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OPS announces 2017 Athletic Hall of Fame class

11 Inductees to be honored

The Omaha Public Schools will induct 11 new members into its Athletic Hall of Fame on Saturday, Nov. 18, at Metro Community College’s North Omaha Campus (5370 N. 30 St.) in its Culinary Arts Facility.

Social hour begins at 5:30 p.m., dinner at 6:30 p.m. and the program at 8:30 p.m.

This is the 12th annual induction ceremony/banquet for the district.

This year’s honorees include Andre Woolridge (Benson); Terry Eyman (Bryan); Gary Graner (Burke); Jessica Haynes (Central); Dave Underwood (North); Mikaela Perry-Grimes (Northwest); Terrance Badgett (South); Thomas Warren (Tech); James Lund (Middle School) and Jim Fuxa and Stu Pospisil (Community Contributors).

Tickets are available by calling the OPS Athletic Office at (531) 299-9890.

Andre Woolridge – Benson High School

A 1992 Omaha Benson graduate, Woolridge scored a championship-game record 50 points to lead the Bunnies to the state title his senior year. He was All-Metro for three years and finished with 1,911 points, a Class A record. A four-year starter at Iowa, he led the Big 10 in scoring and assists his senior year and earned third-team All-American honors. He set the Iowa record for career assists. He played professionally in France, Italy, Turkey and Greece.

Terry Eyman – Bryan High School

Terry Robert Eyman was born in Omaha, Neb., on Aug. 19, 1968. He is the youngest of six siblings born to Robert and Anne Eyman. Eyman attended Chandler View Elementary School,

Bryan Junior High School and graduated from William Jennings Bryan High School in 1986.

During his high school years, he was an offensive and defensive lineman under the coaching guidance of Tim Bond. Terry received the Most Improved Player Award during his football years at Bryan High School.

Following high school, Eyman attended the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. After meeting with Coach Tom Osborne, he made the decision to join the Husker football program as a “walk-on,” and played the position of swing tackle during his years with the Huskers. Through hard work and perseverance, Terry was able to earn a scholarship and a starting position/rotation with the Huskers during his junior and senior years of college. Eyman graduated from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln with a business degree in 1991.

After graduation, he returned to Omaha, Neb., and joined the family business, Eyman Plumbing. He credits his business knowledge and experience to his work with various plumbing companies throughout the area. He is currently owner and CFO for Eyman Plumbing in Omaha. He lives in La Vista, with wife, Michelle Haynes, and their combined family of five children: Maddison, Nicholas, Benjamin, Robert and Waylon. Eyman enjoys coaching youth football, taking motorcycle rides, spending time with the family and, of course, watching football games at any level.

Gary Graner – Burke High School

Gary Graner grew up in the southwest Iowa town of Manning. He played football, basketball, and baseball and was awarded all-state basketball honors his senior year. After graduating from Manning High School in 1974, he played college basketball at the University of South Dakota from 1974-1978, graduating with a history degree and a high school teaching certificate and coaching endorsement in May of 1978.

Coach Graner taught and coached at Omaha Burke High School for 33 years. When he joined Burke High School in the fall of 1978, Graner started as an assistant to John Johnette and assistant football coach to Larry Jacobsen. Upon the retirement of Coach Johnette in 1988, Coach Graner became Burke High School’s second head boys’ basketball coach holding that position for the next 18 years. In those 18 years, his teams qualified for the State Tournament eight times and finished as State Runners-up in 1993 and 2000. Burke High teams also won the Metro Holiday Tournament three times during his tenure. Ten of Coach Graner’s 18 teams finished the year in the OWH’s final state top ten rankings. In 1992, he was chosen to be the head coach for the Valentino’s NE All-Star team representing the state of Nebraska in the annual Las Vegas tournament and the following season was honored as the Metro Conference Coach of the Year.

Coach Graner loved challenging his athletes to not only excel on the basketball court but also in the classroom and daily life. The teams he coached played an exciting brand of basketball, which brought the community out in force. That excitement and success generated by his teams’ hardnosed play, along with the promotion of youth basketball through summer basketball camps and clinics, resulted in Coach Graner being honored with Burke High School’s Community Leader Award in 2000.

Graner has always felt his reward for coaching has been the great fortune of being a part of the lives of so many wonderful student-athletes and working with dedicated coaches, staff, and administrators at Burke High School and throughout Omaha Public Schools. Coach Graner and his wife, Jessica, have been married 41 years and all four of their children: Matt, Steve, Michelle, and Alli currently live in the Omaha area.

Jessica Haynes – Central High School

A two-time All-State and three-time All-Metro player, Haynes helped Central to back-to-back basketball championships in 1983 and 1984. In 1984, she averaged 16.2 points and 8.4 rebounds per game and her rebound and coast-to-coast drive for a layup sealed the state championship. She averaged 22 points and nearly 12 rebounds per game as a senior when she played as a Parade All-American. In track, she ran on three gold-medal relays, helping Central to Class A titles in 1983 and 1984. She attended San Diego State University where she was a three-year starter and a two-time All-Big West Conference selection averaging 16 points and nearly 10 rebounds per game during her career.

Dave Underwood – North High School

Dave Underwood graduated from North High School in 1962, where he lettered in basketball, baseball and was an All-City selection first baseman. As a junior, he was a member of the Omaha Storz American Legion team that finished third in the nation in 1961.

Underwood taught and coached in the Omaha Public Schools at Lewis & Clark Junior High and South and Burke High Schools. His coaching career included coaching football, basketball and baseball. As a baseball coach at Burke, his teams achieved state championships three times between 1970 and 1975. During the summers, he ran baseball camps for youth in the Omaha area with Bill Olson of Northwest High School. Underwood is co-founder of the Collins-Orcutt AllStar game featuring the area’s top baseball players each spring.

After a short stint at IBM, Underwood returned to coaching as an assistant baseball coach at the University of Nebraska at Omaha. He helped lead Nebraska to its first regional appearance attempting to secure a berth in the College World Series. After two years at Nebraska, he served one year as an assistant coach at Creighton University and was named head baseball coach the following year. As head coach, he was on the College World Series Board of Directors from 1981-1985. He was twice honored as a College Coach of the Year in 1982 and 1983. He helped lead Creighton to its first-ever ranking in the Collegiate Baseball Magazine. In 2013, Underwood was inducted into the Omaha Old-timers Baseball Coaches Hall of Fame.

In 1986, Underwood co-founded The Real Estate Brokerage Firm with a former player and Hall of Fame member, Tim Wurth. The company has been in business for 31 years and is a multifaceted commercial real estate firm. In 2005, he co-founded a new company called Heritage Communities to develop, build and manage care facilities for seniors.

Underwood and his wife, Marilyn, live in Omaha and have 12 grandchildren.

Mikaela Perry-Grimes – Northwest High School

Mikaela Perry-Grimes was born in Omaha, Neb., and is the daughter of longtime Omaha Public Schools (OPS) employees Doris and Otis Perry II. She attended Springville Elementary, Nathan Hale Junior High and Northwest High schools.

Grimes excelled both academically and athletically. In high school she was a member of the National Honor Society and lettered in cheerleading, basketball and track and field. Following in her brothers’ (Mark and Otis III, who were stellar athletes in their own right) footsteps, she was a state champion in track and still holds the number three fastest time in the 200 meters and the top time in the 100 meters on the Nebraska Girls All-Time Track Chart.

At the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, she was one of the first African-American cheerleaders that the school had ever had and was a member of the then, Big 8 Conference Championship track team. Completing her track career at the University of Alabama, she hit another milestone as one of the first African-Americans elected to the school’s homecoming court before graduating with her bachelor’s degree

She competed for both the Midwest Striders and Cornhusker Flyer Youth Track Clubs.

During her track career, Grimes won several awards, but her proudest moment was competing for the USA Junior team at the Pan-Am Junior Games, where she ran the second leg on a 4x1 that not only won, but broke the World Junior Record.

Today, Grimes lives in Nashville, Tenn. and is a Human Resource Administrator and co-chair for the Nashville Diversity and Inclusion Chapter at T-Mobile. In her spare time, she coaches for the Training Ground Youth Track Club, where several of her athletes have reached All-American status.

She is married to Reggie Grimes and has three children: Maya,19; Reggie,15 and Reghan,13. All three are following in her footsteps. Reghan is a city middle school track champion, a two-time youth track All-American and MVP of her Middle School’s volleyball and basketball teams. Reggie is a county track champion, made the TSSAA State Track Meet as a freshman and was voted Offensive MVP for his high school football team. Maya was a two-time TSSAA state champion, High school All-American and Ohio Valley Conference Indoor Freshman of the Year competing for Austin Peay State University.

Terrance Badgett – South High School

Terrance Badgett, a two-time all-state player, led the Packers to the Class A state championship in 1990 and averaged 24 points and 11 rebounds per game the following year, while earning honors as the Gatorade Nebraska Player of the Year. A Nebraska Cornhusker recruit, he made the Big Eight All-Bench team. As a Husker he played in 127 games and scored more than 200 points each season, finishing with a career total of 953. He played professionally for five seasons in the U.S. and overseas.

Thomas Warren – Technical High School

Thomas Warren graduated from Omaha Technical High School in 1979. He earned a football scholarship to Morningside College where he graduated in 1983 with a bachelor of science degree in criminal justice and sociology and a minor in psychology. He earned his master’s degree from the University of Nebraska at Omaha in 1989 in criminal justice with an option in public administration.

While at Technical High School, Warren earned eight varsity letters: three in football, three in track and two in basketball. In football, he ran for 455 yards, seven touchdowns and had 36 tackles against opposing teams and was a Metropolitan Conference Runner-up in 1977. In basketball, his team were Metropolitan Conference Champions in 1978 and Holiday Tournament Champions in 1979. His track team were District Champions in the 4 x 200-yard relay. At Morningside College, Warren was a four-year starter as defensive back and his team were the All North Central Conference Second Team in 1982 and he was honored as the North Central Conference Defensive Player of the Week. His team also defeated the University of Nebraska at Omaha 3-0 after Warren forced a fumble that led to the game’s only score.

After graduation, Warren served on the Omaha Police force for 24 years (1983-2009) and was the first African-American to serve as Chief of Police for four years (2004-2008). Today, Warren serves as President/Chief Executive Officer of the Urban League of Nebraska.

Warren won the World Police and Fire Olympic Gold Medal in 1983 in weightlifting for his class (198 lbs., 30-35 year olds).

James Lund – Middle Schools

James Lund was born and raised in Omaha and graduated from Omaha North High School in 1970. He went on to attend the University of Nebraska at Omaha (UNO) where he received a bachelor’s degree in education. After a few years of teaching, coaching and being a dad to four little ones, Lund returned to UNO and completed his master’s degree in 1989.

While attending UNO as an undergraduate, he was a member of the men’s basketball and golf teams. Participating in college athletics influenced his decision to choose teaching and coaching as a career.

While in college, Jim met his wife, Marlene, and they were married in September of 1974. They raised four children; Eddie, Julie, Andy and Dan. They have been married 43 years.

Lund began his teaching and coaching career at Martin Luther King Center (MLKC). Their oldest son, Eddie was born the first month that he taught. He taught at MLKC from the fall of 1976 to the spring of 1984. In the fall of 1984, Lund transferred to Morton Middle School where he finished his career with OPS. At both schools, he coached a variety of sports including girls and boys basketball, football, wrestling, soccer, swimming, and gymnastics. Basketball was his favorite sport and he coached more than 55 boys and girls teams during his time with OPS. In order for more students to participate in sports, Lund also sponsored intramural units at Morton. During his tenure at Morton, he coached against each one of his children, while they attended rival schools.

Lund’s philosophy of coaching emphasized sportsmanship, skill development and teamwork. The strategies that he employed were done to help players improve their skills rather than to just win games. Over the 31 years he coached, he was privileged to work with many student-athletes who went on to participate in high school and college athletics.

Throughout the years, Lund participated in men’s basketball leagues and golf tournaments. He also enjoyed coaching his children and now grandchildren through outside youth organizations.

Retirement offers Lund extra time to be more involved with his six grandchildren. When he is not being Papa, he enjoys golf, cycling and traveling.

Jim Fuxa - Community Contributor

Jim Fuxa attended Ashland Park Elementary and graduated from South High School in 1960. He attended the University of Nebraska-Lincoln and Omaha University on athletic scholarships and graduated with and bachelor’s degree in education in 1965. He worked as a graduate assistant at the University of Minnesota at Mankato and obtained his master’s degree in education in 1971. At South High School, Fuxa wrestled and had an undefeated dual meet season in his sophomore and senior years. He was undefeated in district and state championships his senior year in high school and in two seasons at Omaha University, he had a dual meet record of 18-1.

During Fuxa’s junior year in high school, he started coaching wrestling at the South YMCA and was paid ten cents per student, per session. His teams won five consecutive state YMCA championships.

Later, he took part in road races and duathlons. He won over 200 medals and trophies during the 80s and 90s in those events. Fuxa competed for the USA Duathlon team and placed sixth in his age group in the 1993 world championships in Dallas. Even later in life, he participated in the Senior Winter Games in Summit County, Colo., winning numerous first place medals in Nordic skiing, snow shoe racing and the biathlon (shooting and Nordic skiing).

Fuxa was employed by the Omaha Public Schools for 31 years. From 1967-1970, he coached football, wrestling, gymnastics and track and field at Lewis & Clark Middle School. In his third and final year at the junior high school, his teams won city championships in football, wrestling and track and field.

After graduating from Mankato in 1972, he was hired as an administrator in Physical Education and Athletics in the Omaha Public Schools (OPS). During his tenure, he revised the playground apparatus policy for OPS regarding play and safety.

Fuxa also suggested to a staff member at Sunny Slope a way to get a plan period for the elementary classroom teachers. He approached the Omaha Education Association with the idea that teachers receive plan time while traveling specialists were with their students. He also guided several teachers in the development of the curriculum guide called the “War on Weight.”

In 1993, Fuxa proposed to the leadership of the JROTC program in OPS schools that they initiate a biathlon at the high school level, which included running and shooting. It has been an annual event ever since.

Near the end of his career with OPS, he volunteered to coach wrestling at Beveridge Middle School where he coached from 1995-1997. His final year, his team won the city wrestling championship. Those same wrestlers, along with members of Morton’s team moved on to Burke High School where they won Burke’s first and only state wrestling championship.

Fuxa coached two different youth soccer teams to state cup championships in 1985 and 1986.

He became a wrestling official in 1967 and officiated many tournaments, including the Nebraska high school championships. In his final year of officiating, he worked the Big 8 Tournament in Stillwater, Okla.

As a member of the Greater Omaha Sports Committee (GOSC) within the Omaha Convention and Tourism Bureau, Fuxa started perhaps the first high school scholar-athlete awards program in the county. The program continues today, forty years later. Also as a member of the GOSC, he helped set up the Big 8 Volleyball Tournament and clinics. These clinics were held at Omaha South during the Big 8 Tournament for girls from the four-state area surrounding Omaha.

Fuxa also served on the Nebraska Winter Games committee in the mid-90s. One of his responsibilities was the food service for over 4,000 people at the Strategic Air Command and Aerospace Museum.

He still practices what he preached many year ago working out almost daily. He enjoys archery, cycling, hunting, hiking and has recently taken up pickle ball.

Fuxa has two children: Nikki Mildren and Cory Fuxa, who reside in Fort Worth, Texas with their families. There are four grandchildren ranging in age from seven to 18. Jim is married to wife, Roxanne Smith, and they reside in Colorado Springs, Colo.

Stu Pospisil - Community Contributor

Stu Pospisil is an Omaha World-Herald sportswriter and third-generation OPS graduate who has covered high school sports for the newspaper since 1984. He is currently the newspaper’s prep sports coordinator.

He attended Fontenelle Elementary and Monroe Junior High before graduating from Benson High in 1980. At Benson, he was involved in National Honor Society, journalism, music and the math and metric clubs. He was team statistician for football, boys basketball and baseball.

His professional career began in 1981 with the Sun Newspapers of Omaha while a student at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln (UNL). He joined the World-Herald in June 1984 and completed his degree at UNL that year.

After five years as the Metro Conference beat writer, Pospisil became the statewide prep rater in 1990. He has become regarded as the leading prep authority and historian in the state. He assisted the Metro Conference in assembling its records during its golden anniversary season in 2014-15, which resulted in every school receiving a large plaque to commemorate its conference championship.

Pospisil also has chronicled Nebraska golf on all levels for the past 30 years, including the 2013 U.S. Senior Open and the 1996 U.S. Women’s Amateur, the Cox Classic, the Masters and PGA Championships and countless state and local events. Since 1988, he has been the director of The World-Herald match play championship for Omaha-area golfers. He co-founded the revival of the men’s city golf championship in 1998. He has been a contributor to Sports Illustrated, Golf Journal and Golf World.

He has been honored by the Nebraska School Activities Association, Nebraska Coaches Association, Nebraska State Athletic Administrators Association, Nebraska PGA and the Metro Omaha Golf Championship. He has received the Nebraska Golf Hall of Fame’s Davis Special Recognition Award and has been inducted into the Benson High Hall of Fame and Burke High Swimming Hall of Fame.

Pospisil is married to the former Sherry Fischer of Scribner, Neb. They have seven-year-old twin sons, Adam and Kyle.

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