It’s time for the Janesville Sports Hall of Fame to return to action.
What was to have been the 2020 induction dinner has been rescheduled for Thursday, Oct. 7, at the Janesville Country Club.
Five people whose impact has been felt throughout the community and beyond will be the next to be inducted. That class includes:
Mistie Bass-Boyd, a high school All-America selection and the state’s only three-time Associated Press state basketball player of the year (2000, 2001, 2002), who led Janesville Parker to two WIAA Division 1 girls state championships, then became an NCAA Division I scholarship player at Duke University, followed by a 10-year WNBA professional career.
The late Ronald L. Brown, a U.S. Marine Corps veteran during the Vietnam era, who is best remembered for his 33-year commitment as an assistant coach and invaluable coordinator for Janesville Parker’s ultra-successful wrestling program, which had a 316-41-2 dual record, won 23 Big Eight tournament championships, 21 conference dual titles and had 65 WIAA state qualifiers during his time.
John Koebler, who had huge hand in eight major football championships, including his dominant role an offensive and defensive lineman for Janesville Craig’s 1970 Big Eight co-champions; an All-WSUC defensive lineman for two UW-Whitewater conference title teams; and Janesville Parker offensive line coach, who produced numerous all-conference and all-state standouts for the Vikings’ five title teams between 2000 and 2006.
Joe Shere, a 1997 Janesville Craig graduate, who was a baseball standout for the Cougars, UW-Whitewater and Janesville Aces, while becoming a three-time All-Wisconsin Intercollegiate Conference selection as infielder/pitcher for highly successful Warhawk teams, followed by his induction into the Wisconsin State League Hall of Fame in 2014 and the UW-Whitewater Athletic Hall of Fame in 2018.
Anne Sonka Nagle, the lead runner as a senior on Janesville Craig’s 1991 WIAA Division 1 state championship cross country team, culminating her three straight years as a state qualifier, followed by her third straight appearance as a distance runner in the Division 1 state track and field meet.
Those people will be honored at the 31st induction dinner. The event, coordinated by The Janesville Gazette and co-sponsored by JP Cullen Construction and Westphal Electric, will begin with a 5 p.m. reception, followed by dinner at 6:30 and then the induction program.
The program will include guest speaker Ryan Callahan, a Janesville resident and Parker High graduate, who is the UW-Whitewater athletic director. He was appointed to that permanent position in May after serving the last two years on an interim basis.
Callahan went from pitching for Parker to pitching for UW-Whitewater to being drafted by the San Francisco Giants to playing minor league baseball for the Giants and Minnesota Twins.
Ryan earned that professional opportunity through a dazzling NCAA Division III career with the Warhawks. He was a three-time All-Wisconsin Intercollege Athletic Conference (WIAC) pick and a two-time all-region selection.
Callahan was part of four WIAC championships, two conference tournament titles and four NCAA tournament appearances. He led the Warhawks in complete games, shutouts, innings pitched and strikeouts, while compiling a 2.21 ERA during a 2004 senior season that ended in the Division III World Series—all of which also led to his induction into the UW-Whitewater Hall of Fame in 2019.
After winning the American Legion Athletic Medal as a Parker senior in 1999, followed by his college days and time in professional baseball, Callahan returned to UW-Whitewater. He earned his master’s degree while working in the advising center, then became the Director of Continuing Education in 2012. He was named Athletic Director for Internal Operations in 2017, a position that included maintaining budgets for all 20 athletic programs on campus, which led to his appointment as interim athletic director.
His appointment to the permanent position came with a thorough endorsement.
“Ryan was selected because of his experience as a former Warhawk athlete, coach and budget manager,” UW-Whitewater chancellor Dwight C. Watson said. “He was endorsed 100 percent by all of the coaches and athletic personnel.”
Tickets to honor the inductees and hear Callahan speak on Oct. 7 are $35 and must be purchased in advance. They will be available in late August at local outlets to be announced later.