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Notes, quotes, anecdotes, photos from WPIAL Hall of Fame

Written by Mike White on .

By Mike White | Wednesday, April 28, 2010, 9:20 p.m.

The WPIAL announced its 2010 Hall of Fame class Tuesday and had a news conference at the Heinz History Center. Some members of this year's class attended the news conference. I came across some interesting stories, notes and photos at the news conference.

CHUCK KLAUSING, FOOTBALL COACH

Klausing's 1959 Braddock team (pictured to the left with Klausing) is being inducted in the Hall of Fame. Klausing won six WPIAL titles in a row at Braddock before going on to coach at a number of colleges as an assistant and head coach. He was the head coach at IUP and Carnegie Mellon. While standing with former Mt. Lebanon coach Art Walker, former Gateway coach Pete Antimarino and current Gateway coach Terry Smith, Klausing said, "I bet you guys never had this happen to you. When I was at IUP, someone threw a cherry bomb from the stands. It landed on my shoulder and went off. I've been partially deaf ever since."

Wow. I never knew that about Klausing, and neither did Walker, Antimarino, or Smith. He does wear hearing aids.

Nine players from the 1959 team attended the conference. You should've seen them after the news conference when Klausing called them together for a quick meeting. Klausing sat in a chair with the players circled around him (picture to the left). Grown men had their eyes fixed on their old coach, like he was giving a pep talk in the locker room. It was a great sight. Klausing talked to them about getting in touch with former players to get them to the Hall of Fame banquet June 25.

Klausing also gave me a small book he wrote about trick plays. And a CD.

"I've reprinted this book three times," Klausing said.

PETE ANTIMARINO, FORMER GATEWAY COACH

I wish this guy still coached. First, he was a great coach. Secondly, he was great for kids. Lastly, he was great to deal with and always could make you laugh. He still has some of that spunk, too. His 1986 team is being inducted into the Hall of Fame and he came to the news conference with current Gateway coach Terry Smith, who was the QB on the '86 team. Smith was laughing about Antimarino, saying "When we were on our way down here, he was saying he wishes he could play that [North Hills coach] Jack McCurry one more time."

Couple memorable stories about Pete. He always called me "Whitey" and sitll does to this day. He was always quick-witted, and still is today. One day a few years ago, when I mentioned something him about one of my sons, he said. "Holy cow, I hope you're a better father than you are a sports writer."

Then a few years ago, I introduced a young Post-Gazette reporter to Pete. He said, "I hope you end up better than Whitey. I made him. He never had anything to write about until he met me."

I could talk with Pete Antimarino for hours. By the way, while Antimarino talked with Walker, Smith and Klausing, he said Klausing was the best pregame coach he was ever around.

TOM ORGAN, GATEWAY ALUM

Check this out. Tom Organ is a former Gateway head coach. But he was a member of the 1959 Braddock team that is being inducted into the Hall of Fame. And his son was a member of the 1986 Gateway team that is being inducted.

B.B FLENORY, VALLEY BASKETBALL 

His nickname brought Baron Flenory attention. So did his talents. What a scorer he was at Valley in the 1970s. It was great to reminisce with B.B. (pictured to the left at the news conference) and listen to his stories and thoughts. He called being elected to the WPIAL Hall of Fame one of the greatest moments of his life. He went on to play at Duquesne and here are some subjects he talked about yesterday:

Best player he faced in college: "I tell people this all the time and they don't believe me, but I'd say Larry Harris at Pitt. We played Duke my freshman year, too, and they were good. I got hurt against Duke at the Civic Arena. I got run over by Mike Gminski and got a concussion. I had one concussion earlier in the year from when Bob Huggins [of West Virginia] hit me. I came back from that concussion too soon. Then I got another one against Duke. They had Gene Banks and Jim Spanarkel. Their coach, Bill Foster, came to the hospital after the game and stayed with me for a lot of the night." 

Best high school player he ever faced: "I'd have to say Sam Clancy [of Fifth Avenue]. But there was a game when I think I had 49 and Tim Glass of Mohawk had 40. Tim Glass was very good, too."

About the memorable state playoff game against Clancy and Fifth Avenue when, at one point, Flenory went down to one, dribbling the ball: "You know, I'll never forget that game as long as I live. That was the game I went to one knee. We were winning by 11 at the time. But as time goes on, that story gets exaggerated."

B.B. then started laughing before saying, "I went to one knee right before halftime and Warnie Macklin steals it, goes down and scores and I foul him. But I come down and score right before half and I think we're winning by 9 at halftime. But the way people tell the story these days is that I went to one knee real late in the game, Warnie steals it and makes a shot with three seconds left. That's not how it happened.

"That was a great game. I think someone collapsed in the stands, too, and died from a heart attack."

About losing to Farrell and legendary coach Ed McCluskey in the 1976 WPIAL final, 58-53: "We had scrimmaged Farrell and beat them by, like, 30. What happened was, McCluskey was a great coach. He took me out of the game. I think I had maybe 30 against Monessen in the semifinals and McCluskey put a box-and-one on me in the championship and held me to 13. Because we had such a good team, that was one of the few box-and-ones we saw."

Great stuff from B.B.

PAUL HINDES, FORMER BALDWIN COACH

Many people might not know much about Hindes (pictured to the left). But when you really look at it on paper, his high school accomplishments are downright ridiculous. Get this: The guy won 16 WPIAL championships - IN THREE DIFFERENT GIRLS' SPORTS!!!!! That really is unbelievable. He won eight WPIAL girls' softball championships, five volleyball championships and three basketball championships. And all of them were in the highest classification. I'm wondering if there has ever been a coach in WPIAL history who has won championships in three different sports. No one has records like that, but he might be the only one.

Paul is now retired as a coach and teacher. And he spends much of his time nowadays helping run "Family Tyes," a non-profit organization that teaches kids and families how to fly fish. Now that's a great retirement job.

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