2017 Inductees & Honorees
The following inductees & honorees were celebrated by the Larry Bruno Foundation throughout several events in July 2017.
2017 Hall of Achievement Inductees
The following individuals were inducted into the Larry Bruno Foundation Circle of Achievement for 2017.
Jim Campbell – Football & Track
In the early 1960s, Jim Campbell was a whirlwind on the playing fields of Western Pennsylvania. He was a 3-sport athlete while attending Beaver Falls High, excelling at baseball, track and football under legendary Coach Larry Bruno, before moving on to a successful football and track career at Geneva College. During his junior year at Beaver Falls as left halfback and kickoff returner, Jim had 34 carries for 387 yards and 11 returns for 342 yards. During his senior year, he scored 13 touchdowns and local sportswriter Joe Tronzo opined, “Enough cannot be said about this boy, who takes a terrific pounding each game – This kid is probably the most exciting ball player in several decades.”
Bobby Lawrence – Baseball
When Bobby Lawrence’s name is mentioned to almost any local fan from the 50’s and 60’s, it is automatically said that he was the longest home run hitter that ever played in Beaver Falls, and that is saying something. It has been testified by a young American Legion bat boy, Jack Clouds, that Bobby hit a home run over the right field fence at the Beaver Falls High School home field; A feat that was never accomplished again. Bob represents a lifetime of achievements in both sports and academics. As an athlete and native of Beaver Falls, he played baseball from Little League, High School and American Legion, where he was an outstanding player and team leader. Elected to the Hearst United States All Star Team in 1955 as a high school junior, the slugging first basemen spent the week in New York and played at Yankee Stadium.
Dave Podbielski – Coaching
A native of Beaver Falls, Dave Podbielski attended Highland Suburban Junior High and Beaver Falls High School, graduating in 1972. In his sophomore year, Dave played guard as a member of the 1970 Beaver Falls High School WPIAL and PIAA State Championship basketball team that included Hall of Achievement Inductees Oscar Jackson (2012) and Head Coach Frank Chan (2012). After graduating from Penn State in 1977, he began his coaching and teaching careers at New Brighton High School, where he led the Lions to the WPIAL AA Championship over Clairton in 1980. In 1987, he became the head coach of Beaver Falls High School where he followed his high school coach and mentor Frank Chan.
Kevin Scanlon – Football
Considered one of the top quarterbacks to ever play at Beaver Falls High School, Kevin went on to become an All-American player at University of Arkansas and a highly-respected businessman in the Little Rock Area. In the early 70’s, when three year starters at the high school level were scarce, Kevin accomplished this feat starting his sophomore year at Quigley and two years at Beaver Falls under coach Larry Bruno. In a run oriented offense, Kevin threw for almost 4,000 yards passing to become Beaver County’s all-time leader in passing yards by the time he graduated in 1975.
Tom Tribone – Business Leader
Tom grew up in the “Heights” very close to Coach Bruno and his family, and fondly recalls spending time in the Bruno backyard with Coach displaying his “magic” for the neighborhood kids. He attended St Mary’s school before Beaver Falls High School. At St. Mary’s Tom was coached by another LBF inductee, Joe Ursida. Joe taught him to “always keep your engine warm and the driver cool.” He says that is why he always made those clutch free throws while playing for St Mary’s Beaver County CYO Basketball Champions in 1969 and later at Case Western Reserve University.
2017 Hall of Achievement Honorees
The 1979-80 Beaver Falls Basketball WPIAL Championship Team
The 1979-80 version of the varsity boys basketball team, under the direction of Coach Frank Chan, completed section play with an undefeated record of 12-0, an overall record of 26-4 and captured the Class AAA WPIAL Championship.
At the beginning of the season, the Tigers were ranked 14th nationally and prior to section play won 5 games including victories over Pittsburgh City League Peabody and Westinghouse. The only teams to defeat the Tigers in the early exhibition season were City League powers Brashear and Schenley.