CLASS OF 2019

The induction ceremony for the Hall of Fame Class of 2019 will be held on September 22 at Lincoln East High School. Activities will begin at 1:30. A reception will be held in the cafeteria prior to the induction starting at 12:00 PM. The exhibit hall located at 500 Charleston St. will be open from 9:00 to 11:00 AM on the morning of the 22nd.

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Ben Plunknett-Beatrice

Athlete

Beatrice (Class of 1972)

Walter Harrison (Ben) Plucknett, a four-year letterman in football and track at Beatrice High School and the all-class gold medalist in the shot put and discus throw in 1972, developed into the premier discus thrower in the world. At the University of Missouri, “Big Ben” won three Big Eight Championships before moving into the international competition. He qualified for the 1980 Olympic team, but was denied the opportunity to compete by the Olympic boycott. In 1981, Plucknett continued to compete internationally, and his mark of 237’4” was ratified as a North American record.

Bob Whitehouse-Omaha

Contributor

Bob Whitehouse has influenced sports in Nebraska at every level, including as a coach, administrator, and volunteer for more than 50 years. A coach, athletic director and administrator in the Omaha school system, he was inducted into the Omaha Public Schools Hall of Fame as a special contributor in 2012 and the National Interscholastic Athletic Administrators Hall of Fame in 2015. Selected as a Hall of Fame athlete at Bellevue High School and Kearney State College, Whitehouse has been involved in numerous organizations supporting athletic programs, including the Nebraska High School Sports Hall of Fame where he served as President of the Board of Directors on two separate occasions.

Diane Rouzee-Grand Island Northwest

Coach

Diane Rouzee’s 30-year career as head volleyball coach of Grand Island Northwest produced three state championships, six runner-up finishes, 23 trips to the state tournament and a 768-183 record. The recipient of the National Coach of the Year Award in 2018, Rouzee retired with the eighth-highest win total in Nebraska history. Called a “second mother” by many of her players, she watched her teams establish state records for kills and digs in a match.  She has been on the coaching staff of the Nebraska Coaches Association All-Star Game three times, twice as head coach.

Rochelle Rohlfs-Omaha Marian

Coach

Rochelle Rohlfs forged Omaha Marian into a volleyball power, rolling up a 718-245 record in her 26 years as head coach. Her career included four state championships, four other state finals appearances and a total of 21 trips to the state tournament. She coached in the Nebraska Coaches Association All-Star Game three times and has won several Coach of the Year awards. An educator at heart who viewed coaching as teaching, she had eight of her former players go on to become head volleyball coaches at Nebraska high schools. She also had brief stints coaching soccer and track at Marian.

Russ Ninemire-Sandy Creek

Coach

Russ Ninemire forged one of the all-time greatest dynasties in Nebraska high school girls athletics. Under his guidance, the Sandy Creek girls basketball team put together a 95-game win streak and won 10 state championships, including six straight between 1996 and 2001. Ninemire, the 2018 National Coach of the Year, departed from the program in 2017 after 40 years with 583 coaching victories. Head coach of the McDonald’s High School All-American all-star game in 2016, Ninemire ranked fourth in coaching victories at the time of his retirement. He also coached football and track at Sandy Creek, leading the Cougars to seven state football playoff appearances.

Max Kurz-Millard West

Coach

Max Kurz’s 47-year coaching career was dotted by championships. As a boys cross country and track coach and a girls cross country coach at Millard, Millard South and Millard West, his teams won three state championships, finished second nine times and in the top four 21 times. His boys track team claimed one state title and seven top-four finishes. He was named the Metro Conference track and cross country Coach of the Year 14 times before his retirement in 2017.