(1-24-23) For the 27th year, the Indiana Sportswriters and Sportscasters Association is pleased to announce its incoming Hall of Fame Class, set to be inducted at its annual awards banquet to be held on Sunday, April 16th at Valle Vista Country Club in Greenwood.
This year’s Class of 2023 includes the following people who have graced Hoosier newspapers, radio stations, and television airwaves during the past several decades:
Mark Ambrogi, Indianapolis Star/Current Publishing Affectionately known as ‘Ambro,’ Mark became a Hoosier upon entering Indiana University in the late 70s, and returned for good when he joined the Indianapolis Star in 1985. Mark stayed with the Star for nearly 30 years, and covered a wide variety of topics during that time, but is best known for a decade on the Purdue beat, plus 20 years spent covering the annual ATP Tour stop in Indy, the RCA and Indianapolis Tennis Championships. These days, Mark’s work can be found in Current Publishing’s six Indy-area newspapers.
Rick Bozich, Louisville Courier-Journal/WDRB.com -While Rick Bozich’s career has taken him just across the river from the Hoosier state, he’s spent many years writing about his alma mater’s basketball team, that being the Indiana Hoosiers, including covering all things University of Louisville and Kentucky in a distinguished career of more than 40 years. Rick was born and raised in Gary, and his first job in the newspaper industry was delivering papers for The Post-Tribune. Rick worked briefly in Anderson before making the move to the Louisville Courier-Journal in 1978. After over 30 years at the Courier-Journal, including many years as a featured sports columnist, Rick made the move to television, appearing on camera while also continuing to write online on both WDRB television and WDRB.com.
Richard Langford (deceased) WRAY Radio, Princeton – After serving in the Korean War and receiving a Purple Heart for his service, Richard began his broadcast career at WRAY in 1953. Over the next 61 years, Richard broadcast over four thousand local sporting events, focusing on area schools such as Princeton, Gibson Southern, and Wood Memorial. Richard’s broadcast career spanned long enough to be on the call of the Milan Miracle in 1954 all the way to Princeton’s unbeaten run to the 3A title 55 years later at Gainbridge Fieldhouse.
Jim Peters, Times of Northwest Indiana – Jim’s writing has been synonymous with high school sports coverage in ‘The Region’ for decades, including a 20-year run with the Times of Northwest Indiana. Jim was the ISSA’s Corky Lamm Sportswriter of the Year honoree in 2017, as well as the winner of the 2016 Griddy’s Media Award and a 2019 recipient of the Virgil Sweet Award from the Indiana Basketball Coaches Association. Jim continues to be active at chronicling the Northwest Indiana sports scene at the LaPorte Herald Dispatch and JimPetersPreps.com.
Bud Shippee, WZZB Seymour-Bud spent 44 years as the voice of the Seymour Owls. Bud took over as the primary announcer for Seymour sports in 1976, replacing his father Bob one year after graduation from Indiana State University. Bud was the Indiana Fever Silver Medal Award winner in 2018 from the Indiana Basketball Hall of Fame, and has also received honors from both the Indiana Basketball Coaches Association and the Indiana Football Coaches Association. Bud was on the call for over 2,500 sporting events for the Owls over the years.
Harold Welter, WKVI Knox – Harold has been there and called that when it comes to high school sports in Northwest Indiana. Harold’s radio play-by-play days began in 1965, and spanned more than three thousand broadcasts. Harold’s signature call of ‘Unbelievable’ has even been featured on ABC’s Nightline. In addition to the traditional high school sports heard on radio like basketball and football, Harold’s calls included baseball, softball, volleyball, and wrestling for nine different high schools in the
In addition to these new Hall of Famers, the Indiana Sportswriters and Sportscasters Association will recognize winners of annual honors such as the Marv Bates Sportscaster of the Year,the Corky Lamm Sportswriter of the Year, the Bob Williams Helping Hand Award, and the Ron Lemasters Lifetime Achievement Award. Those winners are as follows:
Marv Bates Sportscaster of the Year: Rob Brown Roncalli Media Network/ISC Sports Network – The Southport native cut his broadcasting teeth working with the Fort Wayne Fury of the CBA for seven seasons, before a three-year stint working public relations I for the Los Angeles Clippers. Upon returning to Indianapolis, Rob began a broadcast role with Roncalli High School, which expanded from basketball in 2007 to football in 2011, and a variety of other sports through 2022. As of last August, Rob can be heard and seen on the ISC Sports Network, handling high school and college play-by-play for a variety of sports.
Corky Lamm Sportswriter of the Year: Mike Wells, ESPN.com _ Mike now serves as a professor at Indiana University, but before making the transition into the academic world, Mike had spent the previous nine years delivering the latest news and information on the Indianapolis Colts for ESPN.com. Mike has spent the better part of the last two decades in the Hoosier state, as before writing for ESPN, he covered all things Pacers for the Indianapolis Star. Mike also spent time on the Minnesota Timberwolves beat for the St. Paul Pioneer-Press.
Bob Williams Helping Hand Award: Brent Harris, Athletics and Campus Wellness Communications Director, Wabash College _ Brent has been a fixture on the Wabash College campus and NCAA Division III athletics for the last 24 years. That includes
assisting media in coverage of any sport at the school, most notably the annual Monon Bell Classic football game with rival DePauw every November. That clash draws over ten thousand fans in person, and thousands more watch online from across the globe. Brenthas also been a part of the Indianapolis Colts game day stat crew for nearly two decades, and has worked numerous Final Fours in Indy.
Ron Lemasters Lifetime Achievement Award: Don Fischer, voice of the Indiana Hoosiers – Don has been the soundtrack of great Indiana University athletic moments since 1973, as this basketball season marked his 50th year as the Voice of the Hoosiers. In December, Don was honored with the Chris Schenkel award by the National Football Foundation for his lifetime achievements as a broadcaster, with both Schenkel and Fischer being members of the ISSA Hall of Fame. Don was on the call of Indiana’s last three national championship basketball teams, including the unbeaten 1976 squad. Don is a four-time winner of the Marv Bates Award as the ISSA’s sportscaster of the year.
These ten honorees will be recognized at the association’s annual banquet on April 16th, which begins at 2 p.m. at Valle Vista Country Club in Greenwood. Tickets are available with a meal included for $35. To order tickets, send a check for $35 to Fred Inniger, ISSA Treasurer, 3011 Noble Hawk Drive, Kendallville, IN 46755.
Also, those wanting to renew their memberships to the ISSA, or to become new members, send $20 to Fred for your annual dues.
Please order your banquet tickets before March 31.
The Indiana Sportswriters and Sportscasters Association was founded in 1946. The ISSA created its Hall of Fame 50 years later in 1996. The Hall of Fame currently has 135 members