The University of Wisconsin-Superior will induct eight individuals and one team into the Yellowjackets Athletics Hall of Fame on July 20.
Inductees include football defensive lineman Larry Banks; men's hockey All-Americans Mike Baron, Vance Mattson and Kyle Nosan; women's hockey goaltender Rikki Martell (Nespor); men's soccer defender Jon Bell; and the 2013 Yellowjackets men's soccer team.
Former UWS football player Chuck Raykovich is the Mertz Mortorelli Award inductee and men's hockey goaltender Tom Pink is the Carl Vergamini Award inductee.
"Being inducted into our hall of fame is the highest honor we can bestow on someone who competed as a student-athlete or served the athletics department in some capacity, whether that be as a coach, trainer, or supporter," UWS Athletics Director Nick Bursik said. "We are honored to have these eight individuals and one team join the hall, and we look forward to enshrining them in front of our Yellowjacket Athletics community."
Advance registration for the induction ceremony is required. Tickets are $50 for adults and $20 for children ages 2-12. They can be purchased from the UWS Alumni Association by calling 715-394-8452. Registration is also accepted at https://www.uwsuper.edu/alumni/events/index.cfm.
The UWS Athletics Hall of Fame Class of 2019 includes:
A Superior native, Larry Banks was a dominant force on the defensive line known as "The Sting" in the early 1980s. Anchoring the five-person unit, Banks received multiple all-WSUC honors and was an NAIA All-District 14 player in 1981. He was named an AP Little All-American in both 1981 and 1983. Following his time at UWS, Banks had a tryout with the NFL's Denver Broncos before returning to campus to serve on the Yellowjacket coaching staff.
Following a successful two-year stint at Hibbing Community College, Mike Baron came to UWS and helped ignite the Yellowjacket offense. Playing on a line with fellow Hall of Fame members Tom Doig and Casey Van Damme, Baron posted 53 points in his first season and followed that with 52 the next year as the trio became the highest-scoring line in the nation. He averaged 1.75 points per game and averaged more than an assist per game in his career. He earned NAIA All-American honors in 1980.
The WIAC didn't recognize men's soccer as a championship sport until 2009, and that was right around the time Jon Bell, a Duluth native, came into his own as one of the most dominant players in conference history. As a defender, Bell didn't put up gaudy offensive numbers, but instead forced teams to change their attack based on his play, often shutting down multiple portions of the pitch. Bell was a three-time All-WIAC selection and was chosen to the WIAC All-Time Centennial Team.
Rikki Martell (Nespor)
In the mid-2000s, the Yellowjacket women's hockey team enjoyed unprecedented success, regularly ranking as one of the top teams in the nation. The play of goaltenders Melissa Kunzelman, a 2017 Hall of Fame inductee, and Rikki Martell (Nespor) was a big reason why. Martell joins her goaltending partner after a career that saw her named all-NCHA twice and All-American First Team in 2006. Martell helped the Yellowjacket women's hockey team to its only NCAA Frozen Four in 2008.
Vance Mattson arrived at UWS in 1991, part of a group of forwards who put up dazzling offensive numbers and would soon make the program's first trip to the NCAA Frozen Four. Halfway through his career, head coach Steve Nelson moved Mattson to defense, and all the Calgary, Alberta, native did was become a force on the blue line, earning All-NCHA honors and being chosen as an All-American in 1995. He was also named the WIAC Scholar Athlete of the Year as a senior.
Kyle Nosan was part of a dominant cohort of freshmen, joining the Yellowjacket men's hockey program in 2001. By season's end, he and his teammates would be national champions. Nosan was a two-time all-conference player in the NCHA and WIAC and was the captain of the Yellowjackets as a junior and senior. He posted 125 points in his career and is ranked in the top 10 in assists. One of the best face-off men in the nation, Nosan was named AHCA All-American in 2005.
Chuck Raykovich, who was a member of the football team, will receive the Mertz Mortorelli Award. After graduating in 1974 with a degree in physical education, he immediately jumped into coaching and became the youngest head coach in Wisconsin when he took the job at Crandon High School, a position he held until 1981. Following a stint as a coordinator at UW-Stout, Raykovich moved to Chippewa Falls High School, a position he holds to this day, and the 2018 season marked his 44th year of coaching. Raykovich has coached 10 conference champions and his teams qualified for the playoffs 17 times. In 2010, Raykovich was enshrined in the Wisconsin Football Coaches Association Hall of Fame.
Tom Pink, a native of Superior who played goaltender for the Yellowjacket men's hockey team from 1996-2000, is the recipient of the Carl Vergamini Award. Along the way, Pink was part of three teams that reached the NCAA Frozen Four. After graduating with honors, Pink embarked on a career in the financial services industry, and currently heads the Pink Wealth Management Group. Always one to attend alumni gatherings and events, Pink has been an ardent and loyal supporter of the Yellowjacket men's hockey program and the University of Wisconsin-Superior since his graduation.
2013 men’s soccer team
In the fall of 2013, head coach Joe Mooney led the 2013 Yellowjacket men's soccer team on an epic run that culminated with the program's inaugural conference championship. With six All-WIAC players on the roster, the Yellowajckets finished the year 12-6-3 overall and riding a four-game winning streak. After placing third in the conference, the Yellowjackets took to the road, winning 2-1 at UW-Whitewater in the WIAC semifinals. Two days later, they were on the road again, and this time winning 2-1 at UW-Oshkosh to claim the conference title.