Western Pennsylvania Hall of Fame to add 10
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Some of the biggest names in sports in this area can add another line to their packed resumes, that of Hall of Famer.
The Western Pennsylvania Sports Hall of Fame will add 10 new members at its induction ceremony and dinner May 4 at the Sheraton Four Points Pittsburgh North.
The new hall of famers are:
• Brian Baschnagel, a North Allegheny High School football star who continued in that role at Ohio State and with the Chicago Bears.
• Dick Bowen, a star running back from Duquesne High School who played at Pitt and then became an a highly successful coach at Serra Catholic and McKeesport along with various stops as an assistant.
• Joe Boros of Allegheny-Clarion Valley High School who was an All-American golfer at Clarion University and spent time on the PGA Tour.
• Kirk Bruce, who played basketball at South Hills High School and at Pitt, where he was captain and team MVP. He went on to coach at Clairton and the Pitt women's team before moving into sports administration with the Panthers.
• Jarrett Durham, a star basketball player at Aliquippa and Duquesne University, who went on to coach at Robert Morris, where his teams made three NCAA tournaments. He is the color analyst for Duquesne's radio broadcasts.
• Ken Macha, who played baseball at Gateway High School and Pitt, played four years in the major leagues with the Pirates, Montreal Expos and Toronto Blue Jays and another four in Japan. He spent 13 years in the majors as a coach and then managed the Oakland As and Milwaukee Brewers to a career record of 525-427.
• Bill Priatko, who starred at Scott High School in Braddock and Pitt. He played for the Steelers and, after a leg injury ended his playing career, spent 25 years as a coach and administrator in college and high schools in the area.
• George Smith, who starred at McKeesport and North Carolina State, then went into coaching. He coached 18 years at McKeesport, which made the playoffs 17 times and won two WPIAL and two PIAA championships. He will return as McKeesport's football coach this fall.
• John Wehner, a Carrick High School grad who played 11 years with the Pirates and Marlins. He hit the last home run and made the last out in Three Rivers Stadium. He has been part of the Pirates broadcast team since 2005.
• John Paul "Sonny" Vaccaro, a Trafford native with immense influence in basketball nationally. He created and nurtured the old Post-Gazette Dapper Dan Roundball Classic which became the jewel of high school all-star games for years with many of the greats from across the U.S. participating. He signed Michael Jordan when he worked for Nike.
First Published March 8, 2013 12:00 am