For questions or to be involved, email Sammie Ragan.

2019 Inland Northwest Sports
Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony

Next Induction: October 29, 2019 | Spokane Veterans Memorial Arena

A look back at 2017 Inductions

Presented by

Class of 2017 Inductees

Sister Madonna Buder

2017 Scroll of Honor Inductee

Widely known as the Iron Nun, the start to Sister Madonna Buder's incredible triathlon career—more than 375—was late and modest. Inspired by a priest, she began running at age 47 and just five weeks later participated in her first Lilac Bloomsday Run in Spokane. The segue to triathlons came at age 52. She completed her first Ironman event at 56, and her relentless spirit to compete forced organizers to create new age group categories. Among her accomplishments: 13 national titles, including ten at the Olympic-distance race at USA Triathlon Age Group Nationals, 16 world championships and 13 age-group wins at the Ironman World Championships. She was named the 1999 USA Triathlon Grand Masters Triathlete of the Year, and in 2014 was inducted into the USA Triathlon Hall of Fame. She remains the oldest woman to have completed an Ironman at age 82, having done 45 at that distance.

Jay Rydell

2017 Scroll of Honor Inductee

Wrestling's proud steward in Spokane, Jay Rydell's success as a coach—a 151-42 dual meet record in 10 years at Central Valley High School—has been outstripped by his tireless work in growing the sport. He helped establish the junior high program in the CV district, served as District 8 tournament director and managed the Region IV meet for 26 years. He's served as director of countless invitational tournaments and worked as a wrestling official and volunteer for the U.S. Olympic Wrestling Trials and the World Cup of Wrestling in Spokane. After his coaching days, he was athletic director at CV for 16 years and was named District 8 athletic director of the year three times and won the state award once. He’s also served as the State 1A-2B-1B  track meet director and was the state cross country meet director when it was held in Spokane.

Rueben Mayes

2017 Hall of Fame Inductee | Classification: Athlete

Hailing from North Battleford, Saskatchewan, Rueben Mayes flew under the radar when he arrived at Washington State -- but he didn't leave it that way. The Cougars' all-time rushing leader (3,519 yards), Mayes went from backup to top 10 in the Heisman Trophy voting as a junior with a 1,637-yard season, which included a then-NCAA record 357 yards against Oregon and a 216-yard effort against Stanford in which he scored five times as WSU overcame a 28-point deficit. Those highlights earned him Pacific-10 Offensive Player of the Year honors, and he became a repeat winner in 1985. He also earned first-team All-American honors from UPI and the Football Writers Association of America. A third-round draft pick of the New Orleans Saints, Mayes rushed for 1,353 yards to become NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year and appeared in two Pro Bowls. He was elected to the College Football Hall of Fame in 2008.

Steve Gleason

2017 Hall of Fame Inductee | Classification: Athlete

An inspirational component of championship teams at Gonzaga Prep, Washington State and with the NFL's New Orleans Saints, Steve Gleason's enduring impact has been as the heart and soul of the battle against ALS, with which he was diagnosed in 2011, and in his quest to connect those with ALS to resources that enhance their lives. On the field, Gleason was twice the Greater Spokane League's defensive MVP at Prep and broke the league's single-season home run record. At WSU, he started on the Cougar team that broke a 67-year Rose Bowl drought and was a four-year starting outfielder in baseball. Gleason hooked on with the Saints as a special-teams dynamo and triggered one of the most dramatic moments in franchise history, blocking a punt that led to the first touchdown in the Superdome 21 months after the devastation of Hurricane Katrina. He was awarded the 2015 George Halas Award for courage by the NFL.

Alli Nieman

2017 Hall of Fame Inductee | Classification: Athlete

Dominant hardly begins to describe Alli Nieman's presence in a basketball game or volleyball match. The 1996 Sandpoint High School graduate was a four-time 1st team All-State volleyball player and a three-time 1st team All-State basketball player (after being named to the 2nd team as a freshman) and the State of Idaho Player of the Year in both sports her senior year—on top of twice being an AAU All-American in basketball.  Team success followed as she won two state titles with the Bulldogs in volleyball and set the state basketball A-1 tournament scoring record with 83 points as Sandpoint finished second her senior year. Her 2,046 points remain the school's career record. At the University of Idaho she played both volleyball and basketball for her first two years and then chose to focus solely on basketball for her final two years.  She was an overwhelming force in basketball, making the All-Big West 1st team four times and earning District 8 (Pac-10, Big West, WCC) All-American honors twice. Her 2,140 career points remain the school record and she is the only player, men or women, in the University of Idaho history to score over 2,000 points and grab over 1,000 rebounds.


Pamela Parks

2017 Hall of Fame Inductee | Classification: Coach

A pioneer who helped spark the area's passion for volleyball, Pam Parks found unprecedented success as a coach and had wide-reaching impact as an administrator. The Oakesdale High School graduate was a setter for Eastern Washington's early teams and made a natural segue into coaching there before leading Sandpoint to its first state title -- in any sport -- in 1980. After a one-year stop at Montana State, she turned her alma mater into a power -- six 20-win seasons, two Big Sky titles (including EWU's first in any sport) and three NCAA tournament bids as attendance cracked the top 25 nationally. She stepped down with 318 career wins, but continued to grow the game, launching Spokane's first club team with Irene Matlock, a program that's grown from 12 original players to more than 3,400. As associate athletic director at EWU, she's served on the NCAA Division I volleyball committee and as chair of the Spokane Sports Commission.


Denny Spurlock

2017 Hall of Fame Inductee | Classification: Athlete

Long before most college football programs invested in the forward pass, there was Denny Spurlock. As a Whitworth senior in 1961, the North Central graduate threw for 1,760 yards and more touchdowns (27) than any quarterback in collegiate history, and his career marks of 5,493 yards and 65 touchdowns were collegiate records. He led the Pirates to two Evergreen Conference championships, reaching the NAIA semifinals his junior year, and also started for two years on the Whitworth basketball team. At North Central, he was twice an All-City League quarterback and basketball player, leading the Indians to a football title as a senior and passing for two touchdowns as the East squad romped to a 42-8 victory in the all-state game. He was the city's scoring leader in basketball as a senior (17.1 points). Whitworth gives an award in his name each year to the male and female who best blend athletic ability with modesty, poise, humility and leadership.



Dennis Patchin

2017 Hall of Fame Inductee | Classification: Contributor

Versatile, colorful and opinionated, Dennis Patchin became a fixture in Spokane living rooms, but never just part of the furniture.  His 31 years at KXLY-TV make him the longest-serving sports anchor in the city's history and, combined with his talk radio and play-by-play work, his influence on the sports reporting in the Inland Northwest and how fans viewed their favorite teams has been unrivaled. With KXLY colleagues Bud Nameck and Rick Lukens, he launched Friday Night Sports Extra, a half-hour prep football highlights show blanketing the region that remains an institution three decades later. A talk radio host for more than 20 years, Patchin has also been the radio play-by-play voice for Gonzaga, Eastern Washington, Idaho and the Spokane Shock, plus the Spokane Chiefs on television. Among his awards: an Emmy and Idaho Sportscaster of the Year honors. And the annual Inlander readers' poll proclaimed him Spokane's favorite sports anchor a mere 13 times. No kidding.


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About the Inland Northwest
Sports Hall of Fame

The Inland Northwest Sports Hall of Fame, a committee of the Spokane Sports Commission, celebrates the achievements of top athletes, coaches, and contributors in the Spokane region. Our region's athletic talent is a huge source of pride and positive recognition for our area, and we want to honor those who have attracted regional and national attention. Hall of Fame memorabilia for all inductees can be viewed year-round at Spokane Veterans Memorial Arena.



Nomination Process

The committee is comprised of Spokane Sports Commission board members, as well as sportswriters, broadcasters and other sports-minded people in the community. Nomination categories are as follows; athlete, coach, contributor, and special category. To be eligible for nomination to the Inland Northwest Sports Hall of Fame, the candidate must have been a resident of the Inland Northwest at the time he or she gained recognition.

Athletes are not eligible for consideration until five years after his or her last competition. Coaches will be eligible three years after their last coaching date, or retirement. Contributors are eligible at the discretion of the committee. Under special circumstances, the Hall of Fame Committee has the ability to waive requirements for athletes and coaches.

The Inland Northwest Sports Hall of Fame Committee, in considering qualified nominees, shall limit annual selection to no more than two athletes, two coaches, one contributor, and one special category.

Nominations should be submitted by mail or email with detailed information regarding the nominee’s full name, present address, and outline of achievements in the classification for which he or she is being nominated. If the nominee is deceased, the date of death is required.

Get Involved

The Inland Northwest Sports Hall of Fame depends on the support of individual donations and corporate sponsors.

Sponsor, donate, or nominate by contacting:

Spokane Sports Commission

714 N Ironbridge Drive, Suite 202
Spokane, WA 99027
Sammie Ragan


Thank you to our community partners.

About Spokane Sports Commission

Sports don't just entertain. They improve communities. They drive economies. And no other organization brings sports events to the Inland Northwest like the Spokane Sports Commission. We are a nonprofit coalition of regional government; business and volunteers committed to recruiting and developing sports events. With these events come tourism dollars, entertainment and media attention attracting sports fans from around the world. Business wins. Kids win. Fans win, our region wins.

714 N Iron Bridge Way, Suite 202 | Spokane, WA 99202
509.456.5812  |

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