Nominees from High-Visibility Sports
GEORGE ANDRIE (ANDRZRJEWSKI)
Played two seasons at Marquette University (1959-’60) and led his team in receiving both years. The two-way standout also was one of the leading tacklers as a defensive lineman. Andrie was the 82nd pick of the draft in 1962 and played his entire 11 year career with the Dallas Cowboys as a defensive end. As a rookie, he won the starting job and then made the NFL All-Rookie Team. At 6’6” and 250 pounds he had excellent size and strength. He led the Cowboys in sacks for four straight years from 1964 to 1967. He played in five consecutive Pro Bowls from 1965 through 1969 and was named MVP of the 1970 Pro Bowl. During his career he was part of two NFC Championships and one Super Bowl Championship, beating the Miami Dolphins 24-3 in Super Bowl VI.
The 6’9” power forward/center played college basketball at Penn State from 1977-81 and was named team MVP in 1980. Brickowski was drafted by the New York Knicks as the 57th overall pick in the 1981 draft. He played for 3 seasons in Europe and signed with the Seattle Supersonics for the 1984-85 season. Brickowski went on to a 13 year career in the NBA with the Supersonics, Lakers, Bucks, Hornets and Celtics, helping Seattle make it to the 1996 NBA finals. For his career he averaged 10 points, 5 rebounds and two assists per game in 731 contests.
Played college football at the University of Wyoming from 1968-1971, starting at offensive tackle his 2nd and 3rd years and defensive end his senior year. Named to the WAC all-academic teams in 1970 and 1971, he was taken in the 1972 NFL Draft by the St. Louis Cardinals as the 110th pick in the 5th round. Dobler played with the Cardinals (1972-77), New Orleans Saints (1978-79) and the Buffalo Bills (1980-81). Playing right offensive guard, he started every game but four in his career. In his 10 years in the NFL his teams had five years of post season play. Additionally, each team he played for led the league in fewest sacks allowed (a total of six times in his career). In 1975 the Cardinals set the record for fewest sacks in a season by only allowing eight sacks. Dobler’s play was rewarded by being selected for three consecutive Pro Bowls in 1975, 1976 and 1977.
Mark Grudzielanek played 15 seasons in the majors as a second baseman/shortstop with the Expos (’95-’98), Dodgers (‘98-02), Cubs (‘03-04), Cardinals (‘05), Royals (‘06-08) and the Indians (‘10). He hit over .300 five times with a high average of .326 in 1999. For his career he batted .289 with 2,040 hits and 640 runs batted in. Grudzielanek was named to the All-Star team in 1996 and won a gold glove as a second baseman in 2006. He led the National League in doubles in 1997, hit for the cycle in 2005 and holds the MLB record for the longest streak of home games played with a hit, 35, in 1999.
Major league pitcher who played 14 seasons in the majors, 13 seasons with the Kansas City Royals (1984-96) and one with the California Angels (1997). The hard throwing right-hander was a member of the 1985 Royals World Series Championship team and became the ace of the staff in 1988. In 1988, Gubicza won 20 games and finished 3rd in voting for the Cy Young Award. He was named to the 1988 and 1989 All-Star teams and also led the American League in games started in 1989 and 1995. In 1996 Gubicza became the all-time Royals leader in strikeouts. Enduring shoulder and arm problems forced Gubicza to retire, posting a career record of 132-136, a 3.96 ERA and 1,367 strikeouts.
As quarterback, assistant coach and head coach, Gary Kubiak has spent more than 34 years in professional football. He was drafted by the Denver Broncos in the 1983 NFL Draft after playing quarterback at Texas A & M. In nine seasons with the Broncos he was part of three AFC championship teams that went to the Super Bowl. In 1994, he won his first Super Bowl as quarterbacks coach for the 49ers. As a quarterbacks coach/offensive coordinator for the Broncos, Kubiak helped them win two Super Bowls in 1998 and 1999. He was head coach of the Houston Texans from 2006-13, leading the team to two playoff appearances. He returned to Denver as head coach in 2015, winning Super Bowl 50.
An All-American in high school, Wojciechowski played point guard at Duke from 1994-1998. The two-time All-ACC choice was named National Defensive Player of the Year in 1998 and secured honorable mention All-American accolades. Wojciechowski finished his career ranked in several of Duke’s season and career top 10 lists. He collected the second-highest single season steal total in 1997 with 82, and he ranks ninth in career steals with 203 and eighth in career assists with 505. After his playing career, he returned to Duke as an assistant coach in 1999. He was promoted to Associate Head Coach in 2008. Since Wojciechowski joined the staff, Duke has posted a 385-77 record winning nine ACC Tournament Championships, five regular season ACC Championships and two NCAA Championships. In April, 2014, Wojciechowski was named head coach of the men’s basketball program at Marquette University.
The 6’3”, 205 pound defenseman was chosen in the first round, 3rd overall, by the New Jersey Devils in the 1985 NHL Entry Draft. Wolanin played 13 seasons in the NHL (1985-98) with five teams, New Jersey, Quebec, Colorado, Tampa Bay and Toronto. Best known for his defensive prowess, and given his large size, he was effective as clearing opposing players from the front of the net. He was a member of the Stanley Cup champion Colorado Avalanche in 1996. In 695 NHL games, Wolanin scored 40 goals, 133 assists for 173 points and accumulated 894 penalty minutes.
Nominees from All Other Sports
-Regarded as one of the nation’s top collegiate lacrosse coaches, John Danowski began his coaching career at Long Island University-C.W.Post in 1983, and after three seasons, moved to Hofstra University. From 1986-2006, he led Hofstra to eight conference championships, eight NCAA Tournament bids and was named Coach of the Year in 1993. In 2006, Danowski became head coach at Duke leading the Blue Devils to the NCAA Championship in 2010, 2013 and 2014 and was named Coach of the Year in 2010 and 2013. He has a 370-185 record and in 2015, was selected to coach the U.S. men’s national team.
A pioneer of hockey in the southwest, Golembiewski, in 1979, founded and became the first head coach for the University of Arizona Icecats hockey team. Golembiewski coached at the University for 32 years, taking ice hockey from an independent club sport, to membership in the American College Hockey Association in 1991. Under Golembiewski the Icecats had a streak of 21 straight national tournament appearances, appeared in eight Final Fours and won the 1985 National Club Hockey Championship. His career record is 634 wins, 216 losses and 26 ties. Golembiewski also co-founded the National Collegiate Club Hockey Association and the American Collegiate Hockey Association and served as Commissioner of the Pacific Intercollegiate Hockey Conference.
A highly regarded referee in the National Basketball Association for 25 years, Steve Javie officiated 1,514 regular season games, 243 playoff games and 23 NBA Finals games, from the 1986-87 season to the 2010-11 season. Highly respected for his game management skills, Javie was also Crew Chief for 22 years. During his career, he was a board member of the National Basketball Referees Association and a key contract negotiator. Prior to his NBA career, Javie was a referee with the Continental Basketball League from 1981-1985, was a minor league baseball umpire from 1979-1981 and was a three year letterman as a pitcher for Temple University. Javie currently works with ESPN as a basketball analyst and as a consultant for the National Basketball Association.
Komisarz was a three-time SEC champion and a seven-time NCAA All-American swimmer from 1996-1999 at the University of Kentucky. In 1999 she was named SEC Swimmer of the Year. In 2001, she won five medals at the World University Games. In 2003, at the World Championships, Komisarz was a member of the 4×200 medley that won the Gold Medal. In 2004, Komisarz won the 100 fly at the Olympic trials to earn her spot on the 2004 Olympic team where she brought home a gold medal in the 4×200-meter freestyle relay, and a silver medal in the 4×100-meter medley relay. In 2005, she helped the 4×100 medley relay win silver at the World Championships in Montreal, and won silver again at the 2007 World Championships in Melbourne. In 2014, Komisarz was named head coach of the Ohio Bobcats women’s swim team, after serving as an assistant coach for five years at the University of Louisville.
A former coach of the Polish national team (1984-1990), Ed Korfanty moved to the U.S. and in 1993 became head coach at the Oregon Fencing Alliance. Under his tutelage, the U.S. women became a powerhouse in international saber. He was named U.S National Women’s saber coach and Olympic saber coach. His students’ accomplishments include winning the first U.S. Olympic Gold medal in fencing in the modern era in 2004, a gold, silver and bronze medal at the 2008 Olympics, five team World Championship Gold medals, and 41 World Championship medals. Korfanty was named U.S. Olympic Coach of the Year in 2001, 2003 and 2004. In 2005, the U.S. Fencing Coaches Association awarded Korfanty with the Outstanding Coach of the Year Award.
Born in Krakow, Ivan Putski emigrated to the U.S. as a child and went on to an outstanding professional wrestling career. Considered one of the sport’s strongest wrestlers, he won the NWA American Tag Team Championship in 1970 and the NWA Texas Tag Team Championship in 1973. Nicknamed “Polish Power”, Putski entered the WWWF in 1974 and battled superstars such as Billy Graham and Jesse “The Body” Ventura. He partnered with Tito Santana and captured the WWF World Tag Team Championship in 1979, the same year they earned the PWI Tag Team of the Year. Putski was inducted into the WWF Hall of Fame in 1995.
A 5’7” guard at Southern Connecticut State University, Sue Rojcewicz led her team to a pair of third place finishes at the national championships in 1973 and 1974. In 1975, she was named All-America on the first women’s basketball All-America Team. She played for the United States in the 1975 World Championship and on the gold medal winning Pan American team in 1975. As a member of the 1976 Olympic team – the first time that Women’s basketball would be played at the Olympics – she averaged 7.2 points and 3.8 assists, as the team beat Czechoslovakia and took home the silver medal. Rojcewicz was inducted in the Women’s Basketball Hall of Fame in 2000.
A bobsledder since 2004, Curt Tomasevicz has earned a reputation as one of the most powerful push athletes in the world. His four-man team placed sixth at the 2006 Winter Olympics, and three years later won the gold medal at the 2009 World Championships. In 2010, he helped power the United States four-man squad to a gold medal at the Winter Olympics – the first U.S. Olympic gold medal in bobsledding since 1968. Since winning the gold medal the team has not slowed down, winning another gold medal at the 2012 World Championships and a bronze medal at the 2013 World Championships. Tomasevicz holds both a Bachelor and Masters of Science degree in electrical engineering and was named Academic All Big 12 while playing football at Nebraska.