TriCounty Pat Ryan, named Tri-County Co-Male Coach of the Year, Metamora High School, and the IHSA state football playoffs have very much in common.
As a Redbird quarterback, Ryan directed a Metamora attack that took his team to the quarter-finals twice before losing.
And as head coach at his alma mater, he has led his last three teams deep into the tournament, bowing in the semi-finals in 1995 and finishing second in both 1995 and 1997 to New Lennox Providence.
Going 13-1 in each of the last two seasons, the rebuilding job he did last season was truly outstanding. Losing his entire offensive line and brilliant offensive threat Jared Grebner from the 13-1 1996 team, he regrouped his team for another 13-1 season and a second consecutive runnerup slot.
In his eight seasons at Metamora, Ryan has forged a 67-22 record and has won four Mid-Illini titles and shared a fifth. He attended Eureka College and Southeast Missouri State and began his coaching career under his high school coach, John Helmick, in Carbondale. He then spent three seasons as an assistant at Metamora before becoming head coach in 1990.
Pat Ryan, named Tri-County Co-Male Coach of the Year, Metamora High School, and the IHSA state football playoffs have very much in common.
Neve Harms Award
The Greater Peoria Sports Hall of Fame Neve Harms Award, formerly the Peoria Advertising and Selling Club's Annual Meritorious Service to Sports Award, was named the Neve Harms Award in 1966 and for a very good reason.
As Director of Proctor Recreation Center, Harms observed the need for all youths to experience participation in sports activities, and not just the few who excelled. He, therefore, adopted a firm policy which assured that all youths would have an opportunity to play in games of the various sports controlled by Proctor Center. This plan met with much success and certainly with acceptance by parents whose children became more interested in sport activities at Proctor and consequently made good use of their free time.
Neve carried through this policy when he was appointed Superintendent of the Peoria City Recreation Department which later became part of the Peoria Park District. In addition, he also developed a system of recognition for all youths so that each young person could feel good about his or her efforts.
This kind of interest in all youths regardless of ability came from a most competitive and outstanding athlete. Neve was a four-sport player at Manual High School and a three-sport letter winner at Bradley University. He was a member of the 1929 Manual High School State Championship Basketball team.
Awards prior to 1981 were offered through the Peoria Advertising Club, rather than the Greater Peoria Sports Hall of Fame. We don't have biographies for these individuals. If anyone would be able to provide the bios that were written by the club at the time of the awards, we would very much appreciate receiving them for posting. We are also missing the Bruce Saurs' bio that was written in the 1991 Greater Peoria Sports Hall of Fame Banquet book, and we would like to receive it also. We are specifically interested in the bios written at the time of the awards, not more or less current. Please contact Rick at email@example.com.
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The first official Board of Directors meeting was held on October 14, 1979. Officers were elected. Early decisions determined that the Hall of Famers would be from the Greater Peoria Area; the name would be The Greater Peoria Sports Hall of Fame; its purpose would be to promote and encourage the many varied sports programs in our area, to share with the area the pride we have in the accomplishments of area athletes, and to honor those men, women and teams contributing to our enjoyment and rich sports history.
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