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Sakic Voted To Colorado Sports Hall of Fame

by Staff Writer / Colorado Avalanche
DENVER - Led by former Denver Broncos coach Mike Shanahan and the recently-retired Joe Sakic, the Selection Committee of the Colorado Sports Hall of Fame voted to honor six individuals at the 46th annual induction banquet April 20, 2010, at the Denver Marriott City Center.

Joining Shanahan and Sakic in the Class of 2010 as selected Wednesday (November 11) are Bob Blasi, Marc Johnson, Dean Lahr and Larry Zimmer.  The Selection Committee will also pick the 2009 Athletes-of-the-Year at a meeting in January as the Colorado Sports Hall of Fame will also recognize the state’s collegiate, high school and top athlete at the April 22 banquet.

Over the course of his career (1988-2009), Sakic was one of the most productive forwards in the National Hockey League, having twice scored 50 goals and earning at least 100 points in six different seasons. At the conclusion of the 2008-2009 NHL season, he was No. 8 in career points (1,641), No. 14 in goals (625) and No. 11 in assists (1,016).

A member of Canada's 2002 gold medal hockey team, Sakic was voted the Salt Lake City Olympics' most valuable player.  After 20 seasons and 1,378 NHL games, Sakic retired on July 9, 2009 and had his jersey number retired prior to the Avalanche's 2009-2010 season opener on October 1, 2009 at Pepsi Center.

Shanahan completed his 14-season (1995-2008) tenure with the Broncos last December as he compiled a 138-86 regular-season record in Denver where the Mile High entry in the National Football advanced to post-season seven times with an 8-5 record.  Prior to leading the Broncos, Shanahan coached the Oakland Raiders for one-plus season with an 8-12 mark to give him a 146-98 NFL coaching mark.

Back-to-back Super Bowl wins highlighted the 1997 and 1998 seasons where Shanahan’s Broncos defeated the Green Bay Packers 31-24 to win XXXII in San Diego and the Atlanta Falcons 34-19 to captured XXXIII in Miami over the Atlanta Falcons, who were coached by another Colorado Sports Hall of Fame inductee, Dan Reeves.

Other Shanahan Bronco accomplishments featured the most wins in pro football history during a three-season period (46 in 1996-1998), the most postseason games won in history over a two-year period (seven, 1997-1998) as he joined Vince Lombardi, Don Shula, Chuck Noll, Jimmy Johnson and Bill Belichick as the only six coaches to win back-to-back Super Bowls.

Blasi compiled a 21-season record of 107-71-3 as the University of Northern Colorado football coach (1966-86).  He coached the 1969 Bears to a 10-0 record, a Rocky Mountain Conference title and a No. 3 ranking in the final UPI national college division poll.  His teams won six league titles, including one North Central Conference championship as he led UNC to its first-ever NCAA playoff appearance in 1980.

The head baseball coach at Cherry Creek High School in Englewood, Johnton has led the Bruins to 20 Centennial League titles and seven Colorado championships.  A scout for the Colorado Rockies, Johnson coached the United States Junior Olympic team in 2004.  Over 275 of his players have earned college scholarships with 13 being drafted in the first-round of baseball’s annual draft.  With more than 600 baseball wins, Johnson was selected as Baseball America's “Coach of the Decade” for the 1990s.

Lahr won the 1963 and 1964 NCAA championship in the 177-pound class for the University of Colorado.  Lahr, who was selected as the Most Outstanding Wrestler in the 1964 NCAA meet, competed in 84 national and international meets from 1963 through 1965 where he posted a 73-7-4 record.

A Denver North graduate, He was a three-time Rocky Mountain AAU Champion (1961, 1962 and 1964) and a two-time AAU national champion in 1963 and 1966.  He was a member of the U.S. World Wrestling Team in 1963 and 1966.  He also played two years as a reserve guard on the football team.

Zimmer has been a fixture in the Denver sporting scene since 1971 when he joined the staff at KOA-Radio and Television.  After beginning his Mile High City play-by-play duties with Denver Rockets in the American Basketball Association, Zimmer was on the part of the Denver Broncos Network for 26 years, including the last seven as the play-by-play announcer through the 1996 season.

A former play-by-play announcer for the University of Michigan, Zimmer also served as the play-by-play voice of the CU football team (1971-1981, 1985-2003) and has been handling the color commentary duties the past seven seasons.  Next month in New York, he will be presented the Chris Schenkel Award for his for long and distinguished service broadcasting college football presented by the National Football Foundation and College Football Hall of Fame.
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