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Five awards highlight NKY Sports Hall of Fame summer reunion, set for August 17

By Andy Furman
NKyTribune reporter

Five prestigious awards, and special guest speaker – former Northern Kentucky University and University of Cincinnati basketball coach John Brannen – highlight the Northern Kentucky Sports Hall of Fame 40th Summer Reunion set for Wednesday, August 17th (5-9 p.m.) at the Garden of Park Hills (1622 Dixie Highway).

The Bill Cappel Volunteerism, Pat Scott Lifetime Achievement, James Steffen Humanitarian, Dr. James Claypool Pioneer Griffin, and Tom Fricke Service Award will be presented, according to Joe Brennan, president of the non-profit organization.

Pat Scott

Bill Cappel Volunteerism Award: The award will be presented to Mel Webster, former head softball coach at Bishop Brossart High School (1992-2022).

A member of the Northern Kentucky Athletic Directors Hall of Fame, he also served as a softball umpire 22 years. He was on the Hall of Fame Committee for Holmes High School, and was inducted into the Northern Kentucky Sports Hall of Fame, September, 2016. A local authority on Title IX, he was selected by the NKSHOF as a member of the Coaches Corner Sports Exhibit at the Behringer-Crawford Museum honoring the top 69 coaches from all sports in Northern Kentucky.

Webster passed at the age of 69 on March 2nd of this year.

Bill Cappel was a founding member of the NKSHOF in 1982 – served as captain of the world champion Nick Carr Covington Boosters (1939) – the first team to win a national championship in Kentucky. Cappel co-founded the Northern Kentucky Umpires Association and the sports complex at 4305 Decoursey Avenue was named in his honor.

Pat Scott Lifetime Achievement Award: The award will be presented to former Northern Kentucky University Women’s Basketball Coach, Nancy Winstel. She served the university for over 30 years – as a player (1974-77), assistant women’s coach in basketball, volleyball and head softball coach two seasons.

Nancy Winstel

She complied a 615-207 won-loss record in her 28 years as head coach for the Lady Norse, won two NCAA Division II National Championships and made 20 NCAA Tournament appearances.

Her teams were nationally ranked 19 seasons and won or shared 10 Great Lakes Valley Conference championships and advanced to the Final Four in 1987, 1999, 2000, 2003 and 2008.

Pat Scott, a Walton, Kentucky native, attended St. Henry High School and later the University of Kentucky. In 1951 she pitched for the Fort Wayne (Ind.) Daisies managed by the legendary slugger, Jimmie Foxx. The team – and the league – was immortalized in the 1992 film, A League of Their Own. Pat was chosen to authenticate the history of this story – she was inducted into the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum in October, 1984 – and was the first woman on their Board of Directors in 1985.

She passed at 87 in October, 2016.

James “Tiny” Steffen Humanitarian Award: Judi Gerding, Founder and President of The Point/Arc in Covington wins the award for her service over the years to individuals with (I/DD) – intellectual and developmental disabilities.

She is still the driving force behind this non-profit that has grown to include employment programs, a coffee shop, laundry, outreach programs and social activities as well as 16 residential homes operating 24/7, 365-days-a-year.

The Point/Arc presently serves more than 1,400 people annually through its programs and services, and now operates 16 group homes that house more than 60 residents.

James “Tiny” Steffen is a member of both the Covington Catholic Sports Hall of Fame and Northern Kentucky Sports Hall of Fame. He served on the organization’s Board of Directors, and was instrumental in the success of the summer scholarship fundraisers as well as the annual golf outing.

He passed in 2020 at the age of 77.

Dr. James Claypool Pioneer Award: Robert Griffin, a Pendleton High School graduate – and member of the first basketball team at Northern Kentucky State College in 1971 – wins the award.

The Griffin Family has supported the NKU Athletic Boosters Programs, Covington Catholic and St. Henry High School.

Griffin and Mike Listerman were responsible for the very successful Bluegrass Buckeye Games at NKU. He is the co-owner of the Griffin Elite Sports and Wellness Facility. A member of the 10th Region Hall of Fame and the Northern Kentucky Sports Hall of Fame, he received the prestigious Lincoln Award in 2021 at NKU.

Dr. James Claypool founded the athletic programs at NKU in1970 and, as Dean of Students and Athletic Committee Chairman administered these programs 12 years.

Teddy Kramer

He insisted that women athletes receive scholarships and started the W. Frank Steely Library at NKU as well as Presidential Scholarship program at the school.

Tom Fricke Service Award: Teddy Kremer, a Colerain High School swimmer – and a 2004 member of the Ohio State High School Championship football team – wins the award.

He was Bat Boy for the Cincinnati Reds in 2012 – and authored a book: Stealing First: The Teddy Kremer Story, which was published in 2016. He was a guest speaker at the NKSHOF Summer Reunion in 2019.

The 39-year-old, who is a Down syndrome patient, was voted Prom King at Colerain High School.

Tom Fricke initiated the idea of the Behringer-Crawford Museum – and having the NKSHOF present sport exhibits at the museum. He was a member of the Covington School Board.

He passed at the age of 66, October 27, 2015.

The Northern Kentucky Sports Hall of Fame 40th Year Summer Reunion – set for Wednesday, August 17th (5-9 pm) at the Garden of Park Hills – is open to the public. The ten dollar admission includes food, cash bar, split-the-pot and door prizes,

Profits go to the Scholarship Fund, and, in 2022 the Hall of Fame awarded seven $1,000 Jack Aynes Scholarships from this fund.

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