The Colorado High School Activities Association Hall of Fame has announced its 29th Hall of Fame class, a nine-member group that depicts the rich history of the Association, along with providing real-life examples of what participation, coaching, leading and advocating for students can do. Each of these people has established themselves as a role model for today’s young people seeking their way to adulthood.
The CHSAA Hall of Fame’s Class of 2017 includes three of the state’s top former athletes in Tricia Bader-Binford (Roaring Fork), Jenny Coalson (Ellicott) and Joe Silva (Fruita Monument), along with four coaches in Bobbi Brown-Vandenberg (Boulder), Don Kimble (Limon), Ken Shaw (Regis Jesuit) and Kent Smith (Boulder/Highlands Ranch/Ponderosa). Official Brian Richmond (Fort Collins) and an administrator L. D. Elarton (Lamar) round out the Class of 2017.
Being selected for the CHSAA Hall of Fame speaks volumes about the impact the honorees have made to the high school landscape in Colorado. The CHSAA is humbled to be a part of the ceremonies that elevate and recognize these individuals and teams who excel amongst their peers.” CHSAA Commissioner Rhonda Blanford-Green said in making the announcement.
“The selection committee struggles with the make-up of the class every year. They debate and advocate knowing that there are so many good people deserving of this recognition. The single most important item to the committee is the impact that each of these inductees, like those that came before them, have had in their respective areas of the state. The 29th class reflects the efforts, passion and love Colorado has for high school activities,” CHSAA Hall of Fame administrator Bert Borgmann said.
The committee, which is headed by Bob Marken (Buena Vista). Committee members aside from Marken include Kevin Boley (Legend), Larry Brunson (CHSAA Hall of Fame), Michele DeBerry (Boulder Valley Schools), Dick Katte (CHSAA/NFHS Hall of Fame), Jeremy Kerns (Byers), Shelli Miles (Widefield), Mike Miller (Cheyenne Wells), Dan Mohrmann (, Carol Sams (Grand Junction), Cherie Toussaint (Pueblo SD 70 Schools) and Kendall Wilson (Poudre).
The Class of 2017 will be inducted during a ceremony on Wednesday, January 24, 2018, at the Radisson Hotel-Denver Southeast (I‑225 and Parker). Individual tickets may be purchased for $50 each by contacting the CHSAA. The festivities get underway at 6:30 p.m. Seating is limited.
The selection of the one student participant to the CHSAA Hall of Fame puts the total number of participants in the hall at 68. There are now 69 coaches/sponsors, 28 administrators, 17 officials and 11 significant service contributors enshrined in the CHSAA Hall of Fame that began in 1989. There are also four teams in the hall. The Hall of Fame now features 197 inductees.
Biographies of the newest additions to the hall include:
Tricia Bader Binford (Roaring Fork HS) — A three-sport athlete — basketball, volleyball and track — Bader was a five-time state track champion, three-time all-state basketball player and led the Rams to the 1989, 1990 and 1991 state basketball titles. She was a three-time all-state player and the player of the year as a senior. She won the 1991 Rocky Mountain News’ Steinmark Award and RHS has named its “Three-Sport Athlete Award” after her. A former WNBA and Australian professional player, Bader is the head coach at Montana State where she was the Big Sky Conference Coach of the Year in 2015-16. As great as she was on the court, she was equally great off it, maintaining great character, and inspiring many young women in rural communities to become involved in sports.
Bobbi Brown-Vandenberg (Boulder HS) — A girls’ coach for 32 years in Colorado and Wisconsin, Brown was the architect of one of the strongest girls’ basketball programs in Colorado. Her BHS teams were 182-28, winning the 1984, 1986, 1989 (undefeated), 1990 and 1991 state titles. Her 1985 and 1992 teams finished second. She also took a leave of absence in the middle of her Boulder tenue to finish her graduate studies. A former CU basketball player, was also an assistant varsity football coach in 1990, coaching wide receivers and defensive backs. She coached at Fairview and Boulder from 1981 until 1992. She was Coach of the Year by The Denver Post, Rocky Mountain News and Boulder Daily Camera five times. She is currently the Viterbo University (La Crosse, WI) women’s basketball coach.
Jenny Coalson (Ellicott HS) — Coalson was a three-sport athlete at Ellicott, leading her team to two state basketball championships and winning four state individual track titles, while placing 10 more times. She won the triple jump as a freshman, the 200 meters and shot put as a junior, along with winning the long jump as a senior. The 2A Basketball Player of the Year twice in basketball, Coalson was all-state in basketball (twice) and volleyball (once). She was selected to the CCGS and CHSCA All-State Teams in both sports as a senior. In addition, she is a Little Britches world champion rodeo performer.  She won the 1995 Rocky Mountain News’ Steinmark Award She went on to play and excel in basketball at Kansas State.
Eldon “L.D.” Elarton (Lamar Schools) — One of the state’s most respected administrators, Elarton’s career as a student participant, teacher, coach and administrator was steeped in Lamar. A native of the community, he played baseball, basketball and football, was student body president and an all-state participant for LHS. After college, he returned home to teach and coach, starting in 1968 and moved up the ranks, serving as teacher, assistant principal, principal, finance director and superintendent. As a coach, Elarton earned Baseball Coach of the Year honors in the Will Rogers League at Widefield High School. Once returning to Lamar, he initiated the Academic Letter Award, host numerous CHSAA Music and Speech events, while the school’s baseball, wrestling and girls’ basketball teams won 10 state titles among them. He was active on the state and national scene through CASE and NASSP.
Don Kimble (Limon HS) — A music teacher who established one of the finest music programs, the late Don Kimble taught music for the Badgers for 29 years after one year at Flagler. His bands received 26 first division ratings in state large group festivals, both in performance and sight-reading. The marching band also won state recognition in 1977 for its field performances. Kimble directed four different bands at Limon, the fourth-grade band, fifth-grade beginning band, the Cadet Band (6, 7 & 8 graders) and the Senior High School Band. He taught Music Appreciation and took his pep bands to many out-of-town athletic contests. He was also assigned three choirs to conduct. Kimble was a master at balancing the demands for his students between athletics and his music programs.
Brian Richmond (Fort Collins) — One of the state’s top gymnastics coaches and judge, Richmond coached high school for 17 years, but has been a high school judge since 1971. He coached gymnastics at four high schools — Jefferson, Poudre, Fort Collins and Thompson Valley — with the PHS team winning the 1984 title and runners up in 1985. A former CSU gymnast and coach, Richmond became one of the top judges in the state, as well as one the national and international scene. He judged 20 CHSAA boys’ state meets and has been a mainstay with the girls’ state meet, having worked 35 of those. He has judged on the national and international stage. He was inducted in the National Gymnastics Judges Association Hall of Fame in 2011.
Ken Shaw (Merino, Yuma, Sterling, Rocky Mountain, Smoky Hill, Regis Jesuit HS) — One of the state’s legendary athletes who became one of Colorado’s top prep basketball coaches, Shaw guided his Merino team to a pair of state tiles, while going undefeated. He was a prolific high school athlete at Merino, and held the career scoring record when his career was over. That mark has since been broken, but Shaw’s name still dots the basketball record book as a player. Additionally, Shaw was a standout football player, and has his name in that sport’s record book. As a coach, his teams have won more than 710 games and he guided Regis to three straight 5A championships. His teams also won titles two other times, at Yuma and Sterling. His teams have a record 29 state tournament appearances.
Joe Silva (Fruita Monument HS) — A Bronze Star Recipient in Vietnam, Silva was a three-time state wrestling champion for Fruita Monument and compiled a 58-0-2 mark in his career. In 12 state matches, opponents scored just 6 points on him. He also participated in football and baseball. He is a former District 51 Teacher of the Year and taught 29 years at Fruita Middle School. During that time, he, along with 2016 inductee Ray Coca and others broadcast the Western Slope State Championship matches on radio and television. From 1963-65, Fruita enjoyed much success in wrestling, baseball and football. The constant on these teams was Silva. The school won two wrestling team titles and the football team was state runner up twice and baseball once over the period.

Kent Smith (Boulder, Ponderosa, Aurora Central, Highlands Ranch, La Veta, Alamosa) — Having just retired after 53 years of coaching, Smith is one of the state’s top coaches, regardless of sport. And, he is noted for his integrity and ability to build better people through activities. He has been the head boys’ basketball coach at Boulder and Ponderosa, the head cross country coach at Ponderosa and Highlands Ranch, as well as the head boys’ soccer coach at Aurora Central. Additionally, he served as head girls’ basketball coach at La Veta and Alamosa. His teams have won state titles in basketball (twice at Boulder) and cross country (six times at Highlands Ranch). He runs a dog and horse rescue ranch near Walsenburg.
Additionally, the staff has selected Varsity, a company dedicated to the dynamic, athletic and high-profile sport of spirit to receive the Colorado Tradition Award. The staff has also selected Woodie Smith, a former coach and athletic director at Overland High School to receive the Distinguished Service Award this year.
Tickets are $50 per seat or $500 per table of 10. Please contact Whitney Webermeier ([email protected]) for reservations. Contact the CHSAA office with questions.