NeveHarms Upon making the decision to take up permanent residence in Peoria, Dr. Higgins researched the history of Peoria sports. As Lt. Gov. of IL district of Kiwanis, Dr. Higgins, a chiropractic physician, was harboring an idea about a Peoria Sports Hall of Fame.
After approaching fellow Kiwanian Orville Nothdurf about the idea, Orville suggested they confer with the new athletic director at Bradley University, Ron Ferguson. Subsequently the board was formed and Dr. Higgins was voted the HOF's first president. The first board meeting was held Oct. 1979, with the first induction being held Dec. 1981.
Dr. Higgins has been active in the civic and sports area. Serving on the Board of Directors of S.O.S., save our stadium, Peoria City zoning Board of Appeals, Planning Commission City of Chillicothe, Pres. Suburban Kiwanis, Lt. Gov. II District Kiwanis. Assisted in forming and developing Richwoods and Bergan (Peoria Notre Dame) high school Key Clubs. Peoria Area Convention and Visitors Bureau's Vice Pres. Sports Commission. Attended to sport injuries at Richwood High School from 1967-1989, then joined Pekin High School football in 1990 as team doctor. He had the privilege of assisting with IHSA High School All Star Football games as on field doctor in Peoria for sixteen years. He was an attending doctor at the 1996 Olympics in Atlanta. He was recruited by Bass Master to treat their participants while traveling with them to their venues and attended Bass Master Classics from 1995-1997. Prior to that he was a NASCAR, IRL, TT Motorcycle, Pro Bowling , event doctor treating participates at their venues
Upon making the decision to take up permanent residence in Peoria, Dr. Higgins researched the history of Peoria sports. As Lt. Gov. of IL district of Kiwanis, Dr. Higgins, a chiropractic physician, was harboring an idea about a Peoria Sports Hall of Fame.
|Dawdy Hawkins |
"Dawdy" Hawkins, one of the most successful high school basketball coaches in the nation, directed his teams to state titles in two different states. His Lincoln Northeast High School team won a Nebraska state prep crown in 1948, just before he left to take over at Peoria Central. He quickly forged a powerhouse at Central, his 1952-53 team, led by brilliant center Hiles Stout, making it to the championship game of the Illinois state finals at the University of Illinois' old Huff Gym before bowing to LaGrange, 71-60. Hawkins took three other Peoria Central teams to the state tournament (1954, 56, 59) and then, switching to Pekin, had five other state appearances (1964, 65, 66, 67, 73), including state championship teams in 1964 and 1967.