TO BE INDUCTED INTO THE NATIONAL POLISH-AMERICAN SPORTS HALL OF FAME.
40TH CLASS INDUCTION BANQUET SET FOR THURSDAY, JUNE 21, 2012, TROY, MICHIGAN
Former Detroit Lion Pro Bowl quarterback Greg Landry, women’s basketball great June Olkowski, and three-time NHL All-Star Tom Lysiak have been elected into the National Polish-American Sports Hall of Fame. The election of Landry, Olkowski and Lysiak brings the National Polish-American Sports Hall of Fame roster to a total of 126 honored inductees. Landry and Olkowski were elected from the NPASHF national ballot, while Lysiak was selected by the Hall’s Veterans Committee.
Greg Landry was the first quarterback selected in the 1968 NFL Draft following a stellar career at the University of Massachusetts, where he twice earned All-Yankee Conference honors. He played 14 years in the NFL with the Lions (1968-’78), Colts (1979-’81) and Bears (1984), and was named to the Pro Bowl in 1971. While setting many passing records with the Lions, Landry also gained notoriety as a rusher, with over 2600 yards and 21 touchdowns in his career. In 1976, he was named NFL Comeback Player of the Year. After his playing days, Landry coached in the NFL with the Browns (1985), the Bears, where he served as Offensive Coordinator from 1988-’92, and the Lions (1995-’96). In 1993 and 1994, he served as Offensive Coordinator for the University of Illinois.
June Olkowskiexcelled as a student athlete at Rutgers from 1978-’82, where she led the Scarlet Knights to the AIAW National Championship in her senior season, averaging 19.6 points and 10.1 rebounds per game. She became only the second Rutgers player to be named a Kodak All-American and was a finalist for Player of the Year honors, while becoming the only Rutgers player ever to have her uniform number retired. Olkowski was a member of the gold medal winning teams at the 1978 National Olympic Sports Festival and the 1979 World University Games. Following her playing days, Olkowski was an assistant coach for five years, before being named head coach at the University of Arizona in 1987, becoming the youngest head coach in NCAA history. She then spent six impressive seasons as head coach at Butler, compiling a 114-56 record, while being named MCC Coach of the Year on three separate occasions. Olkowski finished her head coaching career at Northwestern University from 1999 through 2004.
Tom Lysiakwas selected as the second overall pick in the 1973 National Hockey League Draft, and went on to star in the NHL for 13 seasons (1973-’86), with the Atlanta Flames and the Chicago Black Hawks. In the ’73-’74 season, he finished second to future NHL Hall of Famer Denis Potvin in Calder Cup voting for the league’s top rookie, and led the Flames in scoring for each of his first five NHL seasons. For nine consecutive seasons, he scored 20 or more goals, and on three occasions eclipsed the 30 goal mark. During his career, Lysiak played in 919 NHL games, scoring 843 points on 292 goals and 551 assists. A three-time All-Star, he was the Flames all-time leading scorer when he retired.
The Inductees will be honored at the 40th Annual Induction Banquet on Thursday, June 21st, at the American-Polish Cultural Center in Troy, Michigan, with WDIV-TV sports personality Katrina Hancock serving as Master of Ceremonies. Tickets for the banquet, which begins at 6 p.m., are $85, and include an open bar and traditional Polish family-style dinner. Tickets can be ordered by calling (313) 407-3300. Information on the National Polish-American Sports Hall of Fame is available at www.polishsportshof.com.