Inductees for the 2014 class of the Omaha Sports Hall of Fame were announced Friday, December 13, 2013. “It is an outstanding group of inductees, certainly worthy of this recognition” said Dr. Jack Lewis, Co-chair of the Omaha Sports Hall of Fame committee. The 2014 inductees are:
Ted Baer – Ted Baer, an Omaha businessman, purchased the Lancers in 1987 and almost immediately turned them into the premier franchise in the USHL. He moved the team to venerable Ak-sar-ben Coliseum and instantly began to establish attendance records. During his time of ownership, his teams captured four Anderson Cups, six Clark Cups and one national championship. He sold the Lancers in 2004 and Baer was recognized with the USHL Distinguished Service Award in 2007. In addition, Baer has been a PBA member since 2000, and he is a member of three bowling Halls of Fame: the Council Bluffs Bowling Hall of Fame, Omaha Bowling Hall of Fame and State of Nebraska Bowling Hall of Fame.
Chris Bober –A standout from Omaha South High School, Bober was a two-time All-American at UNO and was also selected as the Offensive Lineman of the Year in Division II his senior year. Bober played five years in the NFL with the New York Giants and Kansas City Chiefs. He retired in 2006.
Rik Bonness – An All-Sate selection from Bellevue High School, Bonness was a two-time All-American in following the 1974 and 1975 seasons. Bonness was a three-year starter and letterman who was also a Academic All-American in 1975. He played four years in the NFL with the Oakland Raiders and Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
Phil Cahoy Sr. – Cahoy Sr. helped coach several notable athletes, including NU gymnasts Phil Cahoy, Jr., current Husker assistant coach Jim Hartung and current head coach Chuck Chmelka, and has served as coach for two Olympians, three NCAA All-Around champions and several NCAA individual event champions and All-Americans.
Phil Cahoy Jr.– Cahoy led Omaha South High School to 3 consecutive State championships from 1976-1978. In 1978 he was state champion in six events. Later, at the University of Nebraska he won four NCAA national championships and was a ten-time NCAA All-American. A 2001 Inductee into USA Gymnastics Hall of Fame, He was also a member of the 1986 Goodwill Games team and was chosen to represent the U.S. at the 1980 Olympic Games.
Mike Kemp –During a 12-year tenure as head coach, Kemp guided UNO hockey from a fledgling independent to an established program with one of the best followings in college hockey. UNO has ranked among the nation’s college hockey elite in attendance from the start and boasts college hockey’s largest booster club. In 2004-05, Kemp was named the CCHA Coach and he was named a finalist for National Coach of the Year honors three times during his time at UNO. Kemp is currently an Associate Athletic Director at the University of Nebraska at Omaha
Mike McGee –An All-State selection at Omaha North High School, McGee scored 916 points his senior year of high school in 1976-77. McGee played college basketball at the University of Michigan from 1977 to 1981. He was the first player in Michigan Wolverines basketball history to lead the team in scoring four consecutive years. He was a nine year veteran in the NBA and was a part of two NBA championship teams with the Los Angeles Lakers.
Christy Neneman – Neneman was named Miss Nebraska Basketball for her outstanding career at Omaha North High School. She earned All-Freshman Team honors her first season at Creighton University and was recognized twice as the MVC Player of the Year, one of only four players in conference history to earn the honor more than once. Neneman finished her career at Creighton with 1,732 points, which remains the fourth best in the school’s history.
Heather Taggert-Long – Led Millard North to the state soccer championship in 1988, recording 10 shutouts and earning all-state honors. The three-sport standout played on a state championship team in volleyball (1987) and earned All-State honors in both volleyball and basketball. She became a record-setting goalkeeper at the University of Wisconsin and was the Big 10 Female Athlete of the Year in 1992. She was inducted into Wisconsin’s Athletic Hall of Fame in 2001.
Dean Thompson Jr. –Dean Thompson scored 1,816 points, played in 117 consecutive games, and led the team to 81 victories during his 1980-84 basketball career. He was nicknamed “The Dream” for his smooth, fluid style. UNO earned three trips to the NCAA Division II tournament and Dean was named All-NCC those three seasons and a second-team All-American. In 1984, he was Omaha Sportscasters’ Association Sportsman of the Year and became the school’s all-time leading scorer.
1963-65 Omaha Ryan/Pepsi Baseball Team – The 1963 team won state in the summer and finished second in the spring, the 1964 team won state in the spring and the 1965 team won both the spring and summer state championships. The 1963 and 1965 teams (sponsored by Pepsi) both played in the Legion World Series and placed. The 1963 team placed third nationally and the 1965 team finished second.
The induction ceremony and banquet for the class of 2014 will take place on Thursday, April 24, 2014 at the Scott Conference Center on the campus of the University of Nebraska Omaha. Social hour begins at 6:00 p.m. with the dinner and induction at 7:00 p.m.
About the Omaha Sports Hall of FameThe Omaha Sports Hall of Fame was founded in 2006 with the goal of providing a permanent place to honor individuals with strong ties to Omaha and who have achieved tremendous success through athletics. The Omaha Sports Hall of Fame honors athletes and coaches who have highly excelled on their field of play. The Hall welcomes nominations of individuals who are either originally from Omaha or have spent a significant amount of time in the community.