Tonya Gilles Koch is the first thing you see when watching the movie, "A League Of Their Own." She is the one pitching! And, pitch she could. She was named to the ASA girl's all-state team as a 15 year-old and pitched Bergan High School to a conference title the following season. That summer she joined the Pekin Lettes and went 18-5 to break Lori Ramsey's rookie record.
Tonya took her game, first to ICC where she was a JUCO All-American and then to ISU and led them to a 9th place finish in the 1981 NCAA College World Series. She had the good fortune to be coached by two of softball's greats - Ramsey and Margie Wright. She learned her craft well.
Since brief coaching stints at Illinois Central College and Bradley University, Tonya has privately tutored softball pitchers. Two of her charges attained greatness. Melissa Cassidy and Nicol Kurth went on to capture the 1998 Junior College National title for ICC. Cassidy was the tourney's MVP. In all, some 55 of her students have received full athletic scholarships to Division I college programs.
The Greater Peoria Sports Hall of Fame is a not-for-profit corporation established in October 1979 to promote the varied sports programs in the area and honor Peoria area athletes and sports personalities. Since 1979 GPSHOF has honored many individuals and teams at annual banquets held at the Peoria Civic Center. Plaques for each inductee are on permanent display at the Peoria Civic Center.
With the exception of a part-time secretary and the member board are all unpaid volunteers. The modest costs (postage, supplies, etc.) and inductee awards are financed by individual donations and business advertisers and sponsors.
We are always in need of funds to keep our programs, activities and events moving forward. We encourage your support in helping us continue to give recognition and award to Peoria area teams and athletes. We respectfully ask for your donation and sponsor support.
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Newsletters/Banquet Programs2020 Newsletter
2020 Hall of Fame Program
2019 Hall of Fame Program
2018 Hall of Fame Program
2017 Hall of Fame Program
2016 Hall of Fame Program
2015 Hall of Fame Program
2014 Hall of Fame Program Listing
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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