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NWAC HEADLINES

INW Sports Hall of Fame Inductions Announced

(Spokane, WA) – No one can deny the vast history of athletic excellence that Spokane boasts. On Oct. 13th at the Spokane Veteran’s Memorial Arena, the Inland Northwest Sports Hall of Fame will add to the prestigious ranks four inductees, and two Scroll of Honor members.  John Friesz, Roy Graffis, Irene Matlock and Jon Heimbigner will be honored as the Hall of Fame Inductees, and Dale Goodwin and Marcia Saneholtz will be honored for their athletic contributions on the Scroll of Honor. The Induction Ceremony (open to the public) begins at 10:30 am when media are invited to interview the inductees.  Following will be a no-host reception at 11:00 am, and a lunch, $30 per person, at 11:45 am. HALL of FAME John Friesz graduated from Coeur d’Alene High School as a stand out three-sport athlete, leading his football team to a state championship. Following a very successful football career at University of Idaho in which he threw for over 10,000 yards, Friesz continued his playing days in the NFL with the San Diego Chargers, passing for more than 8,600 yards and 45 touchdowns. In 2006 Friesz was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame and his jersey #17 was retired by the University of Idaho. After coaching Oakesdale High School to the 1973 boys’ State B Basketball championship team, the first for Oakesdale, Roy Graffis became the first coach in Washington State to win both boys’ and girls’ state basketball titles. Having a passion for small school sports, Graffis also helped Hunters High School 11-man football win the state title, and LaCrosse High School develop a baseball program, overall coaching various sports for over 38-years, including stints at Oakville, Sprague, and Odessa high schools. One cannot think of volleyball in Spokane without recognizing the talented coaching career of Irene Matlock. Starting her collegiate coaching career at Community Colleges of Spokane in 1986, Matlock created a powerhouse 715-246 record before retiring in 2004. Matlock has produced six All-Americans, one Community College American Volleyball Coaches Association Player of the Year, and was named the National Coach of the Year for two-year colleges by the AVCA. She started her career at Sandpoint High School, where she led her team to 4 consecutive state championships. Matlock is also an avid club volleyball coach, helping to build a strong club program throughout the region and coached at Eastern WA University as interim-head coach, finishing 3rd in the Big Sky Conference. Jon Heimbigner has spent over 35-years watching, participating in, and supporting athletics in Spokane. A native of Ritzville, WA and Odessa, WA area, Heimbigner has an impressive resume including 31-year board member of the Spokane Regional Sports Commission, 27-year chairman of the Inland Northwest Sports Hall of Fame, 30-years on the State B Basketball steering committee, 29-years committee member of the Inland Northwest Youth Sports Awards Luncheon, and local organizing committee member and team host of the NCAA Men’s and Women’s Basketball Championships and Women’s Final Four Volleyball, Men’s National Volleyball Team and Women’s Olympic Softball team events in Spokane. Heimbigner is a lifelong athlete, annually competing in recreation volleyball, softball, and basketball, compiling a 76% winning record. SCROLL of HONOR Dale Goodwin has officiated volleyball for over 29-years, becoming the 18th member inducted into the Professional Association of Volleyball Officials National Hall of Fame in Dec. 2008, also receiving the PAVO’s Honor Award, its highest award. Goodwin has served on local and national boards for the past 22-years, officiated six NCAA DI national championships, three NAIA national championships, and two NCAA DIII national championships, including numerous USA Volleyball Nationals. As a Spokane native and Washington State University and Gonzaga University graduate, Goodwin was a sports writer for the Spokesman-Review and GU sports information director before becoming the head of public information at GU. Spokane would have not enjoyed the prestige of hosting the NCAA Men’s and Women’s basketball and Women’s Volleyball without the efforts of Marcia Saneholtz, retired senior associate athletic director and senior women’s administrator for Washington State University. After 28-years with the WSU athletic department, Saneholtz represented WSU on a variety of Pacific-10 Conference and NCAA committees, including being named national administrator of the year by the National Association of Collegiate Women’s Athletic Administrators. She is also recognized nationally as an expert in merging of men’s and women’s athletic programs and development of women’s programs under Title IX. Congratulations to all our inductees. For a full biography of each inductee please visit www.spokanesports.org.
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