Posted on February 15, 2012
NHSCA National High School Sports Hall of Fame Museum
To promote and recognize the National High School Coaches and Senior Athletes of the Year and well as the National Hall of Achievement inductees
Every program begins with a dream and every dream begins with an idea.
Bob Ferraro had a coaching career that spanned twenty-five years. He coached one year in high school and 24 years at a division I university. He was always sympathetic to the high school coaches and athletes for not getting the national recognition they deserved. He also felt very strongly that career success should be recognized for those athletes that played sports and later distinguished themselves in their career and credited playing sports for their success.
After retiring from active coaching, Bob was able to reflect on conditions developing within the sports community. Negative activities seemed to be getting progressively worse. The media focused on athletes out of control and the headlines described their misconduct, involvement with drugs, illegitimate children, etc. Despite these failures, they continued to sign million dollar contracts.
Bob researched many Halls of Fames in America to determine how their athletes were selected for induction. The criteria for entrance was totally based upon records made, the number of times making the All-Star team, high career batting averages, achieving multiple Olympic medals and other record making achievements at the professional level. It was clear that on-field performances led to Hall of Fame inductions. No mention was made of their off-field activities or their humanitarian efforts. He found no Hall of Fame for “good guys in high school sports”.
He began brainstorming ideas with friends and colleagues on how to promote goodness in high school sports and like sports to career successes. Those ideas led to the genesis of a NHSCA National High School Sports Hall of Fame Museum. Weekly meetings put together a framework for the dream. In early 1999, a committee was formed to fulfill the dream.
The first few years were full of networking, corresponding, and expanding the concept. The criteria for selecting inductees cover three areas: (1) national level in ability, (2) strong in character and demonstrating a sense of values resulting in a positive role model, and (3) a strong record of humanitarian efforts. The award that is presented to the National Coach and Senior Athlete of the Year in 22 sports is called the JAIME Award. The acronym stands for Just Athletics Isn’t Meaningful Enough.
A Selection Committee was formed with a representative from every major sport. The first class of Inductees was in 1997 and included only high school wrestling coaches.
The next step was to create in interactive environment to attract and focus the visitors on the stories of these great athletes and to instill a desire to be a role model and a humanitarian each in their own way. The Hall knew it would take time for the country to understand the mission and to gain credibility with the public and media. In 1998, the Hall of Fame Museum began that process by contracting with an architect and by securing the services of one of America’s finest and most respected Hall of Fame designers and fabricators, Formations, Inc. of Portland, OR. completed an interpretive master plan, the first step in the exhibit process.
The completion of the dream will be a Hall of Fame Museum located in Easton, Pennsylvania, an area where visitors can be exposed to the “goodness in sport”. It will be more than a Sports Hall of Fame, but an interactive showpiece focusing on being a champion, both on and off the field of play.
The State of Pennsylvania has listed the NHSCA National Sports Hall of Fame Museum on the Capital Line Budget. This means that if we can raise 2/3 of the museum cost, the state of Pennsylvania will provide 1/3 of the funding.
The next process is to raise the necessary funds. It is our hope that we can complete this task by January 2012, and make the announcement that the funds have been obtained and construction can begin by the spring of 2012.
In a world where gold necklaces are the size of license plates and power forwards are in love with their hairdressers; where hardly a day goes by that you don’t read about star athletes who do drugs, some picked up for DUI’s and others even charged with homicide, sports could use a lift.
We believe we’ve found it! The proposed Hall of Fame and Interpretive Center will create a place where what you do with your heart is every bit as important as what you do with your glove; where the number of points you scored equals the number of lives you changes; Where Goodness will be Celebrated as Much as Greatness!
To be located in Easton, Pennsylvania and accessible from the much-traveled Interstates 80 and 78, the Hall of Fame will reach out to local, regional, national and even an international audience. The Hall of Fame was founded on the notion that sports can build character and skills that will equip young people to make positive life changes. We‘ll accomplish this through interactive exhibits, audiovisual presentations, displays of interesting artifacts and stimulating graphics. All will interpret what it means to be a champion on and off the field of play. We will celebrate the fun, excitement, and most importantly, the character building qualities of our honored athletes as we honor them as models of the best qualities of the humanitarian spirit.
In closing, when you think what sports means to you, what comes to mind? Fair play, Sacrifice, Teamwork, the pursuit of Excellence? A place where the only color people care about is the uniform? All this and more will be reflected in this most unique Sports Hall of Fame. Through this experience, we will shine a light on all that is good in sport.
Now is the time:
For more than ten years, we’ve been building up to the time when the dream can become a reality. More than 500 of the country’s top high school athletes and coaches have been inducted into the National High School Sports Hall of Fame Museum and honored for their athletic achievements and good character. Now it’s time to properly display their message in a well-designed atmosphere.
A prominent sports writer from Seattle was acknowledging athletes who were doing good and not getting recognition finished with this question, “When do we build a Hall of Fame for excellence in sports and character?” Our answer to him is, “Right Here in Easton, Pennsylvania!”