This has been a long time coming, but better late than never.
The Phoenix Union High School District, one of the state’s oldest and largest districts, is starting a Sports Hall of Fame with the inaugural class being inducted Dec. 17 at 5 p.m. at the former Phoenix Union campus on 7th and Van Buren streets. It is now the University of Arizona College of Medicine – Phoenix Campus auditorium.
Athletes and coaches from Phoenix Union High School in the “historical era” from 1913 to 1981 (the year it closed) will be recognized, along with “modern era” coaches from 1950 to present from the 10 district schools. Phoenix Union opened in 1895.
District Athletic Director Zach Munoz called this a dream of his for many years.
He said that 29 coaches and 16 athletes will be inducted in the first class, which was chosen by a committee of members of the high school sports community.
A male and female scholarship will be established by the PUHSD Sports Hall of Fame.
Donations for the event and scholarships can be made to the non-profit (501C) Phoenix Union Foundation for Education c/o PUHSD Sports Hall of Fame, 7949 E. Acoma Drive, Suite 207, Scottsdale, AZ 85260.
“There are so many that we had to play catch up for this first event,” Munoz said in a release.
Here is the inaugural class:
Phoenix Union HS Athletes Historical Era
- Sonny Karnofsky (Football)
- Carl Mulleneaux (Football)
- Cecil Mulleneaux (Football)
- Lee Mulleneaux (Football)
- Fred Carr (Football)
- Larry Gordon (Football)
- Bill Kajikawa (Football)
- Hank Leiber (Baseball)
- Steve Colter (Basketball)
- Rudy White (Basketball)
- Morrison Warren (Football)
- Henry Tompkins (Basketball)
- Allen “Stretch” Holmes (Basketball)
- Elmer Green (Basketball)
- George Greathouse (Football)
- Bill Saunders (Football)
Phoenix Union HS Coaches Historical Era
- Bill Gates (Boys Tennis)
- Francis S. Geary (Boys Track and Field)
- Gene Doyle (Boys Tennis)
- Jesse McComb (Baseball)
- John Black (Football)
- Lorette Brinegar (Girls Tennis)
- R. Izer Turner (Boys and Girls Tennis)
- Robbie Robinson (Boys Track and Field/Boys Basketball)
- Royal Heindenreich (Boys Track and Field)
- W.W. Carpenter (Boys Basketball)
PUHSD Modern Coaches Era
- Argie Rhymes (Phoenix Union/Carl Hayden boys basketball)
- Bill Mitton (Trevor Browne football)
- Charlie Webb (Camelback baseball)
- Clement Chapman (South Mountain boys and girls basketball)
- David Cruickshank (Trevor Browne/South Mountain boys and girls track and field/cross country)
- Ed Long (Phoenix Union boys basketball/district AD)
- Gerald “Wimpy” Jones (Phoenix Union boys basketball)
- Gil Trejo (Maryvale baseball)
- Gretchen James (Camelback archery)
- Hector Bejarano (North boys basketball)
- Hugh Morrison (Alhambra track and field/)
- Joe Ehlers (South Mountain boys cross country)
- Nadine Sass (Camelback volleyball)
- Phil Kemp (Alhambra boys basketball)
- Ray Laing (Central football)
- Robert Schuster (South Mountain/Maryvale boys track and field)
- Royce Youree (East boys basketball)
- Verne Wolfe (North boys track and field)
- Verne Braasch (West football)
Reach Obert at email@example.com or 602-460-1710. Follow him at twitter.com/azc_obert.