CHARLES “CHARLIE” GORDON – Coach

Coach
Charlie Gordon commanded respect and displayed respect throughout a 25-year coaching career that spanned four decades and provided Lincoln Southeast with its first state championship in any sport. Gordon was named the Knights’ baseball coach when the school opened in 1955. In 1958, with seven sophomores in the starting lineup, the Knights claimed their first of five state baseball championships. His Southeast teams also collected three runner-up finishes and 12 district championships. Also an assistant football coach, Gordon never took shortcuts when working with students and other coaches and was an example of what coaches hope sports can teach young people.

Bob Gratopp – Geneva

Athlete. When experts debate all-time great high school basketball shooters, the name of this 1966 graduate from Geneva High School is sure to be included. Having scored an amazing high school total of 1,916 points, his achievements include leading the purple and gold Wildcats to the 1965 state championship in Class B basketball; with their first game in the state tournament that year being one in which Bob Gratopp scored a record 50 points. He was, of course, named all-state in basketball (twice), but he also was all-state in football and he played in the Shrine Bowl football all-star game. His outstanding career at the University of Nebraska prompted his selection to the UNL Basketball Hall of Fame.

Officiated high school and college basketball for years.

Herb Grote – Omaha Benson

2010Athlete. Class of 1938. Considered one of the most versatile high school athletes in the state, Herb Grote was named to the Omaha World-Herald Honor Roll teams in football, basketball and track and was named to the Nebraska All-Legion baseball team. But he had no peer when throwing the javelin, a skill he acquired while throwing sunflower stalks in the back yard.. He won the state high school gold medal in 1937 and 1938, setting the state record as a junior. At the University of Nebraska, he won the Big Six javelin championships in 1940, 1941, 1946 and 1947. An All-American in 1940 and 1946, he won the “triple crown” in 1947 by winning the javelin at the Texas Relays, Kansas Relays and Drake Relays. While in the infantry in World War II, he rose from private to captain and was awarded the Purple Heart and Bronze Star.

 

Gerry Gdowski Jr. – Fremont

HOF inducteeAthlete.  1986 Graduate. Of all the many fine athletes to wear the fabled black and gold uniform of the Fremont High School Tigers, none perhaps exceed the exploits of this talented valedictorian of his senior class. He was a member of three straight Fremont High track teams who won the state Class A boys championship,1984-1986. He received all-state honors in football and basketball in his junior and senior years and was the first sophomore picked on the Nebraska Las Vegas All Star team in basketball. In track, he won eight gold medals, the first athlete to accomplish this feat in nearly 50 years. He lettered three years in football at the University of Nebraska, was All Big Eight Conference first team quarterback in 1989. After setting several quarterback records at NU, he played professional football briefly then moved on to coaching.

 

Jason Glock – Wahoo

inducteeAthlete. Wahoo (1991)

Jason Glock was the cornerstone of the Wahoo basketball dynasty that compiled four straight state championships and 114 straight victories, A two-time all-class all-state pick, he scored 2,167 points in his career, including 779 during his senior year, and averaged 9.9 rebounds per game in his career. A stright-A student, he tallied 52 points in a game against Schuyler and set a state tournament record with 260 career points.He garnered High School All-American Honors from Street and Smith/Nike, McDonald’s and Converse. In his four years, the Warriors posted a 101-1 record – the lone loss coming in a game where he didn’t suit up. On the football field, he was a an all-class all-state defensive lineman in football. He lettered four years at Nebraska in basketball, playing in 82 games.

Bob Gates – Omaha

Coach. After graduating from UNL in 1950, Bob returned to his high school alma mater, Omaha Holy Name, to coach football, baseball and basketball.  His teams won State Championships in all three sports that he coached.  With no playoffs, the World- Herald awarded the mythical state championship in football to Holy Name in 1954 after an undefeated season.  His football teams of 1958 and 1959 were also undefeated.   His basketball teams won the state championships in ’55,’57, and ’58. The baseball team won state titles in ’52 and ’53.   In 1955 the World Herald awarded its Class B All Sports Championship to Holy Name.

In 1961 he moved up to the college ranks, serving as assistant in baseball and basketball at Nebraska.  In 1966, he moved to Pershing College in Beatrice as Athletic Director, baseball and basketball coach. When Pershing closed, Bob returned to the Cornhuskers as a football recruiter and assistant baseball coach.  In 1976, took over the coaching baseball helm at UNO where his baseball teams won two conference championships and two NCAA Division II regionals with one win short of advancing to the Division II World Series.

Bob Green – Omaha Creighton Prep

Bob Green

Omaha Creighton Prep

Athlete

Bob Green never lost a high school tennis match, posting a 67-0 record in three years at Creighton Prep, losing only three sets throughout his prep career.  As a sophomore, he defeated the previous years finalists to claim his first of three state championships at No. 1 singles.  The class valedictorian, Green went on to excel at Boston University where his tennis success paved the way for his induction into the Terriers Hall of Fame.  He was the teams MVP for three years and the schools first-ever qualifier for the NCAA Tournament.  He went on to a six-year career in professional tennis, where he was the ATP Rookie of the Year and rose to the No. 37 ranking  in the world in 1984 after losing in the U.S. Open quarterfinals to No. 1 ranked and eventual champion John McEnroe.

Buford “Boo” Grosscup – Lincoln

Official. Imagine an game official with the nickname of “Boo”.  So it’s gone on for years for Buford (Boo) Grosscup of Lincoln, who officiated football and basketball for 37 years from 1947-1983.  In football, he worked 444 games, which included five state championship games, numerous playoff games and the Shrine Bowl.  He assisted the Nebraska School Activities Association for 12 years giving rules meetings across the state as well as evaluating and instructing football crews.  In basketball, he worked an average of 50 games per year.  He assisted the NSAA for 18 years in this sport giving rules meetings as well as supervising state tournament officials.  “Boo” officiated the state basketball tournament for 15 consecutive years from 1958 to 1972 and was one of a very few officials to officiate state tournaments in three different decades — the ’50s, ’60s and ’70s.  He was chosen by the state of Kansas to officiate their boys and girls all-star games. He even made it into films when he was selected as an official in the 1972 National Federation of High Schools football rules film that was produced in Longmont, Colo.  As president of the Eastern Nebraska Officials Association. in 1960, he led a program to assist young officials by convincing the Lincoln Public Schools and surrounding schools to allow him to assign referees for all contests below the varsity level.  Many officials starting in this program are still working today.  He still counsels officials and fields calls on rules interpretations.  He officiated almost 3,000 contests in his career.

BY RYLY JANE HAMBLETON / Lincoln Journal Star

Zebra. Blue.

Those are the nice things Buford Grosscup was called. Some things aren’t printable.

Grosscup officiated football and basketball and ran a baseball program. In 37 years, he officiated 444 football games, worked 1,850 basketball games. From 1954-67, he administered the Lincoln youth baseball program.

“My God, everyone owes kids something,” said Grosscup. “You do this because you love sports and kids.”

Grosscup is one of 22 people who will be inducted into the Nebraska Sports Hall of Fame this year.

Grosscup said other than a few rules changes, most of the differences in sports now compared to when he first started are off the field of play.

“On the court hasn’t changed much. There’s a rotten apple now and then in the stands,” he said. “And that’s more when a parent is involved as the kid’s alter-ego. You can write about sportsmanship, but it all depends on kids getting the proper direction and basic direction from their parents.”

Those changes are societal.

“There used to be three places kids learned behavior — from their parents, from institutions like churches and schools and on the street corner,” he said. “Families turned to institutions and now it’s gone to the third source.”

A teacher at Lincoln High, he was a friend and peer of Scott, who was a standout in athletics in every area — as an athlete, a coach and a contributor.

“I’ve gone back and looked at Links letters (Scott published the Lincoln High newsletter for 45 years, beginning in 1957). There was a lot of love there,” said Grosscup. “Harold didn’t need walls in his office because he had filing cabinets that served as walls. Everywhere I ever traveled around the country, people always asked about Harold because they knew him through the newsletters.”

Grosscup said that now that he is retired from officiating, his wife, Jane, often has to explain to fans when they show up at games.

“She always says, `My husband is just here to observe.’ I can’t stay away from sports just because I’m not officiating any more.”

 

Sandi Genrich – Lincoln Northeast

Coach. 

The 1985 Lincoln Journal-Star and 1999 Omaha World-Herald girls coach of the year retired after the 2003 season as the state career leader with 672 volleyball victories. She started her coaching career at Lincoln Pius X in 1972, then moved to Lincoln Northeast, her alma mater, in 1976. Her teams made 21 state tournament appearances, won state titles in 1981, 1984, 1991 and 1998 and were runners-up five times.  The Nebraska Coaches Association honored her as volleyball coach of the year in 1991 and in 2000 for outstanding contribution to volleyball in the state.

Ken Geddes – Boys Town

Athlete. 1965 grad

Ken Geddes was a member of the 1965 all-class and Class A all-state football teams. The 6-foot-2, 198-pound end also ran the third leg on Boys Town’s mile relay team that won the Class A and all-class gold medal at the state track meet. He started for the Boys Town basketball team that won the 1966 Class A basketball title and went on to play college football for the University of Nebraska from 1967 to 1970. He earned All-Big Eight honors as a linebacker in 1968 and as middle guard in 1969. He played in the Senior Bowl in 1969 and then in the Coaches All-American Game in 1970. The Detroit Lions selected Geddes in the seventh round of the 1970 NFL draft. He played eight years in the NFL for the Los Angeles Rams and Seattle Seahawks.