The International Sports Heritage Association (ISHA) has named the executive director of the Saskatchewan Sports Hall of Fame as recipient of the prestigious Schroeder Award.  Sheila Kelly, Regina, Saskatchewan, Canada, will be recognized during ISHA’s annual conference, October 18-20, 2017, in Knoxville, Tenn.

Presented periodically, the W.R. “Bill” Schroeder Distinguished Service Award is the highest honor presented by the International Sports Heritage Association (ISHA) and is awarded to individuals for meritorious service of lasting nature in the sports heritage industry.

“Sheila has distinguished herself as an outstanding museum leader and strives for excellence in all aspects,” ISHA President Susan Wasser said. “Her engaging leadership skills, passion, dedication, and ingenuity has transformed sports heritage within Saskatchewan. We are thrilled to be able to honor Sheila with this award and provide her this well-deserved recognition.”

“I am humbled and honored by this recognition awarded by my peers,” Kelly said. “It was certainly not something I expected. It serves as a reminder that this industry and the people in it are a very big part of my life both personally and professionally.”

Kelly has served as executive director for the Hall of Fame for 28 years. During her tenure, she has impacted sports heritage from the local to the international levels by developing the Hall of Fame as the leading sports heritage association in her province.

Additionally, she is credited with nurturing the development of multiple satellite halls, sports museum and sports heritage research projects. Multiple books about amateur sports have been published under the auspices of SSHF during her tenure.

Diane Imrie, executive director of Northwestern Ontario Sports Hall of Fame, called Kelly “a respected museum professional and a sought-after leader … Kelly has demonstrated a willingness to help out whenever called upon by colleagues.”

Kelly has served as the President of the Museums Association of Saskatchewan (1999-2001); the Canadian Association for Sport Heritage (1995-98); and International Sports Heritage Association (2009-2010).

Under her leadership, the SSHF took more of a museum focus and substantially increased its permanent collection. On behalf of the Hall of Fame, Kelly secured a formal agreement with the Province’s most successful sports team, Saskatchewan Roughriders of the Canadian Football League, to house its entire collection.

She has overseen the rebranding of her organization including the development of a new logo and an ISHY Award-winning website, among others.

Working with a small staff and limited resources, Kelly engages volunteers and members of the SSHF and to partner with community organizations to meet desired outcomes. Among the non-traditional collaborations is the co-publishing of a limited edition exhibition catalogue with a local art gallery and providing pre-concert activities for the Regina Symphony Orchestra Kids Concert Series during the presentation of “The Hockey Sweater.”

 “Such innovative programming ideas have brought new audiences into the world of sports heritage that help break down barriers of preconceived notions of the role that a sports hall of fame can play in a community,” Imrie said.

The official presentation of the Schroeder Award will take place on October 19, 2017, at “An Evening of Champions” as part of ISHA’s annual conference, hosted this year by the Women’s Basketball Hall of Fame in Knoxville.

Kelly earned a bachelor of arts in archaeology and a master of arts in anthropology and archaeology from the University of Saskatchewan in 1985 and 1987, respectively.

On Friday, November 10, the 2017 Hall of Fame Induction Night will take place at the World Trade and Convention Centre in Halifax.

Five athletes, one team and two builders will be honoured for their outstanding contributions to Nova Scotia sport, with an expected audience of up to 1,000 people in attendance to share in the celebration of these inductees’ achievements.

These inductees are Canadian champions, Olympians and Paralympians, and Pan American medalists. They have hoisted the Stanley Cup, officiated at the highest level and built championship teams from the ground up.

The evening will be hosted by Hall of Fame Executive Director and CBC broadcaster Bruce Rainnie. As master of ceremonies for the 19th consecutive year, Rainnie will bring the inductees’ stories to life with his usual blend of humour and heartwarming interview style.

Tickets for the 2017 Induction Awards Night are on sale now at the Nova Scotia Sport Hall of Fame. Call 902-404-3343 to place your order.

Here is a closer look at the Nova Scotia sport heroes who we will be honoured as the newest class of Hall of Famers on November 10:

Sarah Baker (Athlete Category), of Seabright, is a multi-Paralympic medalist in swimming, javelin and wheelchair basketball, winning gold in javelin and discus and bronze in swimming at the 1980 Games. Baker also holds multiple Para Pan Am medals (after competing in all three events in a single Games), a world record in javelin and a reputation as one of the greatest wheelchair multi-sport athletes of all time. Faced with health setbacks at a young age, Baker not only overcame the challenges but thrived as a triple threat in Paralympic sport, even as the only female player on the Nova Scotia Flying Wheels wheelchair basketball team. With Para Pan Am gold in basketball and backstroke, three National Games gold medals and her Paralympic success, Baker has been honoured as a Para Pan Am torch bearer and a dinner guest of the Prime Minister and Queen.

Amy Cotton (Athlete Category), of Judique, represented Canada in judo at two Olympics (2004 and 2012), while competing on the national judo team for 18 years. She has amassed 11 senior national medals and placed seventh at the World Championships in both 2005 and 2009. Cotton has made it to the podium a multitude of times, including eight Pan American Championships medals, bronze at the 2003 Pan American Games and 13 World Cup medals. As a World Team member for seven years, she has competed at a long list of other World Cup events and international open tournaments. Cotton has also claimed three gold and one silver at US Open events and was selected as an alternate for Canada’s Olympic team in 2008.

Todd King (Athlete Category), of Grand Lake, was named MVP and top hitter at the 1994 Canadian Senior Men’s Softball Championships, before playing on the Canadian Men’s National Fast Pitch Team from 1995 to 2000. With numerous All-Canadian honours to his name, King has led teams to silver and gold at the Senior Men’s National Championships and won two Pan-Am gold medals, from the 1995 and 1999 Games. A versatile player who has excelled at multiple positions at the international level, he has ranked as one of the province’s best third basemen of all time and has been named to three All-Star teams at Canadian Championships. King is also the ISC World Championships 1994 Top Hitter, an ISF World Championship silver medalist and an inductee in the Canadian Softball Hall of Fame.

Lucy Smith (Athlete Category), of Bedford, has dominated distance running across the country and around the world, with 19 Canadian Championship titles in running, duathlon and triathlon. She also captured five Canadian Open Cross Country Championship wins and two silver medals in duathlon at the World Championships during her long and successful professional career. Smith had a memorable first CIAU win in 1988, when she beat everyone to the finish line in 100 km/h winds. She continued to impress, with personal bests that very few Nova Scotian runners, even male track athletes, have been able to match. Smith never slowed down, capturing one of her World duathlon medals at the age of 38.

Colin White (Athlete Category), of New Glasgow, made a mark during his 13-year NHL career as a tough and physical defenseman for the New Jersey Devils. White was drafted 49th overall in 1996 and helped the Devils win two Stanley Cups (one in 2000 and one in 2003). His two Stanley Cup wins are achievements that he adds to his Memorial Cup 1997 win with the Hull Olympiques. In 2012 he became one of only five players to have their jerseys retired by the QMJHL Olympiques. White finished his NHL career with one season with the San Jose Sharks, after having made a lasting impression with the Devils as a defenseman capable of putting up 20 points in a season.

The 1977 Cheema Canoe Team (Team Category) Forty years ago this team put Nova Scotia on the national stage for paddling and set the bar for the many canoe successes that came out of the province afterwards. This team, led by Coach Frank Garner, was the first Atlantic Canadian Canoe team to win a national championship. The national championships began in 1900, and no Nova Scotia team had managed to claim the title until the 1977 Cheema team from Waverley. Since Cheema created a turning point for Nova Scotia paddling, the province has dominated the national canoe sprint scene ever since, with Cheema earning seven of the 12 national championship victories. The 1977 team cleaned up with gold in junior ladies’ and men’s, silver in juvenile men’s and bronze in senior men’s. Ten of the club’s athletes and two coaches also went on to paddle for Team Canada at the 1977 North American Championships, winning 11 gold medals. Five of the athletes helped win four gold and five silver at the Canada Summer Games.

This team of outstanding paddlers included: Don Brien, Debbie Carr, Richard Clarke, Ian Crowley, Alan Dewtie, Elizabeth Drew, Jane Drew, Nancy Drew, Nelson Drysdale, Allyson Fehr, Leslie Fenerty, Brian Keevill, Joanne Lobban, Scott Logan, Allan MacDonald, Dave McNaughton, Allan McNaughton, Randy McDonald, Colleen McDonald, Loretta Mullen, Vincent Mullen, Anne Murray, Dave Murray, Brian O’Leary, Mike O’Leary, Dave Pelham, Tom Pelham, Ian Ramsey, Don Robertson, Sue Viczko, Dan Viney, Greg Walker, Nancy Walker, Cynthia Weir, Coral Wickstrom, Steve Wickstrom, Joy Williams, Gail Wood, Sherry Wyse, Frank Garner (head coach), C.L. “Bud” Dodge (team manager), Ron Orton (coach), Bill Lobban (coach), Llyod Burley (coach), and Rick Wood (coach).

Brad Barton (Builder Category), of Jordantown, has supported the development of volleyball as a coach, official and administrator at all levels. The Canadian Volleyball Association Referee in Chief from 1978 to 1985, Barton has officiated two Olympic and one Pan Am Games, a World Championships and three World Student Games. He has held several positions within Volleyball Nova Scotia, including Referee-in-Chief, and he has used his international officiating badge to serve as Co-Head Instructor of the 1983 International Volleyball Federation (FIVB) clinic and as International Referee Liaison at the 2015 FIVB World League in Halifax. Barton has received numerous awards, including the Queen Elizabeth II Jubilee Award and the Order of Canada, and he is also an active member of his community, having volunteered his time on the boards of many community organizations.

Mike Kelly (Builder Category), originally from Saint John, New Brunswick, dedicated many years to developing premier hockey teams, starting with the Twin Cities Hockey League in 1963. Kelly followed this success with his involvement in two Nova Scotian hockey dynasties, co-founding and directing the Halifax Junior Canadiens, and serving as VP of Operations for the Nova Scotia Voyageurs between 1971 and 1983. His Voyageurs were the first AHL team in the Atlantic Provinces, and their Calder Cup successes packed the stands at both the Halifax Forum and the Halifax Metro Centre. Kelly was also responsible for founding the Dartmouth Lakers Junior Hockey Team, founding the Valley Hockey School and leading the Halifax Moosehead Junior A Hockey Team as Vice President of Operations. He directed multiple hockey organizations, as well, and served as Vice President of the Maritime Amateur Hockey Association. Mike Kelly is being inducted posthumously.
For more information contact Shane Mailman at 902-404-3339 /

FOXBOROUGH, Mass. – The New England Patriots announced that cornerback Raymond Clayborn has been voted by fans as the 26th person to be inducted into the Patriots Hall of Fame.

Clayborn was a three-time Pro Bowl player (1983, 1985, 1986) during his 13-year Patriots career that extended from 1977 through 1989. He was drafted by the Patriots in the first round (16th overall) out of Texas in 1977 and quickly established himself as one of the game’s best cornerbacks, as well as a superb kickoff returner. He set a franchise record with 36 career interceptions, a record which Ty Law tied in 2004 and remains today, 28 years after Clayborn finished his Patriots career. His 555 interception return yards rank second in franchise history to Law’s 583 return yards. Clayborn also returned 57 kickoffs for 1,538 yards and three touchdowns. As a rookie in 1977, he returned 28 kickoffs for 869 yards and led the NFL with a 31.0-yard return average and returned three kicks for touchdowns, both of which remain franchise records. He is one of just 20 NFL players since the 1970 merger to finish a season with a better than 30.0-yard average on kickoff returns (min. 20 returns) and is the only Patriots player to accomplish the feat.

“I was fortunate to be a season ticket holder during Raymond’s entire Patriots career,” said Patriots Chairman and CEO Robert Kraft. “For the first half of his career, he teamed with Michael Haynes to form one of the best corner tandems in league history. Throughout his career, Raymond was a physical, shutdown corner. One of my favorite memories was watching the 1985 team advance to the Super Bowl after Raymond helped us break the Orange Bowl curse when he stymied future Hall of Fame quarterback Dan Marino with a dominant performance against Pro Bowl receivers Mark Duper and Mark Clayton. Raymond had six passes defensed and an interception to help us claim our first conference title. It was the greatest upset victory in franchise history at the time and one the entire New England region celebrated. It is a well-deserved honor and I look forward to presenting him his hall of fame jacket.”

Clayborn played a vital role in bringing the Patriots to respectability in the late 1970s and early ‘80s. During his 13 seasons in New England, he helped lead the Patriots to 10 winning seasons, including four postseason berths. In a 31-14 AFC Championship victory that propelled the Patriots to their first Super Bowl appearance, Clayborn’s performance helped end an 18-game losing streak to the Miami Dolphins in the Orange Bowl. Clayborn was a member of the Patriots’ 1970s and 1980s all-decade teams. He also set a franchise record by playing in 161 consecutive games.

This year marked the fourth consecutive year (2014-17) that Clayborn had been nominated as a Patriots Hall of Fame finalist.

Beginning in 2007, the Patriots started a new hall of fame tradition, inducting at least one player to The Hall each year. The process for induction involves a panel of media, alumni and staff who collectively nominate the players or head coaches most deserving of induction. After the nominations are made, the committee votes and the top three tallies become that year’s finalists. The Patriots then give their fans the opportunity to vote online to make the annual selection. The New England Patriots held their annual nomination committee meeting on April 12 to select this year’s Patriots Hall of Fame candidates. The finalists were (listed in alphabetical order) Clayborn, defensive lineman Richard Seymour and linebacker Mike Vrabel.

About the Patriots Hall of Fame

The Patriots Hall of Fame was officially formed in 1991 after John Hannah became the first Patriots player to be inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame. With the hall of fame, the Patriots created a new way of honoring their greatest players. When The Hall at Patriot Place presented by Raytheon opened in 2008, Patriots players, past and present, finally had a place where their legacies would be preserved and available to fans year round. Enshrinement into The Hall is the franchise’s highest honor befitting of the franchise’s greatest players, with 30-foot video pylons displaying each enshrinee. Beginning in 2007, fans became part of the hall of fame tradition as active participants in the selection process.

This year’s inductee will join other Patriot greats and two contributors as a member of the New England Patriots Hall of Fame (listed in alphabetical order below with year of induction):

Houston Antwine (2015)

Bruce Armstrong (2001)

Drew Bledsoe (2011)

Troy Brown (2012)

Tedy Bruschi (2013)

Nick Buoniconti (1992)

Gino Cappelletti (1992)

Raymond Clayborn (2017)

Ben Coates (2008)

Sam Cunningham (2010)

Bob Dee (1993)

Kevin Faulk (2016)

Steve Grogan (1995)

John Hannah (1991)

Mike Haynes (1994)

Jim Lee Hunt (1993)

Ty Law (2014)

Willie McGinest (2015)

Stanley Morgan (2007

Jon Morris (2011)

Jim Nance (2009)

Steve Nelson (1993)

Vito “Babe” Parilli (1993)

Andre Tippett (1999)


William H. “Billy” Sullivan, Jr. (2009)

Gil Santos (2013)


About The Hall at Patriot Place presented by Raytheon

The Hall at Patriot Place presented by Raytheon is the crown jewel of Patriot Place and the only sports and education experience of its kind. Through a dazzling array of interactive multimedia exhibits, artifacts never before viewable by the public and home of the Patriots’ five Lombardi Trophies, The Hall at Patriot Place presented by Raytheon showcases the tradition of the New England Patriots, explores the history of football in New England and promotes math and science education for the thousands of schoolchildren who visit each year. For more information, please visit



The Smithsonian Affiliations program aims to bring the resources and experiences of the Smithsonian Institution to communities nationwide. The Hall of Fame is the first and only independent sports Hall of Fame to be selected to participate in the program’s 20+ year history.

Credit: Kate Whitney Lucey / International Tennis Hall of Fame

NEWPORT, R.I., May 18, 2017 – The International Tennis Hall of Fame has earned a prestigious designation as an official Affiliate of the Smithsonian Institution in Washington D.C. Through this affiliation the Hall of Fame will have special access to the Smithsonian’s network of exhibitions, education initiatives, research expertise and resources for use in developing new exhibitions, programs, and educational experiences.

“We are incredibly excited about our partnership with the Smithsonian Institution, as it will benefit our community, visitors, and tennis fans immeasurably,” said Doug Stark, ITHF Museum Director. “Collaborating with the Smithsonian and museums across the country affords us the opportunity to offer a more enriching experience by providing in-depth content, new exhibits, and special programs. As the first independent sports hall of fame to earn this recognition, we are excited to incorporate tennis and sports history into a national dialogue.”

Organizations that are selected to be Affiliates enjoy a range of benefits, from facilitated object and exhibit loans and discounted Smithsonian memberships for their patrons to custom-developed education, performing arts, and public programs. Staff at the Smithsonian and the International Tennis Hall of Fame have already commenced discussions of potential collaborative projects for the first three years of the affiliation, including object loans, new exhibits, visits to Newport by Smithsonian experts for programs, and access to the Smithsonian Affiliates Membership program for individuals who are enrolled in the Hall of Fame Advantage Program.

The International Tennis Hall of Fame joins a select group as one of 216 Smithsonian Affiliates in 46 states, Puerto Rico and Panama, and currently places the ITHF as the first and only independent sports Hall of Fame with that distinction. Smithsonian Affiliate candidates undergo a meticulous vetting process involving all aspects of their organization, from their leadership and financial structure to a review of their collections management and programming protocols. Affiliates are accepted into the program on the basis that they share a common mission with the Smithsonian, a commitment to education and public service, and have the capability of bringing Smithsonian artifacts, exhibits, and programs to their communities.

The affiliation honor was officially announced in a special event at the Hall of Fame last night, in which members of the local community, Rhode Island museum industry leaders, and representatives of the Smithsonian Institution celebrated the news.

“We are very honored to recognize the International Tennis Hall of Fame as our newest Smithsonian Affiliate,” stated Harold A. Closter, Director of Smithsonian Affiliations.  “Both of our organizations share strong common interests by looking at tennis and other sports as historical mirrors of changes in our society. The International Tennis Hall of Fame has amassed an unparalleled collection that tells the story of the rise of tennis around the world, presented in creative and engaging exhibits, developed by its expert staff.  We look forward to working together on future exhibits, educational programs, and collaborative research to honor the history of tennis and to inspire future generations to recognize the relevance of all sport as a vital and barrier-breaking human activity.”

The International Tennis Hall of Fame and Smithsonian Institution share similar philosophies including a focus on expanding their collections and making educational programs more accessible.

Discussions about future collaborations have already begun. Potential opportunities that have been identified through the program may include a retrospective on Althea Gibson, who was the first African-American to win a major tennis tournament, utilizing Smithsonian loaned artifacts; an expanded tennis and art exhibition at the Hall of Fame; development of a national traveling exhibit; and increased educational opportunities to utilize tennis history as an educational platform for school groups in the area.

Further outcomes of the new International Tennis Hall of Fame Smithsonian Affiliation will be shared in the future on

About Smithsonian Affiliations

Established in 1996, Smithsonian Affiliations is a national outreach program that develops long-term collaborative partnerships with museums, educational and cultural organizations to enrich communities with Smithsonian resources. The long-term goal of Smithsonian Affiliations is to facilitate a two-way relationship among Affiliate organizations and the Smithsonian Institution to increase discovery and inspire lifelong learning in communities across America. More information about the Smithsonian Affiliations program and Affiliate activity is available at

About the International Tennis Hall of Fame

Established in 1954, the International Tennis Hall of Fame is a non-profit institution that preserves and promotes the history of tennis and celebrates its champions, thereby serving as a vital partner in the growth of tennis globally. The Hall of Fame is located in Newport, Rhode Island, USA, on a seven-acre property that features an extensive museum that showcases the history of the sport and honors the 252 Hall of Famers; 13 grass tennis courts and an indoor tennis facility; and a rare Court Tennis facility. Annually in July, the venue hosts Rolex Hall of Fame Enshrinement Weekend, as well as the Hall of Fame Tennis Championships for the Van Alen Cup, an ATP World Tour event. For information on the International Tennis Hall of Fame and its programs, visit

The BC Sports Hall of Fame hosted colleagues from across Canada April 19, 20 and 21 during the Canadian Association of Sport Heritage Conference: Connecting and Collaborating Through Sport Heritage. Delegates spent three days learning, sharing and collaborating about the unique work of Halls of Fame.

Thank you to our conference sponsors and supporters: International Sport Heritage Association, Richmond Olympic Experience, Sport Hosting Vancouver, Canadian Association of Sport Heritage, Mr. Paul Wong, Preservation Technologies, Tourism Vancouver, Ms. Janice Smith and our fantastic accommodation sponsor the Rosedale on Robson Suite Hotels. Thank you to our exceptional presenters who graciously offered their time and expertise and finally thank you to our volunteers and staff team who coordinated the conference: Peter Webster, Kristina Macdonald, Jason Beck, Kirk Sorensen, Rachel Harper and Barbara Chu.

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. – In anticipation of the 2017 ProRodeo Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony on August 5, the ProRodeo Hall of Fame and the Women’s Professional Rodeo Association opened a historical exhibit on Friday, March 31.

This exhibit is housed in the 101 Gallery and will remain open until September. Visitors can learn the history of the WPRA from when 38 women met in a hotel room in San Angelo, Texas, in 1948 to start the Association called the Girls Rodeo Association (GRA) through the historic 2017 ProRodeo Hall of Fame inductions, that will include barrel racers for the first time ever. In addition, there is a flair for fashion clothing display showing the clothing trends through the years, a look back at the 1988 and 2002 Olympic Command Performance Rodeos held during the Olympic Games in Calgary and Salt Lake City, respectively and a Horsepower section honoring the horses that have been awarded with honors such as AQHA Horse of the Year, Horse With the Most Heart and Rising Star Award.

“I am thrilled with the new partnership between the ProRodeo Hall of Fame and the WPR,” said Kent Sturman, Director of the ProRodeo Hall of Fame. “Not only will we now honor the women who excel in the sport of barrel racing, but with this exhibit, we can educate our guests and fans about the history of the WPRA and promote this important segment of the sport of professional rodeo. These outstanding women have been instrumental in advancing this event and they deserve to be celebrated.”

As announced on March 28, the two individuals and one equine partner that will be honored in the inaugural WPRA Hall of Fame class include Wanda Harper Bush, Charmayne James and a joint PRCA/WPRA equine inductee Star Plaudit “Red.” They will be joined by the PRCA inductees which include Buck Rutherford (All-Around), Enoch Walker (Saddle Bronc), Cody Custer (Bull Riding), Tommy Puryear (Steer Wrestling), Mike Beers (Team Roping), Randy Corley (Contract Personnel), Bob Ragsdale (Notable), Smith & Velvet (Livestock) and Ogden Pioneer Days Rodeo (Committee).

Bringing symbolism to this new chapter in the history of the PRCA and WPRA is best summed up with the induction of the horse known as Star Plaudit “Red.”

Star Plaudit holds a very unique record in the world of professional rodeo, one that is not likely to ever be duplicated.  The bay gelding won two World Championships in the sport in a single year and contributed to a third, at the age of 12. Red, as he was affectionately known, carried his owner Sherry (Combs) Johnson to the GRA World title in the barrel racing and close family friend Tom Nesmith to the RCA world title in the steer wrestling and helped the Oklahoman also claim the RCA All Around championship, all in 1962.

The ProRodeo Hall of Fame, which is a popular Colorado Springs attraction for rodeo fans and tourists alike, has already inducted 250 people, 27 rodeo committees and 31 animals. The 2017 ProRodeo Hall of Fame Induction Festivities are scheduled for August 3-5 and the actual ceremony will take place at 10 a.m. MT on Aug. 5 in Colorado Springs, Colo. The Hall of Fame is currently open from 9 a.m. – 5 p.m. Wednesday – Saturday. Starting May 1 – Aug. 31 they will be open seven days a week from 9 a.m. – 5 p.m. More information can be found at

By Justine Kaempfer

While attending graduate school at Penn State I began working at the Penn State All-Sports Museum.  I knew I was interested in museum work, particularly in sports heritage, and figured my studies in sport history paired with some practical experience would be a good start.  At that time I was already a member of a number of academic organizations related to sport, but needed to gain insight into the professional world, and ISHA proved to be the perfect fit.

I attended my first ISHA conference in Nashville (2014).  Everyone was incredibly welcoming and it proved to be very enlightening.  While the workshops, speakers, and presentations were incredibly informative, the most valuable aspect of the conference was the opportunity to meet and network with museum professionals.  Not only were we able to connect on a personal level, but they were a great resource for questions I had about the industry.

The conference also offers the opportunity to meet with other students and emerging professionals, and talk with them about their interests and journey, as well as attend a session hosted by the Board of Directors addressing the needs and concerns of emerging professionals. Furthermore, if you are looking for a way to add to your academic and professional resume, ISHA affords the ability for you to submit an abstract that could be presented at the annual conference.

The conference, however, is really just the tip of the iceberg.   There are plenty of opportunities to network outside of the conference using the mentoring program and the website’s membership access, which provides the contact information for all of ISHA’s members.  You can find out about professional development, as well as pressing issues and new ideas in sports heritage, such as incorporating virtual reality and STEM education, through participation in quarterly Hot Topic calls.  You can add to your professional and academic resume even further by submitting white papers, abstracts, or even your thesis to be posted on the ISHA website.  And finally, the ISHA website and listserv are a hub for internship and job postings and connections.  In fact, the posting for my curatorial internship with the Green Bay Packers Hall of Fame was sent through ISHA’s listserv, which ultimately led me to my current position with the organization.



COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. – Randy Corley, an 11-time PRCA Announcer of the Year, joins five world champions to headline the 12-member 2017 induction class for the ProRodeo Hall of Fame, which was announced Tuesday.

Corley, along with gold buckle winners including the late Buck Rutherford (all-around, 1954), Enoch Walker (saddle bronc riding, 1960), Tommy Puryear (steer wrestling, 1974), Mike Beers (team roping, 1984) and Cody Custer (bull riding, 1992), will be enshrined with rodeo notable Bob Ragsdale, a 22-time National Finals Rodeo qualifier in three events.

Also, voted in by the selection committee were four-time bareback horse of the year, Christensen Bros.’ Smith & Velvet, and the committee for the Ogden (Utah) Pioneer Days.

For the first time in the history of the ProRodeo Hall of Fame, barrel racers from the Women’s Professional Rodeo Association (WPRA) will be amongst the class of inductees. Their inaugural class will be Wanda Harper Bush, Charmayne James and a joint PRCA/WPRA equine inductee – Star Plaudit “Red.” The class will be inducted Aug. 5 at the ProRodeo Hall of Fame in Colorado Springs, Colo.

“It’s something that’s pretty awesome beyond anything I can say,” Corley said. “Right now, I’m kind of in shock. This is quite an honor, and I do not take this lightly – I can tell you that. Nothing can be any better than reaching this pinnacle, other than taking care of every rodeo that I will continue to do. They are all the reasons I’m in the Hall of Fame.”

Corley has been selected PRCA Announcer of the Year 11 times (1984, 1990-96, 1998, 2003 and 2011). He has also been an announcer at the National Finals Rodeo 15 times (1985-86, 1992, 1994-96, 2007-08, 2010-16).

Puryear qualified for the NFR nine times, eight of which were consecutive, from 1971-78, and then in 1983. The Texas bulldogger also won the gold buckle in 1974 and the NFR average title in 1976.

“It’s really got me kind of speechless, and I’m normally not totally speechless,” Puryear said. “I can’t believe it – I know several of those people (the other 2017 inductees), and knew them well. I even knew the bucking horse well, too, and it’s kind of a coincidence Ogden is there because it’s one of my favorite rodeos – it’s set up well and fit me well.”

Puryear first joined the PRCA in 1970, and now, 47 years later, he’s being recognized as one of the best steer wrestlers in PRCA history.

“Most of those guys down there (in the Hall of Fame) were my heroes – people I’d read about,” Puryear said. “The first rodeo I went to, I was too bashful to even say hi to them – it was unbelievable being around them.”

Rutherford was inducted into the ProRodeo Hall of Fame more than half a century after he was topping the world standings across four events – bareback riding, saddle bronc riding, steer wrestling and bull riding.

The Oklahoma cowboy was in the Top 5 for the world standings 11 times between 1949-57, and was the 1954 all-around world champion and the first cowboy to ever win more than $40,000 in a single year (approximately $362,235 in 2017 dollars according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics).

Although he never won an individual event championship, he placed second in the bareback riding standings the same year he won the all-around title.

Rutherford twice finished third in the bull riding world standings (1951 and 1954).

Shortly after the 1952 season closed, Rutherford was in a serious car wreck and suffered a life-threatening skull fracture and was unconscious for 15 days. After several months of hospitalization, Rutherford recovered and returned to rodeo to win the all-around title.

His rodeo earnings fell flat after a bad spill slipped a disk in his back in November 1958. He then retired from rodeo and resumed ranching in his hometown until his death at 58 years old on April 28, 1988.

Walker, who won both the 1960 saddle bronc riding world championship and NFR average title, took to the skies in his ascent to ProRodeo fame – qualifying for 10 NFRs during his 20-year tenure with the Rodeo Cowboys Association.

In 1960, the 28-year-old cowboy had been knocking on the door of a gold buckle for years, placing third in 1957, second in 1958 and third again in 1959.

Walker entered the 1960 season with a plan for earning the gold buckle that literally took flight. He teamed up with Paul Templeton, who flew him from one rodeo to the next when his rodeo road trips got too hectic.

Walker arrived at the NFR in Dallas, Texas, leading the pack with $20,832 earned that season by placing 126 times at 56 rodeos and winning 21 rodeos throughout 1960, including Salinas, Calif., and Fort Worth, Texas.

He rode all 10 horses at the NFR in Dallas, placing on five of them – winning the NFR and the world title.

Beers, a heeler, won his world championship while roping with header Dee Pickett, who was inducted into the ProRodeo Hall of Fame in 2003. Beers qualified for the NFR 23 times in team roping (1980-95, 1997-98, 2000-03, 2007).

“This is like winning the world,” Beers said. “You hear about all these guys like Larry Mahan, Ty Murray, Dee Pickett, Leo Camarillo, Clay O’Brien Cooper and Jake Barnes, and to be put in a category with those guys is a great honor.”

Custer’s eight trips to the NFR and 1992 bull riding world championship win landed him in the ProRodeo Hall of Fame.

“It wasn’t a call I wasn’t waiting on or expecting – it’s one of those deals I thought about it, but you don’t sit on your hands and wait,” Custer said. “I was overwhelmed and a bit emotional, and didn’t have much to say.”

Custer first joined the PRCA in 1985 and went on to qualify for the NFR from 1987-92, and again in 1998-99. He remained an active competitor through 2002.

“I was just a kid from Arizona who had big dreams to do something in rodeo,” Custer said. “Fortunately for me, I had a Cinderella-type career, and in the middle of it you take it for granted – this kind of recognition means a lot to me – as much or more than winning the world title.”

For most of his adult life, Robert (Bob) Reuel Ragsdale has served the sport of rodeo as a competitor and as an ambassador. On Tuesday, the cowboy they call “Rags” added “Hall of Famer” to his one-of-a-kind résumé.

“Well, it really hasn’t sunk in yet,” Ragsdale said with a laugh. “But it’s something anybody that’s ever rodeoed dreams about. You never think that it could really happen.”

Ragsdale, a 22-time NFR qualifier in steer wrestling, team roping and tie-down roping, recognized he will forever be cemented into history among the legends of the sport he holds so dear.

“To be able to be there with all the world’s champions – I’ve done a lot of different things in the PRCA and RCA – but to be nominated and go into the Hall is unbelievable,” he said.

Ragsdale became the first and only left-handed roper to qualify for the NFR for 15 consecutive years from 1961-75. He also served as both the Vice President and President of the Rodeo Cowboys Association in the early ’70s, and is credited as the one to propose the association include “Professional” to the organization’s formal title.

Bareback horse Smith & Velvet was the definition of a late bloomer.

The horse, which was honored as the PRCA’s top bareback horse four times (1977, as Mr. Smith, and then 1979-80 and 1982, as Smith & Velvet), didn’t become an award-winning bucker until he was into his 20s.

“When I first started bucking him, he would be good for five or six seconds, and then he would spin and stop,” said Bobby Christensen, owner of Smith & Velvet. “A lot of people told me to get rid of him, but instead I turned him out for a few years. I entered him in Oakdale, Calif., and he bucked off World Champion Jack Ward. From then on, I knew I had a good horse, and he took off from there.”

Smith & Velvet died in 1983 in a tragic car accident that killed many of Christensen’s prized NFR horses.

He says the horse was the pride and joy of his rodeo company.

“He went to 25-30 rodeos per year, and was the bread and butter of our company for many years,” Christensen said.

The Ogden (Utah) Pioneer Days will celebrate its 83rd year of existence in 2017.

The event has come a long way since its inception in 1934, when Ogden City Mayor Harman W. Peery organized a Western festival to boost the spirits of the locals and entice tourists to visit the city.

“This rodeo was started right after the Great Depression because the community needed it,” said Dave Halverson, the rodeo’s director. “We’ve been in the Top 5 of the best large outdoor rodeo category several times in the past 10 years, and the fans here grab onto that.”

The Ogden Pioneer Days is more than just a rodeo, it’s an event. It includes concerts, parades, farmer’s markets, and, of course, the rodeo at historic Ogden Pioneer Stadium.

“We’re the largest celebration in the state of Utah,” Halverson said. “I know our whole committee and the community will be very excited about being inducted into the ProRodeo Hall of Fame.

“You just do what you do, and you hope that someday you get that call. But we don’t do this for notoriety, we do it for the community and the state of Utah.”

This year’s Ogden Pioneer Days will take place July 20-24.

On the WPRA side, Bush was multi-talented, becoming the most decorated cowgirl in the history of the WPRA (formerly the Girls Rodeo Association).

When the GRA first formed in 1948, Bush was one of the first to sign-up. All totaled, she won 32 world titles – nine all-around (1952, 1957-58, 1962-65, 1968-69), two barrel racing (1952-53), two cutting (1966, 1969), one flag race (1969), 11 calf roping (1951-56, 1960, 1962, 1964, 1966-67) and seven ribbon roping titles (1951, 1953-54, 1956-59). She finished as reserve world champion in the barrel racing three separate times.

While Bush’s barrel racing world titles came before the NFR began, she qualified seven times (1959-60, 1962-65, and 1974) for the NFR during her career.

“That is awesome and really great. We are really proud she will be honored in this way,” said Shanna Bush, Wanda’s daughter, who qualified for the NFR in 1984. “She would be very honored and humbled. She would be very glad to be a part of the Cowboys Association (PRCA) because she always worked for that to be the case. She always wanted them to get along and to better themselves by being associated with each other. This is a very special honor.”

Bush will be inducted posthumously, having passed away Dec. 29, 2015.

Although she had to wait 22 years to join her legendary horse Scamper in the ProRodeo Hall of Fame, James is ecstatic to be a part of this historic class.

“I am thrilled to be going in as part of the inaugural class and what this represents for all barrel racers,” said James, who now makes her home in Boerne, Texas. “To be going in with Wanda is very exciting. Wanda was such a pioneer for our sport. Throughout my entire career her presence and forging through on issues with barrel racing was there and evident, and why we are where we are today.

“Scamper has just been waiting for me and I was fine with that as he really deserved the honor. This news made my entire day.”

James, who grew up in Clayton, N.M., the home of the very first barrel racing National Finals Rodeo in 1959, won the first of 10 consecutive world titles at the youthful age of 14 in 1984.

James was the first WPRA member to wear the coveted No. 1 back number in 1987, and became the first barrel racer to cross the $1 million record in career earnings. In addition to the 10 consecutive world titles (1984-1993), James and Scamper won the NFR average title six times (1984, 1986-87, 1989-90 and 1993). In 1996, Scamper became the first and only barrel horse (until 2017) to be inducted into the ProRodeo Hall of Fame.

James would add a cherry on top of her illustrious career returning to the top of the sport aboard Cruiser (Cruisin on Six) in 2002, winning her 11th world title and seventh NFR average title.

Bringing symbolism to this new chapter in the history of the PRCA and WPRA is best summed up with the induction the horse known as Star Plaudit “Red.”

Star Plaudit holds a very unique record in the world of professional rodeo, one that is not likely to ever be duplicated. The bay gelding won two world championships in the sport in a single year and contributed to a third, at the age of 12.

In 1962, Red, as he was affectionately known, carried his owner Sherry (Combs) Johnson to the GRA world title in the barrel racing. The horse also helped close family friend Tom Nesmith to the RCA world title in the steer wrestling, as well as the RCA all-around championship.

Johnson credits the steer wrestling with teaching Red how to run hard through the pattern.

“Lord, that is a blessing and a dream come true for him and I,” Johnson said of Red being inducted into the ProRodeo Hall of Fame. “He was a horse of a lifetime, and what he accomplished will never be done again. I had the pleasure of riding him and he had such a big heart. This is just such a wonderful honor.”

Red passed away at the age of 22.