Inductees Al Smith was one of the greatest high school athletic stars in Peoria history, earning All-State recognition in football, basketball and baseball. He went on to a brilliant basketball career at Bradley University and then starred for the Denver Nuggets and Utah Stars of the American Basketball Association.
As a high scoring halfback, he led Manual to dominance in local football. He also pitched Manual to the state title in baseball in 1965, throwing a 12-inning shutout for Manual in the opening tournament game and pitching the last inning in relief the next day to assure the state championship.
His basketball career at Bradley was one which earned for him All Missouri Valley and All American recognition. His 1,408 career points placed him among the top ten scorers in Bradley history. His exceptional passing and strong rebounding made him one of the most versatile players of his day.
Al Smith was one of the greatest high school athletic stars in Peoria history, earning All-State recognition in football, basketball and baseball. He went on to a brilliant basketball career at Bradley University and then starred for the Denver Nuggets and Utah Stars of the American Basketball Association.
Ulrich has coached in the Junior Football League and youth baseball for 32 years, while also serving as president of numerous youth leagues and director of the Peoria Diocesan basketball tournament. He began volunteering as coach for the Richwoods Browns JFL team in 1971 and served in a coaching or administrative capacity for the Richwoods JFL program from 1971-89. In addition, he served as a coach and president of the Richwoods League League, as well as Pony League, from 1975-85. During that same period, he coached the Bergan All-Star Pony League from 1981-84. In his role as St. Thomas Grade School athletic director for 32 years, Ulrich directed the 11 boys (six) and girls (five) basketball teams for 27 years, scheduling tournaments, ordering uniforms and hiring officials among his many duties. He also served as director of the Peoria Diocesan Tournament for 14 years. Ulrich coached basketball at Peoria Heights Grade School from 2006-11 and he volunteered as manager of a fastpitch team in the Peoria Park District Softball League for 23 years, while also playing on the team for several seasons. He currently is completing his two-year stint as the St. Philomena School 5th Grade boys basketball team and is preparing for his second year of coaching in the Irish youth baseball program.