2019- Tim and Dianne Turman Family


Tim and Dianne Turman’s home in Wahoo stands at the crossroads of Coach and Athlete.  Tim got the ball rolling, first at Alliance St. Agnes, then at Chadron State College where he virtually broke all the school’s passing records.  Dianne’s highlight came when she ran on Bridgeport’s record setting 880 yard relay team.  Tim’s Hall of Fame coaching career followed, as did two sons and four daughters.  Sons Matt and Seth were four year, multi-sport lettermen at Neumann.  Matt went on to play for the Nebraska Cornhuskers and Seth was the quarterback for the Omaha Mavericks, before embarking on their own coaching careers.  Daughters Sara (Vedral), Stephanie (Jarrett), Krissy and Jessica (Schutt) were also multi-sport letter winners and have added to the coaching legacy through youth and community sports.  The next generation has shown little sign of deviating from the path.  Oldest grandson, Noah Vedral, kept the legacy going, earning Super State football honors, All State basketball honors and winning a State All Class Gold medal in the hurdles.  After a detour to Central Floridia, he is in line for the quarterback spot in Nebraska.  Younger brother, Eli was an All State athlete as well.  With 16 grandchildren, more Turman family athletes are rising through the ranks.

2018-Del and Marilyn Stracke Family


Small towns can produce big influence on high school athletics, and the Del and Marilyn Stracke family of Stuart proved that.  Three daughters and two sons have played, coached and won on the biggest stages, starting with their youngest daughter, Darcy is the leading scorer in basketball and a Hall of Fame inductee as an athlete in 2011.  She went on to star in college and coached state volleyball champions in Montana.  Sisters Stacey and Sandy, standout high school and collegiate athletes, as well as brother, Jerry, have enjoyed successful coaching careers as well.  Each have taken their teams to the Nebraska state tournament multiple times, with Jerry winning five girls’ basketball titles with West Point Central Catholic Guardian Angels.  Sandy’s husband John Miller, has surpassed the 700-victory plateau an has achieved the rare distinction of coaching state champion girls’ and boys’ basketball teams.  He was inducted into the Hall of Fame as a coach in 2017.

2017-June and Pat Novacek Family

               Pat was a 3 sport letter winner and 1955 graduate of Tekamah High School.  They were 9-0 in football, 18-3 in basketball, and Pat competed at the state track meet in the high hurdles, high jump, and long jump.  He competed at Peru State for one year and then Huron College, where he was a 3 sport letterman.  He coached in south Dakota and Iowa before coming to Gothenburg.  He was Head Coach of the 1992 Shrine Bowl and Head Coach of the Western Nebraska All Star game.

Son Jim was Gothenburg’s quarterback and pivot man in basketball.  He pole vaulted 14’6″ at the State meet and was an All-American punter at Rose Halman College in Terra Haute, indiana.  He was an al-large participant in track at Wyoming.

Jim’s twin daughters, Becky and Joyce, led Hopewell PA high school to state championships in volleyball and basketball.  Becky won the State Gold Medal in the high jump 3 years in a row and icon a basketball scholarship at Dayton.  Joyce is on a volleyball scholarship at Bucknell.

Son Jay was also a 3 sport athlete and All State Quarterback his senior year.  As a junior he vaulted 15’1″ and as a senior at the State Track meet, he won both hurdle races, second in the high jump and 3rd in the vault.  He was an All American tight end at Wyoming and competed in the decathlon in track.  He played for the Phoenix Cardinals and Dallas Cowboys and was a Pro Bowler five times and had three Super Bowl Championships.

Son Jason (Bump) was also a 3 sport athlete at Gothenburg.  He set the state pole vault record at 16′ and led the state in the 300 intermediate hurdles.  He was drafted by the Cincinnati Bengals in 1990.  Jason’s son Carson, played quarterback at Shickley and Fairfield-Sandy Creek

2016:Jerry and Tina McLain Family


Standout athletes at Mayville (N.D.) State, Jerry and Tina McLain moved to Chadron in 1991 where all six of their children participated in three sports every year of high school, helping the Cardinals forge a golden era of success.  The boys excelled in football and baseball.  From 2002 to 2008, Chadron High won 52 of 61 football games with a McLain at quarterback.  Joe and John went on to be four-year starters at quarterback of Chadron State College.  Jake played football and baseball at Mayville State, earning all-conference honors in baseball three times.  Jamie and Jasmine helped Chadron High School qualify for the state tournament in volleyball and basketball and went on to play volleyball for Chadron State.

1999: Family of Raymond & Margaret Nannen Syracuse

From left: Mom & Dad Nannen, Joyce,Bob.
Back, from left: Gene, Michael, Neil, Lyle, Dick

The family of Raymond (deceased) and Margaret Nannen has been making noteworthy contributions to high school sports since their own playing days.

Raymond played four years of basketball and was a member of Hallam’s 1925 Class F State Championship Team. Margaret Nannen played basketball for three years at Sprague-Martell.
They are the parents of seven children: Bob, Joyce, Lyle, Dick, Gene, Neil and Michael, most of who starred at Syracuse in the 50’s and 60’s and brought the sports spotlight on their hometown during a heyday of state championships.

The thumbnail sketches below do not go into great detail about the next generation, but the Hall of Fame wants it noted there is overhwhelming evidence that wherever the Nannens settled, they stood ready to play and to play hard for their high school teams.Bob Nannen (deceased) – Hallam graduate. Played four years of high school basketball and baseball. Children: Debbie, Doug, Don, Dane and Daniel.

Joyce Nannen Wenz – Hallam graduate. Three-year volleyball player. Mudecas Conference champion. Children: Linda and Randy. Randy Wenz played at Crete, was all-state in basketball and leading scorer on an outstanding Class B team.

Lyle Nannen — Graduated from Syracuse in 1954. Played basketball, football and track. Three-time basketball all-stater. School lost just seven games in his four years of basketball. Unbeaten state champion in 1954. Football all-stater . State champion hurdler. 1954 Journal-Star athlete of year. Played basketball at Nebraska. Distinguished teaching/coaching career, the last 27 years at Randolph. Over 400 wins coaching basketball. Also referee. Children: Theresa, Mary and Ann, all multi-year, multi-sport standouts at Randolph.

Dick Nannen – Graduated from Syracuse in 1954. Three sport player, all-conference in basketball and football. Member of 1994 state championship basketball team. Made all-state tournament. Children: Jeff, Marcia and David. Jeff graduated from Syracuse in 1976, all-state in basketball, gold medal high jumper in 1976 (6-8 ¾). Set University of South Dakota scoring record and is in the school’s Hall of Fame. Academic All-American.

Gene Nannen — Graduated from Syracuse in 1959. Played all sports. All-state in basketball in 1959. Member of Class B state championship team. Made state tournament all-tourney. Listed by Journal-Star as one of ten top athletes in 1959. Children: Nathan, Amanda and Lydia. Amanda had outstanding basketball career at Nebraska City High School (Class B all-state), playing in the 1989 state tournament. At Peru State, she became the school’s all-time three-point shooter.

Neil Nannen — Graduated from Syracuse in 1960. Played football and basketball. All-state in basketball in 1960. Played on 1959 and 1960 state championship basketball teams. Played basketball at Nebraska. Coached for several years, most notably at Beatrice and Grand Island, and is now an administrator at Lincoln East. Long time referee. Children: Kim, Scott.

Michael Nannen (deceased) — Graduated from Syracuse in 1966. Played all sports. All-conference baseball player in college. Coached at Red Cloud, Yutan and Weeping Water. Children: Christine, Caryn.

2000: Family of Richard and Lois May Hayes Center

Hayes Center
From left, Lois, Kent, Kim, Rick and Rocky
Three Generations Of Three-Sport Stars

The family of Richard and Lois May has been contributing to Nebraska’s sports heritage for three generations. Richard was a three sport athlete in high school placing third in the 880 at the 1935 State Track Meet. After high school, he played semipro baseball, officiated high school basketball and coached summer league baseball. Lois was the family’s head cheerleader and chief laundry handler of team uniforms. Sons Kent, Kim, Kent and Rocky picked up the pace during their high school careers, all playing for Hayes Center High School. Their children have continued the three-sport barrage.The background sketches below focus on the four May sons. Their childen’s accomplishments are not presented in detail here only because of space restrictions, not because their efforts were any less than their dads.
Kent May was a three sport athlete at Hays Center , All Conference in football, two time state qualifier in track, set Class C district record in the 440 with a time of 49.7 (The first runner below Class A to break the 50 second barrier which is still a school record) and placed first in the 440 and second in the long jump at State. Attended Kearney State, lettering four years in track. Coached track at Elba, St. Paul, and Wallace. State meet volleyball official and well as state track meet starter for five years. Sons Brent, Todd and daughter Angie are all multiple sport champion athletes.
Kim May, also a three sport athlete, was a member of the 1962 State Champion 8 man football team, three time state qualifier in track, placing second in the 440 in 1962, 3rd in 1963 along with a first in the mile relay and a 4th in the 120 hurdles. He lettered in track at Kearney State and went on to coach at Bennington and Elkhorn where he has had State Champion Boys Track teams. He earned the honor of Track Coach of the Year in 1987. His son Brandon was an outstanding diver and gymnast at Millard North.
Rick May
was also a three sport athlete: All Conference and All area in football, All State in basketball, three-year state track qualifier, 440 and 880 winner in 1968 and at that time the first Nebraska boy to do so while leading his Hayes Center team to the Class D State Championship. He still holds the school record in the 800 meters but in good family tradition he has to share it with son Nolan. Rick went on to Kearney State where he lettered in track and cross country. He coached girls track and cross country at North Platte and his teams won two State Championships in cross country, then he returned home where he has coached track for the last 19 years producing two Class D State Championships in girls track. His son Nolan and daughter Rhea were both outstanding three sport athletes for Hayes Center.
Rocky May, of course another three-sport athlete, was member of the 1970 Class D Record 880 relay team, twice bronze medal winner in the 440 at State and member of the Class D State Championship Team. Coached track at Hershey for five years then took over girls track and cross country at North Platte where his 1982 cross country team was Class A State Champions. His son Kyle was a three sport star, started on the 1991 Class D1 State Championship Basketball Team for Maxwell. His daughter Kristin was also a three-sport athlete at Maxwell.

2001: Family of Earl and Lenore Thorel Loomis

Top from left, Dennis, Stuart, Charlie, Jim
Sitting: Mom & Dad, Earl and Lenore

Earl and Lenore Thorell of Loomis produced five offspring who were four-year letterwinners in sports at Loomis High School and all went into coaching and teaching. Their combined longevity totals 133 years of coaching.

Earl, the family patriach, himself earned four letters in basketball and baseball and then he coached PeeWee, Midget and American Legion baseball for 14 years at Loomis.

Here’s a capsule of each offspring:

Stuart lettered four years in football, basketball and track at Loomis. He went to college at UNL one year and then to Kearney State where he lettered three years in football. From there, he spent 40 years coaching and teaching at Waterford Township and Waterford Mott High Schools in Michigan.

Jim lettered four years in football and basketball and two years in track. He was all-state in six-man football, played college football at Kearney State winning all-conference honors three times. He also lettered twice in college track, then played baseball for three years in the New York Yankee system before coaching football, track and cross country at Alliance. His cross country teams won one state championship and twice were Big 10 and district champions.

Charlie won 16 letters at Loomis in football, basketball, track and baseball, was all-state in football and basketball twice. At Kearney State, he was a four-year letter winner in football and track and all-conference in football. He coached at Sumner where his basketball team qualified for state twice and he was an assistant coach in the Shrine All-Star football game. At Seward, his track teams were conference champions for 12 years and district champions five times. His cross country teams qualified 14 times for the state meet.

Gloria lettered four times in volleyball at Loomis, coached track two years at Gibbon and three years at Kearney High. She also coached volleyball and gymnastics at Kearney.

Dennis lettered four years in football, basketball and track, was all-state and all-conference three years and on the 1963 Shrine Bowl all-star rosters. He was all-state in basketball and gold medal winner in the hurdles. He set a long jump record in 1963 that stood for eight years. He played football at Nebraska, going to the Cotton, Orange and Sugar Bowl, did a stint with the semi-pro Omaha Mustangs before taking up the coaching business. He’s spent 23 years at Lexington High School, seven as head coach and served as Shrine Bowl Coach in 1982 and West All-Star Coach in 1998.

Eleven of Earl and Lenore’s grandchildren were multiple sport athletes.

2002: Family of Bob & Lorraine Schnitzler Battle Creek

Battle Creek
Front, from left: Linda Walker, Lorraine & Bob, Mary Nordhues.
Back, from left: Craig, Jean Cull, Sandy Gnirk, Robb

The Schnitzlers have a nice home in Battle Creek but, the truth of it, their children grew up in the gymnasium, football fields and other playing fields around. Bob and Lorraine’s six children all were very much into sports. All participated in high school sports, all played a role in State Championships and five went on to participate in college sports. All are college graduates. All are now married and have children of their own.

Sandra received many honors as a three-sport high school athlete. Graduated from Kearney State and presently teaches in Lexington Middle School. Sandra and husband Rod have three children.

Jean also a three-sport athlete in high school and attended St. Joseph’s College of Beauty at Lincoln and at the present time owns her own business in Oakland. She and her husband Todd have four children.

Robb was a four-year letterman in three sports in high school. He was a two time State Champion in the 100 and 200-meter dash, State Champ once in the 400 relay and the long jump. All State in football, All Sports King, Shrine Bowl and class valedictorian. Walked on at UNL in football later earning a scholarship and a starting spot at split-end for two years and lettering for three. He was Big 8 punt return champion in 1985 and was Academic All Big 8 in ‘85 and ’86. He now works as a physical therapist in Central City. Robb and his wife Tina have four children.

Craig was also a four-year letterman in football, basketball and track. He was first team All State in football ’82, first team All State in basketball ’82-’83, quarterbacked the State Championship football team ‘81,and was a member of the ’81 and ’82 State Championship track teams. He played in the ’83 Shrine Bowl as quarterback and kicker. Went on to UNL where he played football lettering in ’87 and ’88. Returned to his alma mater to coach basketball and football, taking his ’99-’00 basketball team to the State Tournament. Craig now coaches at Kenesaw and he and his wife Julie have three children.

Linda was a four-year letterman in basketball and track and three years in volleyball. She was All State and All Tournament in basketball playing on two State Championship teams. Linda was a four time State Qualifier in track winning the long jump once and placing three times as well as placing three times in the hurdles and the 400 relay. At Wayne State she lettered four years in basketball and track where she gained All American honors in both. She holds 14 school records in basketball and two records in track at Wayne State. Qualifying for the Nationals four times, she placed sixth in the long jump in ’89. Other honors include World Herald College Athlete of the Year and Academic All American. She and her husband Drew have four children and she now teaches and coaches at Wahoo.

Mary played on three straight State Basketball Tournament teams. She was a four-year letterman in basketball and track making the All State Team once and All Conference once. She qualified for the State Track Meet all four years in the 1600 and 3200 meter runs. Attending Wayne State she played basketball for four years becoming the 5th all time leading scorer in Wayne State history and was selected All Conference. She participated in track for three years. She was chosen Athlete of the Year her senior year. She won the Miss Nebraska Pageant in 1993 and went on to compete in Atlantic City at the Miss America contest. She now works as a registered nurse at Bryan LGH Medical Center East in Lincoln. She and her husband Rick have one child.

2003: The Chester and Ruth Bailey Family Schuyler

Schuyler Chester and Ruth Bailey had four sons — Keith, Gary, Don, and Steve — who gave years of time and dedication to the student athletes of Nebraska and Iowa. The brothers are graduates of Schuyler High School and attended either Wayne or Midland where they received their Bachelors degrees and launched careers in the teaching and coaching profession.

By the time their coaching careers ended in 1999 they had a total of 117 years of directing the athletic endeavors of high school athletes. In 1978 Gary and Don became the first brothers to coach in Nebraska Class A schools at the same time. Keith added to the big-school coaching family when he took the head job at Ames (Iowa) Central.

Keith, the eldest, was the only one to leave Nebraska when he took the football and wrestling job at Osceola, Iowa, in 1961, then moved to Clarion H.S. in ’65 then on to Ames Central (’70 ) as head football and wrestling coach. Keith’s two sons were varsity athletes; Kim in basketball and Bruce in football and basketball.

Gary was a three-sport athlete at Schuyler, earning nine letters. The Wayne State grad took his first job at Falls City coaching football, basketball, and track. Four years later he moved to Weeping Water taking the football and track jobs. In 1969 moved to Omaha Central where he coached football and track for 10 years. He then coached at Omaha South for one season before taking the football job at Omaha Bryan in 1980. He was Metro Assistant Coach of the Year in 1990 and has worked 26 years at the state track meet and 12 at the state soccer meet. Retiring in 1998, he had a total of 36 years of teaching and coaching. His son Marc lettered two years in football and basketball at Burke High, and Michael lettered four years in football and soccer. Michael was first-team all-state soccer for three years, the first and as yet only Nebraska high school player to receive this honor. Making the state track meet a real family affair, Marc, Michael and mother Merlyna assist Gary in running the triple jump event.

Don was a member of Schuyler’s undefeated football team in 1960 and the ’59 state championship team. After graduating from Wayne State, he took the head football coaching job at Millard High from 1966-1983. He moved to York High as athletic director from 1983 until his retirement in 1999. During his coaching tenure he was assistant Shrine coach in 1974 and the South Head Coach in 1976. He was selected District II Athletic Director of the Year in 1999. His two sons were also multiple sport athletes. Ty lettered three years each in football and basketball before attending Rice University to play football. Son Bret lettered three years in football and two in basketball. Keeping up what appears to be a family tradition, Don has logged 10 years as a state track meet official.

Steve, the youngest of the brothers, was a three-year letterman in football, basketball and track and was a member on the 1968 state championship basketball team. Steve played basketball at Platte College and football at Midland. After graduation from college, he took the football job at Fremont Bergan for one year then moved to St. Edward as football and track coach. His 1976 St. Edward football team football team won the Class C-2 state title. In 1978 he took the football and athletic director job at Arlington where he spent the next seven years. He also spent 10 years as a state track meet official. Steve left the coaching field and went into private business but is still involved in athletics, officiating football and basketball. Steve’s son Quinn lettered three years in football and basketball. Daughter Shannon was a cheerleader for three years. Son John lettered three years each in football and soccer.

2004: Bertrand’s LeRoy and Patricia Hoehner Children Kyle, Kelly, Chris and Carrie; and grandchildren

Back in mid-1950’s, collegian LeRoy Hoehner, a star athlete at McCook Junior College, fell in love with the head cheerleader. LeRoy and Patricia later married and together raised a family which stands for everything good in high school activities.

LeRoy taught and coached at Overton, Bertrand and McCook high schools. At Bertrand, head basketball coach Hoehner enjoyed a 293-97 record and Class C state runner-up finishes in 1966, 1967 and 1973. Patricia was a coach, too, varsity volleyball in 1957-59 while they were at Overton.

Once into administration, LeRoy became the superintendent of schools at Bertrand and served in various capacities with the Nebraska School Activities Association, including being chairman of the NSAA board at the time of his death in 1995.

Oldest son Kyle was a standout athlete at Bertrand–4-year letterman in basketball and track and 3 years in football. He set Bertrand records for assists in a season and assists in a career in basketball. In track, he was a state runner-up in the vault. In addition to high school sports involvement, he was on the state champion Bertrand/Loomis American Legion baseball team in 1977. Kyle graduated from Kearney State and embarked on a basketball coaching career at Kearney High School, becoming the head coach in 1986. His Bearcats went to state seven times, got to the state semifinals 3 times and won six district championships. In 1998, Kyle was named coach of the Nebraska Coaches Association All-Star Team, an honor that came 25 years earlier to his father.

Kelly was a star athlete at McCook High School–3 letters in football and twice all-conference, district champion and state meet qualifier in the pole vault. Actually, his acclaim in athletics came much earlier when, at age 12, he set a national record in the vault at 11 feet, 8 inches. He lettered in baseball at Kearney State.

Chris emerged at McCook as one of Nebraska’s all-time jumpers, winning the all-class gold medal in the triple jump in 1981 and 1982 and the long jump in 1981 at the High School Track and Field Championship. He also was the Class B state champion in the long jump and 100 dash in 1982. By the time he was graduated, he had his name in the McCook High School record book in the long and triple jump, 100 dash and 400-meter relay. In 2004, he had the distinction of still ranking third in the all-time high school triple jump standings. He also lettered 3 times in football and was all-Big Ten as a defensive back/running back. In basketball, he lettered twice. Chris went to the University of Wyoming and placed three straight years in the Western Athletic Conference indoor and outdoor meets.

Carrie, the only daughter, also ranks as one of Nebraska’s all-time leaders in track. She was a four-time qualifier for the state track meet. She won 11 Class B gold medals in the 100, 200, long jump and 400 relay and won the all-class gold medal in the long jump in 1987. Her long jump performance rated as the best in history. She was a 3-year letterman in both volleyball and basketball as well. At the University of Nebraska at Kearney, Carrie earned five all-America awards and set school records in the 60, 100, 200 and long jump.