15 Sep 2021

Class of 2021 announced at Buffalo Riverworks, June 23

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Class of 2021 announced at Buffalo Riverworks, June 23

Championship Coaches, Award Winning Male and Female Athletes and Beloved Members Of The Media are Among 12 Greater Buffalo Sports Hall of Fame Inductees

BUFFALO, NY – The Greater Buffalo Sports Hall of Fame introduced its 12 member class of 2021, Wednesday afternoon, June 23, at Buffalo Riverworks (359 Ganson Street). Introduction of this year’s new members commenced at 4:00 p.m. with board president, Greg Merkle, presiding.

This event marked the 31st class to be inducted into the Hall of Fame since its inception in 1991 and brings total membership to 364. Mike Robitaille will speak on behalf of the new inductees.

This group will join a rich heritage of native Western New Yorkers, or those who starred in and around the Queen City during their playing days, who are enshrined in the Greater Buffalo Sports Hall of Fame. The 2021 class will officially be inducted this fall, October 13, at the annual GBSHOF dinner in the Buffalo Niagara Convention Center.

In addition, the Greater Buffalo Sports Hall of Fame Board of Directors introduced its spotlight team and announced its annual monetary awards from the Amateur Sports Development Fund (ASDF). The total amount of money donated by the GBSHOF is now $199,130.55.

The Greater Buffalo Sports Hall of Fame honors those who have enhanced our lives with their performances and commitment to Western New York sports, an effort surpassed only by the positive impressions they have left on our athletes of tomorrow.

For additional information on the Greater Buffalo Sports Hall of Fame, please go to www.gbshof.com. Several of the inductees were available for photos and interviews from. For more information on the press conference, please contact John Maddock at 716-818-1110 or Tom Burns at 716-286-8585, or by e-mail at either maddock@canisius.edu or tburns@niagara.edu.

View Press Conference Photos »
2021 GBSHOF Inductees

  • John Beilein – Niagara County product with over 800 collegiate victories and two NCAA national championship appearances.
  • John Butler (deceased) – Vice-President and General Manager of the Buffalo Bills whose teams went to the playoffs in five of his eight seasons at the helm.
  • Angela Coniglio (deceased) – pioneer in girl’s sports, star goalie on boys’ ice hockey teams.
  • Deborah Dourlain* – State record swimmer out of Orchard Park HS, who went on to earn Division I and Division III All-American honors.
  • Gerry Gentner (deceased) – Three-time state championship softball coach at Williamsville South, whose favorite saying was, “Just Show Up”.
  • Julie Gentner Murphy* – Multi-sport all-Western New Yorker from Williamsville South, who went onto become a Division III All-American field hockey star and a championship softball coach.
  • Ron Moscati* – Niagara Falls product considered one of the nation’s premier sports photographers while employed at the Buffalo Courier Express and Buffalo News.
  • Mike Robitaille* – Former Buffalo Bison and Buffalo Sabre and much beloved broadcaster.
  • William Russell (deceased) – Youth hockey founder, director, coach and administrator out of Bennett High School.
  • Lamar Smith* – Elite sprinter out of Bennett High School, who holds the two oldest boys track records in Western New York. Was an All-American at Alabama and Buffalo State.
  • Pete Tonsoline*- Multi-sport local high school coach and administrator with more than 1500 wins.
  • Kyle Williams – Six-time Pro Bowler during his 13 seasons as a defensive tackle with the Buffalo Bills.

2021 Spotlight Team

  • 1958 UB Bulls Football Team* – Finished 8-1 and won Lambert Cup, however declined invitation to Tangerine Bowl when bowl committee denied two black members from competing. .

*Will be attending the press conference. U/B football team will have six to eight members at the press conference.

2020 and 2021 Amateur Sports Development Recipients

  • Rayven Sample
  • Buffalo Veterans Boxing Ring 44
  • Matthewson McCarthy Baseball
  • Adam Page
  • Cheektowaga Little Loop
  • Zoey Young Buffalo Adaptive Sports
  • Lancaster Baseball Boosters
  • Andrew Mangan
  • Champion Project
  • Elma, Marilla, Wales Football
  • Overfield Memorial Baseball
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31st Annual Induction Ceremony and Dinner