Kodiaks Hall of Fame welcomes leaders to 2019 class

Kodiaks Hall of Fame welcomes leaders to 2019 class

Nov. 19, 2019 – Two athletes, two builders and two teams are set to be inducted into the Lethbridge College Kodiaks Hall of Fame. The 2019 class, the second group to enter the hall, will be honoured during the upcoming Kodiaks’ basketball and volleyball weekend home stand on Friday and Saturday evenings.

In addition to celebrating outstanding athletes and teams, the college is proud to welcome its first ever inductees to the builder category this year. The category recognizes those who, in serving as trainers, managers, administrators, community stakeholders or support staff, have made a major contribution to the development and growth of Lethbridge College’s athletic program. Former instructor and coach Mary Wall and long-time supporters Flora and the late Val Matteotti are the inaugural inductees in the builder category. 

“The ability to have a vision and the dedication to make that vision a reality is why we honor builders like Mary, Val and Flora,” said Todd Caughlin, manager of Kodiaks Athletics. “Lethbridge College athletics would not be where it is today without the work and commitment that these amazing people had so long ago.”

Flora and her late husband Val Matteotti, are long-time supporters of the Kodiaks through donations that helped the college to complete the construction of its gymnasium – which was then named in honour of Val – as well as supporting recruitment, the Kodiaks team of the year award winners and athletics scholarships.

Wall joined the college in 1970 as the first women’s physical education instructor at what was then called Lethbridge Community College. She played a key role in the development of the women’s basketball and volleyball programs, established a precision women’s dance and drill team, and coached basketball, volleyball and cross country running until 1987.

“When I started, we basically had to start from scratch,” recalls Wall. “We didn’t have a lot of materials or things to train with. It’s amazing to see how the programs have continued to grow and be successful. I’ve walked through the area where the Hall of Fame is but I never would have guessed I’d be inducted. It's quite an honour.”

Athletes entering the hall this year are athletes Lori Hart, who starred for the Kodiaks women’s volleyball team from 1981 to 1984, and Carlos Maffia, a men’s basketball star and Kodiaks coach. Going into the hall in the team category are the 1962-63 women’s basketball team, the first ever fielded by the college, and the 1966-67 men’s basketball team that went 18-1 on its way to a Western Inter-College Conference Championship.

The induction ceremonies will take place during this weekend’s Kodiaks volleyball and basketball games as part of Alumni Weekend, where all Lethbridge College and Kodiaks alumni are invited to join in the celebration. Admission is by donation all weekend, with all proceeds going to support student-athlete scholarships. A VIP lounge for all alumni will open at 5:30 p.m. each night with free food, beverages, games and exclusive prize draws.

The Kodiaks Hall of Fame is an initiative of the Kodiaks Association, a group of boosters committed to preserving and celebrating the college’s athletic history, while finding opportunities to support current and future Kodiaks student-athletes. Plaques of the inductees will be permanently placed on display in the mezzanine area of the Val Matteotti Gymnasium. 

Weekend schedule:

·         Friday – Kodiaks volleyball vs Red Deer College

o   Women’s game: 6 p.m. Men’s game: 8 p.m.

o   Induction ceremonies: Val and Flora Matteotti, Lori Hart and Mary Wall between sets two and three of both matches

·         Saturday – Kodiaks volleyball vs Red Deer College

o   Women’s game: 1 p.m. Men’s game: 3 p.m.

o   No Hall of Fame inductions

·         Saturday – Kodiaks basketball vs St. Mary’s University

o   Women’s game: 6 p.m. Men’s game: 8 p.m.

o   Induction ceremonies: ’62-’63 women’s basketball, ’66-’67 men’s basketball and Carlos Maffia at halftime of both games