2015 Inductees & Honorees
The following inductees & honorees were celebrated by the Larry Bruno Foundation throughout several events in August 2015.
2015 Hall of Achievement Inductees
The following individuals were inducted into the Larry Bruno Foundation Circle of Achievement for 2015.
Joe Tronzo – Sports Journalism
Sports Journalist Joe Tronzo was an iconic figure of Beaver County sports and certainly of Beaver Falls. He was a fixture at High School and Geneva College press boxes doing what he loved best – covering youth sports. A newspaper man for over 60 years, Tronzo wrote his first column for the Beaver Falls News-Tribune as a 12 year old, joined the sports staff in 1947 and became its editor in 1960. He served in that position until 1979 when the paper was bought by the Beaver County Times.
Submitted by Bob Petrella, protégé of Joe Tronzo.
Ted Heath – Coaching
Ted Heath was raised across the street from Rich Neidbala and they have remained lifelong friends. In Ted’s senior year at Beaver Falls, Larry Bruno took the head coaching position, which proved to be a great choice for both Ted and Beaver Falls football. He learned a great deal from Coach Bruno and considered him to be his second father. He was selected to play in the Penn-Ohio All Star game at the end of his senior year. He was the only lineman to start both ways for the Pennsylvania team.
Coach Bruno made a call to Coach Pederson at Western Colorado State University and Ted was on a westbound train. The last three years of college he started as a two-way lineman on the varsity team. After graduation, Ted was then awarded a graduated assistantship in the Math Department where he taught College Algebra and Trigonometry. This enabled him to coach football, which was the beginning of his lifelong career in football. He received a Masters Degree in Secondary School Administration with supporting courses in math.
Jack Damaska – Baseball
Jack Damaska had one of the longest professional careers of any other Beaver Falls sportsman in its history: 17 years as a professional baseball player and manager from 1957 to 1974. In his major league career he played with and against some of the most famous players in the game. In fact, Jack’s major league stint was a masterpiece of bad timing: his first time at bat as was against Sandy Koufax, and the first time he got into a game on defense it was as a substitute for Stan Musial. One day he replaced Julian Javier in a Cardinal infield that featured Ken Boyer, Dick Groat, and Bill White. After a long minor league career as a player, coach, and manager, Jack finished his baseball years in 1974 as manager of the Kinston (SC) team in the Montreal Expos farm system.
Teri Turconi – Gymnastics
At Beaver Falls High School, Teri Turconi helped her team win the first Pennsylvania PIAA Gymnastic Championship in 1977 and two WPIAL and PIAA state titles in 1978 and 1979. She herself was a WPIAL and PIAA champion. Teri won USGF titles in the bars and floor exercise and placed top in the 1980 USGF All Around competition and first in the uneven bars in the 1980 Nation’s Cup. At the University of Florida, the Lady Gators won three consecutive SEC titles (1981-1984), the NCAA South Regional Championship (1984), the AIAW Championship (1982), and they finished in the top six of the NCAA for three consecutive years. Teri was All SEC in the uneven bars, floor exercise, and the vault, placing fifth at the 1981 AIAW Regionals and winning All Region honors. Teri earned her master’s degree in sports psychology from the University of Virginia in 1986. For the last 26 years, Teri has worked in the pharmaceutical & biotech industry. She currently is employed by Indivior, specializing in the Disease of Addiction. She is a member of the Beaver County Prescription Drug Abuse Coalition, helping to raise awareness on the current epidemic of prescription painkillers.
“Big John” Jackson – Community Service
“Big John” was a truly respected and beloved icon in the Beaver Falls community. He was a standout athlete for Beaver Falls High School in the early 1940s. He excelled at both basketball and football, going on to become a semi-professional football player.
Dr. Justin Crepp – Teaching
Dr. Justin Crepp is a 1998 graduate of Beaver Falls High School. During his years at Beaver Falls High School he quarterbacked the Tiger Football team under Coach Judge Richard Mancini and also played baseball. Dr. Crepp completed his undergraduate studies at Penn State University and earned a Doctorate in Astrophysics from the University of Florida. His post-doctoral work was completed at Caltech. Dr. Crepp was recently named a Kepler Participating Scientist, one of an elite group of eleven (11) in the country tasked to further the research of the Kepler Science Center’s mission to discover habitable planetary systems.