (90.9). She finished her collegiate career with 10 individual LaSalle records, including the career scoring record. Since her 1993 magna cum laude graduation in chemistry, she has lived and worked as a chemical manager in Texas.
C. J. Doane- A graduate of Covington High School and Eastern Illinois University, was a talented basketball player at both schools, leading CHS to the Sweet Sixteen and lettering 3 years at EIU, serving as co-captain his senior year. After teaching and serving as Headmaster of Elgin Academy, C.J. came to VHS and began a long illustrious tenure as teacher, coach, asst. principal, and of course, athletic director, helping long-time friend and VHS Hall of Famer Virgil Sweet. He established the Valpo FT method in the later 50s. He was a founding father of the Duneland Athletic Conference in the late 60s. In the 70s, he helped plan the current VHS sports facilities and helped establish the girls' athletic teams. He helped hire many of VHS's most successful coaches and hired athletic secretary Rachel West, a VHS fixture for over a quarter century. Throughout his long stint as A.D., he kept the athletic department financially strong and helped establish the VHS athletic philosophy doing everything "first class." He retired in 1986. He and his wife Carolyn are parents of four VHS grads: Jim, Kim, Brian, and Kasia.
The Gott Family - From the 1930s to the 1990s, Three generations of the Gott family have excelled as VHS athletes. Patriarch Dale "Kelly" Gott (wife Marion) graduated in 1940 after earning 6 varsity letters in football, track, and baseball. He started at right end on the school's first undefeated FB team in 1939. Kelly passed away in 1984. Kelly's sons, Dale, Jr. and Allen, earned 16 varsity letters in basketball, football, baseball, and track in the late 50s and early 60s. Both of their basketball teams won 3 sectional titles in a row. Allen played collegiately at the University of Oklahoma. He currently resides in Texas with his wife and 3 children. Dale played basketball and baseball at Tulane University; he and his wife Sharon live in Valparaiso where Dale continues as a highly successful teacher and coach. Dale's three children (Jeff, Kim, and Tom) earned 7 letters in basketball, baseball, and golf in the late 80s and early 90s. Besides amassing an amazing 29 letters at VHS, the Gotts have always been both liked and respected as fierce competitors, yet exemplary role models.
Steve Letnich- A 1986 graduate, Steve earned 5 varsity letters in golf and football. His most notable success came on the gridiron, where he was all-conference, junior all-state, and all-state honorable mention in 1984. As a senior, he was captain and MVP of the 12-2 Viking team which was state runner-up. He also was DAC MVP, 1st team all-state, and captain of the North team for the '86 all-star football game. At graduation, he was the VHS all-time total offense leader in football. He them went to the Air Force Academy, where he played for 2 years, including an appearance in the '87 Freedom Bowl. He transferred to Purdue, where he finished his career and was named Academic all-Big 10 and won awards for citizenship, work ethic, and teamwork. He currently lives with his wife Colleen, daughter Victoria, and son Nathan in suburban Chicago, where he works in sales for Worthington Steel.
Gina Massuda- A 1992 graduate, Gina earned 5 letters while participating in diving, gymnastics, and track. Her most notable achievements were in gymnastics, where she was DAC MVP in 1990 and 1992, and VHS MVP in 1990, 1991, and 1992. She won the VHS academic-athletic senior award in 1992. She led the gymnastics team to a state championship in 1991 and a state runner-up finish in 1992. She was a state champion on both the uneven bars and all-around in 1990 and 1991. She won the prestigious mental attitude award given by the IHSAA in 1992. She was named all-State in 1990, 1991, and 1992, and she received high mention all-American recognition for all 4 events and all-around during her career. She graduated from Vanderbilt University in 1996 and currently lives in Chicago, where she works in a community service organization called City Year.
Stephen Daniel Mueller- A 1988 graduate, Stephen Mueller earned 6 varsity letters in football and track. In track, the hurdler/sprinter won 4 sectional titles and won the mental attitude award twice. In football, he won the prestigious Kelly Gott award twice. Following his senior season, he was named 1st team all-state, honorable mention all-American, and a member of the North-South Indiana all-Star team. He was named MVP of the North team for his game performance. He matriculated to the University of Illinois, where he lettered every year as a wide receiver/kick returner. He was captain of his team, and he won awards for most improved player leadership. Following his 1993 graduation, he joined the U.S. Navy, where he was awarded the Iron Man Award for athletics. He currently is active as a U.S. Navy SEAL and is stationed in California.
Carolyn Schnure Hill- 1976 graduate, was one of the first multi-sport female stars in VHS history. She earned 7 letters in volleyball, basketball, and track. She was MVP in both volleyball and track her senior season and was named an all-conference performer in all 3 sports (twice in basketball and track and once in volleyball.) She continued her athletic career at Drake University, where she was a 4-year captain and the first 4-year letter winner in Drake volleyball history. In 1981, she was named one of Drake's all-time greatest athletes. She currently resides in Des Moines, Iowa, where she is a program coordinator for the Walnut Creek YMCA.
Erin Darlene (Doelling) Currie- A 1982 graduate, Erin (Doelling) Currie was a multi-sport star at VHS in the early 80s. She earned 5 varsity letters in cross country, basketball, and track. She was a member of the 1st girls' cross country team in 1981, helping the team qualify for the State Finals. She was MVP in track her junior year and qualified for the Regional in 3 events. She was the leading scorer and MVP of the 1981-82 basketball team which was State runner up under Hall of Fame coach Dale Ciciora. She was all-Sectional, all-Regional, all-Semi-State, and all-State Finals her senior campaign, as well as being named Academic All-State. She went on to earn 4 varsity letters for Coach Ruth Jones at Purdue University in basketball. She was captain for 2 years, MVP one year, Academic All-Big 10 and All-American 2 years, and Defensive MVP for 2 years. She graduated from Purdue in 1986 with top finishes in 7 statistical categories, including highest career FT % (.741). Upon graduation, she received the prestigious Red Mackey Award which recognizes two athletes, one male & one female, and each year who exemplifies the overall success of Purdue University intercollegiate athletic program.
Ellen Sachs- A 1980 graduate, Ellen (Ellie) Sachs earned 4 letters in swimming while becoming one of the Viking's all-time greats. During all 4 years of high school, she was high point scorer for her team, conference champ, sectional champ, all-state, and a high school record holder. During her senior year, she was MVP and a state champion in 1976 as a member of the 400 Meter Freestyle Relay Team (w/ Louise Neis, Sue Poncher, and Carla Somers). She went on to Northwestern University where she swam all 4 years on a full athletic scholarship. At NY, she was a Big 10 qualifier for 4 years as well as a Big 10 champ and all-American in 1981. She earned her degree from Northwestern and the University of Michigan (D.D.S.) and is currently an endodontist in Denver, Colorado.
Earl Deal – A 1964 graduate, Earl keyed great success for VHS track and cross country teams. In cross country, he co-captained Valparaiso’s first ever Regional team victory. During Earl’s senior year, the Viking cross country team (under Hall of Famer Ken Pifer) was undefeated until the state meet and finished third. He placed at the state meet each of his four years. In track, he won several conference, sectional, and regional mile titles, and two state mile championships. His mile time in 1964 was Indiana’s fastest and one of the nation’s fastest. He won varsity track and cross country letters at Indiana State, where he was track MVP in 1965. He was inducted into the Indiana Track and Cross Country Hall of Fame in 1984. Earl currently lives and works in Valparaiso.
Myron Knauff – A 1937 Deedsville High School and 1941 Franklin College graduate, Myron excelled in both basketball and baseball earning eight letters in both high school and college while captaining his college baseball team for two years. While in the Navy, he played a year of baseball at UCLA where his .371 average was second only to former Yankee star and current American League President Dr. Bobby Brown. After World War II, he taught and coached at Monroe High School for three years, was principal at Twelve Mile for five years, was principal at Hebron for 14 years, and was elementary principal and assistant superintendent for 18 years at Valparaiso. He has been a licensed IHSAA official in baseball, basketball, and track, and he has started over 40 sectionals and regionals in track and cross country, including both the head starter at two girls’ state meets. He was on the IHSAA council for 10 years (1963-1973) where helped bring about the football playoffs and many current girls’ sports tournaments. Since coming to Valparaiso, he has been a tireless backer of Valparaiso Athletics, attending contests regularly in both revenue and non-revenue sports. As assistant superintendent he helped hire many current and former VHS coaches, including Mark Hoffman, Bob Punter, Skip Collins, Lorie Cook, and Sam Rasmussen. He retired in 1986 after 44 years in education.
Tom McDonald – A 1955 VHS graduate, Tom earned eight varsity letters in football, basketball, and track. He won all state recognition in football his senior year and participated in the state track meet while earning the VHS Outstanding Athlete Award for 1954-55. He then matriculated to Indiana University and won four varsity letters in football (3) and track (1). He won the prestigious Jake Gimbel award for athletic and academic achievement his senior year. Tom led the Big Ten in pass completion percentage his sophomore year and was 2nd in the nation in punting during his senior year. Following his undergraduate days, he served as a football graduate assistant at IU for three years. He was one of the founders of the North-South All Star football game and was game coordinator for 16 years (1967-1982). While in the Army (Korea) in 1962-63, Tom was named MVP and Captain of this football team as he quarterbacked them to a 13-0 record and the Pacific Area Command Championship. He has been president of the IU Laws School Alumni Association, the IU Varsity Club, and the Monroe County Bar Association. He currently lives in Bloomington where he is the senior partner in the law firm of McDonald & Koch.
King Telle – A 1926 Salem High School and a 1930 Hanover College graduate, King was highly successful in athletics long before Valparaiso High School became his home in 1946. He starred in basketball and track in high school, and then he earned and incredible 16 varsity letters at Hanover in football, basketball, track, and baseball. After graduation, he went to Remington High School to teach and coach. Four years later, he became principal there and stayed for 12 more years. During the summers there he played semi-pro football against a young man named George Halas who was trying to organize a professional football league. Before coming to Valpo and staying for 23 years, he refereed basketball and had the Valpo sectional twice. As principal, King helped hire coaches Tom Stokes, Virgil Sweet, Bob Rhoda, Bob Cain, Sid Reggie, Chuck Stanier, Dale Ciciora, and Pat Murphy, certainly strengthening the staff a great deal. He was elected to the IHSAA Board of Control and served as its president for two years. He was made a charter member of the Indiana High School Coaches’ Association. He also spent 10 years as a State Representative and State Senator, representing Valparaiso well.
Guy L. Wellman, Jr. – A 1939 VHS graduate, Guy played baseball, basketball, and football in high school under Coaches Ralph Powell and John Wiggins. He quarterbacked the 1938 undefeated football team, and he was an all sectional basketball player in 1939. He then went to Indiana University, graduating in 1943, where he played basketball and baseball. He captained the IU baseball team his senior year, and own the IU Gimbel award for athletic/academic ability. After winning a bronze star in World War II in Germany, he signed with Cincinnati and played two minor league seasons before being drafted by the Dodger organization, where he was playing at St Paul (Triple A) when he was recalled into the Korean War. Following the war, he coached at Weber State (Utah), Valparaiso University, and Downers Grove High School (Illinois) before rejoining the dodgers as a full times scout in 1962. Guy singed former major league all stars Frank Howard, Ted Sizemore, and Steve Garvey to name a few. As a catching instructor, he worked with Steve Yeager, Joe Ferguson, and Mike Scioscia. He worked for 25 years as the general manager and field manager of the Dodger’s Arizona Instructional League. He retired in 1990.
Johnson Family – During the early 50’s and all through the decade of the 70’s, the Johnson family was prominent on the VHS sports scene. Dad Robert, Sr., played basketball and football and ran track from 1949-1952. He was named football All-American following his senior season. Bob’s wife Donna (Doran) was president of the Girls’ Athletic Association and a three year cheerleader while at VHS. The four Johnson sons – Tim, Rich, Bob, and Dan won over 20 varsity letters while participating in baseball, basketball, cross country, football, and track. In football (under Tom Stokes and Mark Hoffman) Tim, Bob, and Dan earned high school all-conference honors and both Tim and Bob were all-conference college players at Manchester. Bob played linebacker on the 1975 state championship team and on the Indiana All-Star team the following summer. In basketball, Tim and Rich both played varsity ball under Virgil Sweet. Tim was a defensive stalwart, and Rich was an all-conference guard who starred on the 1974 Viking squad which went to the final game of the Lafayette semi-state. For Pat Murphy’s baseball teams, Tim Rich, and Bob all played well, with Rich earning all-conference honors. The Johnson boys were always respected as fierce competitors on the field, yet polite gentlemen off the field, traits no doubt instilled by their parents early in their lives. Bob and Donna reside and work in Valparaiso.
Pat Malackowski – A 1982 VHS graduate, Pat was a stalwart linebacker for three years for Coach Mark Hoffman. He was the 1981 VHS MVP in football, and he was All Duneland Conference and all Area Defensive MVP. After graduating as an honor student in the top 10% of his class, Pat continued his educational and athletic careers at the Air Force Academy. Playing under coaches Ken Hatfield and Fisher DeBerry, he helped the Falcons to a three year varsity record of 30-7. His Air Force teams won four consecutive bowl games, defeated navy and Notre Dame each four straight times, and were highly ranked in the nation, topping out as #5 following a 12-1 record Pat’s senior year. A three year starter, he was awarded the most prestigious Academy award (Brian Bullard Award) for outstanding play and inspirational leadership after his senior campaign. Pat is currently a Captain in the US Air Force and he is a flight instructor on an A-10 fighter plane.
Howard "Hod" Powell – A 1933 VHS graduate, Hod earned multiple varsity letters in football, basketball, and golf. He earned all state recognition in football and all conference honors in basketball. His senior year, he led the Vikings of Coach Ralph Powell (no relation) to the Sweet 16 round of the IHSAA tourney where they lost to eventual state champion Martinsville. In golf, he was the first ever city, county, and Valparaiso golf club champ – all at the age of 15. He won the club title several other times as well. Hod continued his athletic prowess in basketball and golf at the University of Wisconsin under Harold “Bud” Foster. Foster coached UW for 25 years from 1934-1959, and Powell was on his all time list of best players. Powell was an Associated Press and Big 10Coaches All Conference player, becoming the first (and possibly only) VHS grad so honored in basketball. Following his college days, he was a pioneer of what are now the professional basketball leagues, playing with the Badgers All Stars and Gary Works Goodfellows. Hod, who was a lifetime Valparaiso resident and Viking sports fan, passed away August 26, 1990. He is survived by Jim Powell, Joan Powell, and Pat Drader.
Nancy Walsh – A 1955 VHS graduate, Nancy was active in the GAA during high school. She also was involved in sport support activities such as Y-Teens and Pep Club. Nancy then played field hockey, volleyball, basketball, and track for Coach Ruth Brown at Valparaiso University. She also played semi-pro softball for the highly successful Valpo Queens team. Nancy returned to VHS to teach in 1973. As track coach for five years, she compiled a 57-29-1 record while winning a conference crown and two sectionals. She was the girls’ athletic director for 13 years and assistant athletic director for three years from1973-1989. It was during her tenure that most VHS girls’ sports were added, and it was under her direction that VHS girls’ sports began to emerge as one of the state’s finest programs. VHS girls’ teams started a string of DAC all sports championships under Ms. Walsh in 1980.
Dale Ciciora - He coached basketball for 29 years, 27 of them at VHS. His two boys’ varsity teams won sectionals and one won a regional. In his ten years as varsity girls’ coach, his teams won five sectionals, one regional, and one semi-state. His 1982 team was Indiana state runner up. He was the assistant coach for the 1986 Indiana All Stars. He is known and respected widely as a coach who cared for his players both on and off the court.
Mike Hannon – A 1965 VHS graduate, his career record in wrestling was 63-4. His .940 winning percentage is the best ever by a Viking matman. He went 24-0 and won the state championship at 103 lbs. his junior year. He won 46 straight times his junior year and senior seasons. He attended the University of Pennsylvania on a wrestling scholarship and lettered three times.
Ken Pifer – He coached twenty years at VHS, starting the cross country program in 1944. His 1963 cross country team finished 3rd in the state meet and compiled a 24-1 record. In track, he established the Viking Relays and led the Vikings to victory in them three times. His overall dual track meet record was 140-38-2. He was inducted into the Indiana Track and Cross Country Hall of Fame in 1986.
Virgil Sweet- Coached VHS boys’ varsity basketball teams for twenty years. His teams won 13 sectionals and two regionals. His 1963-64 team lost a close game to eventual state champ Lafayette. Over 50 of his players went on to play college ball. He was considered an expert on the art of free throw shooting. He was inducted into the Indiana Basketball Hall of Fame both as a player (1970) and as a coach (1982). He served as executive director of the Indiana Basketball Coaches Association for 10 years.
W. E. White– A local businessman, he supported VHS Athletics for over a half a century. He purchased film equipment, sweats, meals, etc. He bought many season tickets each year and gave them out to fans. He arranged for VHS basketball and cross country teams to stay in secluded hotels prior to state meet competition, to help enhance meet or game performance. He helped out many young men who might not have been able to go on to school otherwise.
Evar Edquist – He coached for 23 years, the last six at VHS. He was varsity track and cross country coach and assistant basketball coach. His teams had a dual meet cross country record of 86-22. He coached the first VHS team ever to win a state championship, the 1966 cross country team. He was honored as one of Indiana’s coaches of the year in 1966. He was proud of his ability to get the best out of his athletes.
Greg McDonald – A 1967 VHS graduate, he won numerous state and national age group awards before high school. In three years at VHS, he won three individual and one relay state titles. He set the 50 freestyle record both as a sophomore and a junior. He was a high school All American in both the 50 and 100 freestyle. He was the first Indiana high school swimmer to break 50 seconds in the 100 freestyle. He attended Indiana University as an Evans Scholar.
Robert Stoltz – A 1939 VHS graduate, he graduated from VU in 1949 and the IU Medical School in 1953. He has been the Viking football team doctor for 37 consecutive years. He has helped numerous athletes in emergencies as well as being at every Friday night game. He helped name the park near his home in honor of his former principal Homer Jesse and former track coach Ken Pifer. He was made an honorary lifetime member of the National Athletic Trainers Association in 1990
Scottie Ward - A 1959 VHS graduate, he set school records in three sports while earning an astounding 11 varsity awards. In track, he set the mile record in 4:28. In cross country, he set the record for 2 miles with a time of 9:30. In basketball, he ended his high school career as the all time VHS leading scorer. He continued his basketball career at South Carolina, where he set the free throw record which still stands. He scored 1500points in college and was MVP his senior year.
Wellsand Family– From 1964 to 1976, the five Wellsand scored an unbelievable 126 touchdowns. Chuck led the way with 46 TD’s, Don had 21, Jim and Dan had 20 each, and Jack scored 19. During their years, the VHS football record was 93-17-2. All five boys received All State recognition for football. All five also played baseball or ran track. The #36 worn by Dan, Chuck, and Jack has been retired by VHS. The family includes parents Mr. and Mrs. Don Wellsand and sisters Marilyn and Peggy.
Bretscher Family – All VHS graduates (Prisca 1967, Bethel 1968, Paul and Sarah 1970, Monica 1972, Rachel 1974, Joel 1975, Seth 1978, Nathan 1980, and Matthew 1983), the Bretschers have been unmatched in swimming prowess at VHS. All 5 boys were captains of the VHS swim team, and all 5 went on to captain their respective college swim teams (2 at Valparaiso University, 1 at Indiana University and 2 at Ohio State University). They scored 51% of the 267 points scored by VHS teams at state meets in the 16 years the Bretscher boys were on the team. At one time or another, they held every VHS swimming record except the 50 yard freestyle. Two boys were IHSAA state champions, and one set a state meet record. They have gone on to success in college swimming, including All-Conference, All-American, Olympic trials, AAU Athlete of the Year, and Indiana USS Swimmer of the Year honors. The girls attended VHS largely before the advent of girls’ sports, yet they were in GAA six years, cheerleading three years, synchronized swimming two years, and basketball one year. The Bretschers are the children of Dr. Paul and Marguerite Bretscher, who live in Valparaiso, where he is pastor at Immanuel Lutheran Church.
Fred Doelling, Jr. – A 1956 graduate, Fred starred for the Vikings in football, basketball, and track. He was given the VHS All Sports Awards in 1956. He went on to play four years of football at the University of Pennsylvania, where he was named Sports Illustrated All Ivy League and Honorable Mention All American both in 1959. Fred played in the Chicago Tribune College All Star Game in 1960 against the Baltimore Colts. After college, he played for the Dallas Cowboys for one year. He then served in the US Army 8th Infantry Division in Europe. He has been named to the 100thAnniversary University of Pennsylvania All Star Football Team.
Roger Harden – A 1982 VHS graduate, Roger was Indiana’s Mr. Basketball his senior year. During the years 1979-1982 he was instrumental in leading the Vikings to a 59-19 record, including back-to-back 23-3 seasons his sophomore and junior years. With a VHS career scoring record of 1590 points, he helped the Vikes to two semi-state trips and one regional appearance in his three seasons. Roger took his winning style to the University of Kentucky where the Wildcats compiled a 102-30 record during his four years. As a sophomore in 1984, he competed with Kentucky in the NCAA Final Four. He started 85 games at point guard, breaking the school assist record for a single season with 232 as a junior and raising his own record with 266 as a senior. Roger lives and works in Lexington, Kentucky.
Campbell Kane – A 1937 VHS graduate, Campbell was a four year member of the basketball and track teams, and he placed second in the 440 yard dash at the state track meet. At Indiana University, he established the 880 yard run record which stood for 35 years. He was the Big Ten champion in the 880 yard run and mile run in 1940, 1941, and 1942, and he was the NCAA 880 yard run champ in each of those years. Campbell was a member of the 1940 US Olympic team which competed in Helsinki, Finland. No stranger to Halls of Fame, he already belongs to the IU Athletic Hall of Fame, the Drake Relays Hall of Fame, and the Indiana High School Track and Field Hall of Fame
Chuck Koeppen- A 1964 graduate, Chuck competed in track and cross country during high school and was a member of three consecutive VHS harrier teams which ran in the state meet in 1961, 1962, and 1963. A Ball State graduate (BS 1968, MA 1973), he set outdoor track records for the Cardinals in the two mile run, three mile run, 6 mile run and the steeplechase. Since his college days, he has been named Indiana Long Distance Runner of the Year eight different times. Chuck has been a teacher and coach for the past 21 years at Daleville, Wapahani, and Carmel. Currently head track and cross country coach at Carmel, Chuck’s teams have won 8 boys’ and 6 girls’ state cross country meets. He was named the High School National Cross Country Coach of the Year in 1982.
Gary Krueger – A 1979 VHS graduate, Gary’s four consecutive MVP awards in golf plus one MVP award in basketball are unparalleled in Viking athletic history. He was both the IHSAA individual golf champion and the Indiana state amateur champion in 1979, the same year he was awarded the Fred Keesling IHSAA Mental Attitude award for golf. At Texas A&M, Gary earned four letters in golf as a well as a degree in business. He was a three time All American. He then spent 1984 and 1987 playing on the PGA tour, and he has played in two US Opens.
Jane Findling Lutz - A 1974 VHS graduate, Jane was a member of the girls’ volleyball, basketball, and track teams for three years each. She set records in the Softball Throw at the Sectional, Regional, State, National, and World levels. In August 1974 she was featured in Sports Illustrated’s “Faces in the Crowd.” Jane went on to play varsity basketball in college from 1974-78, receiving the first athletic scholarship given to a female athlete at ball State University. She was named All American her senior year, the only player chosen from an Indiana school.
Bob Rhoda – A 1939 VHS graduate, Bob’s contributions to Valpo athletics spanned almost fifty years. He earned eight varsity letters in football, basketball, and baseball. His state leading 126 points scored in 1938 helped the Vikings football team to its first undefeated season. Bob was named all state, the first Viking football player so honored. Bob played football, basketball, and baseball at Ball State, earning all conference and all state honors. After his 1947 graduation, Bob returned to VHS to begin a coaching career which lasted a quarter of a century. He was an assistant coach in football, basketball, and track, and he was the head swimming and baseball coach. His swimming teams were 75-30-1 from 1957-63, and his baseball teams won 103 games, including four sectional championships. He was inducted into the Indiana High School Football Hall of Fame.
Tom Stokes – A 1946 Thornton Fractional HS and 1951 Drake University graduate, Tom played football, basketball, and track, earning all conference and all state recognition. He coached high school football in Iowa (Scranton) and Indiana (Jasper and Dyer) before coming to VHS in 1963. His overall record was an outstanding 148-48-6, with a 102-32-4 record in fourteen seasons at the Viking helm. His VHS coaching career included three undefeated season, five one loss season, and an IHSAA championship in 1975. He was named Indiana Football Coach of the Year in 1975 and he has been inducted into the Indiana Football Hall of Fame. Tom retired from teaching in 1988.
Don Vandrey – A 1967 VHS graduate, Don starred in cross country and track for the Vikings. He won four individual state titles (twin cross country and two in the mile in track) and the coveted Hinshaw Mental Attitude Track and Field Award given by the IHSAA in 1967. His 4:05.3 mile run is still the fastest ever run by a Hoosier high school athlete. He also led VHS to its first state team championship in any sport with his first place finish in the 1966 state cross country meet. He received his bachelor’s (1971) and master’s (1977) degrees from the University of Wisconsin, where he was the Big Ten mile run indoor champion in 1971 and a member of the then world record holding two mile relay team.