Morton Hall of Fame
Morton Hall of Fame
The History of the Hall of Fame
On Saturday, May 19, 2018 the Hall of Fame committee, consisting of Ken Geiger, Bob Govenat, Tony Vais and Dwight Pawlowski persided over a gathering of over 150 alumni at the American Legion hall in LaGrange, Illinois. Two new inductees, Wayne Vandenberg (1961) and Jerry Wainwright (1964), were also guess speakers.
Wayne Vandenburg (1961) was New Mexico University asst. Coach, and at age 24 he was named the UTEP track and field head coach, producing: One Olympic athlete, two world record holders, 57 All American, 11 NCAA Individual Champions. His teams were national champs in 1969, and he added a 2nd place finish, two third place finishes and 4 other top 10 finishes. He has own a minor league AA baseball team, worked for the Dallas Cowboys, started a Pro Volleyball League and now manages 50,000 rental properties, worldwide. He was raised east of Cicero Avenue near 14th street.
Jerry Wainwright, played for Morton West in 1964, Morton College and Colorado College. He was an asst. to the Legendary coach, Norm Goodman at Leyden High School, Head Coach at Highland Park High School. He was an asst. coach at Xavier University, Wake Forest University, and Head Coach of University of North Carolina (Wilmington), Richmond University and DePaul University for 5 years. He is an analyst of Sirius radio for Mad Dog Russo and currently he’s an asst. at Marquette University. His teams have played in the NIT and NCAA tournament.
Also added new inductees were Carl and Tony Ruzicka (1966). Carl and Tony are identical twins. They were the ball boys for the Chicago Bears in 1963 because of their perfect straight “A” grades at Morton. Carl and Tony were part of the Morton 1000 miles club. Running 1000 miles over the summer. In 1966 Carl finished 7th and Tony 8th in the state meet which were Morton’s first Cross Country medalist in it’s history. They received academic scholarships to Yale University where they graduated with honors. They were instrumental in starting the Chicago Marathon and both are currently leading CPA’s in Chicago.