TriCounty Lorene Ramsey wins her second consecutive Coach of the Year award and third overall, her Illinois Central College women's basketball team repeating as National Junior College Division II national champions.
One of the nation's most respected coaches, Ramsey has coached the ICC basketball and softball Cougars to over 500 wins in each sport, her basketball teams appearing in 14 national tournaments and winning 30 or more games in eight of the last 12 seasons.
A member of the Greater Peoria Sports Hall of Fame after ending a brilliant pitching career with the Pekin Lettes, Ramsey has also led ICC to a National softball crown and two runner-up finishes. A recipient of many honors in her long coaching and playing career, she was also selected National Junior College Division II Basketball Coach of the Year in 1992 and 1993.
Lorene Ramsey wins her second consecutive Coach of the Year award and third overall, her Illinois Central College women's basketball team repeating as National Junior College Division II national champions.
Hockey was a sport local fans could watch only if they went to Chicago or St. Louis until BardezBanian founded the Peoria Stars in 1959.
The two were with the Pekin Stars until 1970, when they formed the Peoria Blades, on the outdoor rink at Logan, in 1971. The Logan "bubble" went up the next year and the Blades, through membership in the Continental League, gave Peoria a solid taste of hockey.
BardezBanian played with the Blades for a few years, then became president while Olson always served as the team's general manager.
And the two gave hockey a boost whenever they could. BardezBanian coached the Bradley University club team for many years and both were instrumental in starting and maintaining youth hockey in Pekin and Peoria.
Both are now retired, Olson from Caterpillar's Mossville plant and BardezBanian from a management position with the City of Peoria.