The Joliet Area Sports Hall of Fame Class of 2018 will be inducted this Saturday at the Joliet Area Historical Museum.
Joining the previous 66 inductees in this year’s 11th class will be Dick Goss, Tim Graf, Erin (Hickey) Dransfeldt, Francis Ruettiger and Shaun Vandiver.
Goss, a long-standing sports editor of the Joliet Herald-News, served the paper for 35 years before retiring in June. A recipient of numerous sports feature writing awards, Goss was named to the Illinois Basketball Coaches Association Hall of Fame in April and received the Illinois High School Association Distinguished Media Service Award in June. He is a graduate of Joliet Catholic Academy.
Graf, owner of Graf Speed Enhancement, made his mark on the track, where he still competes to this day. A 100-meter dash state champion at Joliet East High School in 1976, Graf went on to claim conference titles at Indiana University. Those crowns included a pair in the 300-meter competition and one in the 100-meter dash among other events.
Dransfeldt established herself in softball, where she used her speed and bat to lead Morris High School to a state softball championship in 1992. That year, she also established a national single-season record with her 101 hits. One year earlier, she set the mark for stolen bases with 86. Dransfeldt went on to star as an outfielder at DePaul University, where she was both a third-team All-American and an Academic All-American selection. She also is a member of the Blue Demons’ Athletic Hall of Fame.
Ruettiger’s name comes up most often concerning the topic of strength training. A premier instructor on the topic to many athletes in the area for 40-plus years at the famous Rudy’s Gym, Ruettiger is no slouch in the gym, either, having set numerous state, national and world records en route to a number of powerlifting titles. Ruettiger also is a member of the National Fitness Hall of Fame.
A successful collegiate basketball player and coach, Vandiver was an all-state selection his senior year at Romeoville High School before leading Hutchinson Community College to the national junior college championship one year later in 1988. From there, he went on to play at Colorado, where he is one of only two Buffalo players to average a double-double in each of his three seasons. He finished with a school-record 59 double-doubles for his career and ranks among the top five players at Colorado in scoring (1,876 points) and rebounding (962). Vandiver was the 25th pick overall in the 1991 NBA Draft, taken by the Golden State Warriors. He went on to play professionally in Europe for nine years before moving on to the coaching ranks at Wyoming and Emporia State among other stops.
Funds the event raises will go toward a permanent sports hall of fame exhibit being put on display at the museum, located at 204 Ottawa St. in Joliet.
The ceremony will be from 6 to 10 p.m., and $25 tickets can be bought at the door or online at jolietmuseum.org.