A two-time Olympic gold medalist, a national high school and college basketball player of the year, two current University of Maryland coaches who have led teams to multiple NCAA titles, a coach and a player who led the Washington Redskins to championships in different eras and, for the first time, an area team have been selected for induction into the Washington DC Sports Hall of Fame. The 11 honorees will be inducted in a special ceremony on Sunday, June 23 at Nationals Park prior to the 1:35 p.m. game between the Washington Nationals and Atlanta Braves.
The 2019 DC Sports Hall of Fame class includes Washington Post horse racing columnist Andrew Beyer, Montgomery Blair High School three-sport standout and former National Football League and Major League Baseball player Tom Brown, Maryland men’s soccer coach Sasho Cirovski, Olympic swimming champion Tom Dolan, DeMatha High School and Duke University basketball star Danny Ferry, the late Redskins coach Ray Flaherty, Redskins Pro Bowl defensive end Charles Mann, longtime DC United executive Kevin Payne, Maryland women’s lacrosse coach Cathy Reese, and the late tennis instructor and player Allie Ritzenberg. The 2017-18 Washington Capitals, last year’s National Hockey League Stanley Cup champions, have been named the DC Sports Hall of Fame’s first-ever Team of Distinction.
The members of the DC Sports Hall of Fame selection committee are chairman Bobby Goldwater, a Georgetown University Sports Industry Management master’s program faculty member and sports industry consultant; co-chairmen emeritus and veteran D.C. sports executives Charlie Brotman and Andy Ockershausen; former radio and TV reporter/producer Brenda J. Curtis-Heiken; journalist David Elfin; television and radio personality Chick Hernandez; attorney Phil Hochberg; Washington Nationals managing principal owner Mark D. Lerner; Shirley Povich Center for Sports Journalism Director at the University of Maryland George Solomon; attorney Mark Tuohey; radio and television personality and former Washington Redskins tight end Rick “Doc” Walker; baseball commentator and historian Phil Wood; and journalist and Merrill College visiting professor Joe Yasharoff.
“This year’s 10 individual inductees are extraordinary examples of excellence from the Nation’s Capital and represent an impressive range of eight different sports and accomplishments on the high school, college, and professional levels,” said Goldwater. “In addition to inducting them, the DC Sports Hall of Fame is pleased to introduce a new designation for recognition, Team of Distinction, and to recognize the 2018 Stanley Cup champion Washington Capitals as the first to be honored. We look forward to adding these deserving names to the DC Sports Hall of Fame honor roll at the induction ceremony at Nationals Park on June 23. Our committee is deeply appreciative for the ongoing support of Mark Lerner and the Washington Nationals.”
Individual nominees for inclusion must have gained prominence in the Washington area through their achievements in sports as an athlete, coach, owner, executive, member of the media, or contributor. A professional, collegiate, or high school team that has made a significant and positive impact in the Greater Washington community through outstanding achievement will be eligible to be recognized as a Team of Distinction.
The 2019 inductees:
ANDREW BEYER: Covered horse racing for The Washington Post for four decades ... created the Beyer Speed Figure, a system for rating the performances of thoroughbred racehorses which became an industry standard using a comparison of records combining a set of variables that change day-to-day ... his career included stints at The Post and the defunct Washington Daily News and Washington Star.
TOM BROWN: A three-sport star (football, basketball, baseball) at Montgomery Blair High School ... the Silver Spring native played both baseball and football at the University of Maryland ... a professional athlete in two sports, first with Major League Baseball’s Washington Senators in 1963, followed by a six-year National Football League career with the Green Bay Packers, winning three NFL titles including two Super Bowls, and the Washington Redskins.
SASHO CIROVSKI: Winningest coach in the history of University of Maryland men’s soccer ... has led the Terps to three NCAA national championships, 24 postseason appearances including nine in the College Cup, three Big Ten Tournament and two Big Ten regular season titles, six Atlantic Coast Conference Tournament and four ACC regular season crowns, and 25 consecutive winning seasons over 26 years.
TOM DOLAN: Arlington native won the 1996 and 2000 Olympic gold medals in the 400-meter individual medley, an event in which he also held the world record, an Olympic silver medal in the 200 IM, 14 national titles, and eight NCAA titles with the University of Michigan, leading the Wolverines to the 1995 team championship ... Yorktown High School graduate started and operates a swimming school in Dulles.
DANNY FERRY: Hyattsville native has been a basketball star at every level ... national player of the year at DeMatha Catholic High School and at Duke University, where he was an All-America as a senior and led the Blue Devils to three Final Four appearances ... had a 14-year playing career in the NBA, mostly with the Cleveland Cavaliers, before becoming a successful executive with several teams in the league ... will join his father, former Bullets GM Bob, as a DC Sports Hall of Fame inductee.
RAY FLAHERTY (1903-1994): First head coach of the Washington Redskins, leading the team to its first two NFL championships ... innovator who introduced the screen pass and two-platoon offense ... compiled a superb 49-17-3 record over six seasons ... inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1976.
CHARLES MANN: A two-time NFL Super Bowl champion, three-time NFC champion, and four-time Pro Bowl defensive end during his 11 seasons with the Washington Redskins ... still stands third in team history with 82 sacks ... ranked by profootballreference.com as the team’s 10th-best player since 1960.
KEVIN PAYNE: Passionate and influential soccer executive who was instrumental in establishing DC United in Major League Soccer and in the Washington sports market ... As the organization’s first president, led team to three MLS Cup championships in the league’s first four years and four overall, a CONCACAF Champions Cup, the U.S. Open Cup twice, and the Supporters’ Shield four times.
CATHY REESE: A standout athlete, assistant coach, and three-time national coach of the year with the University of Maryland’s women’s lacrosse program ... has been part of 11 national championships ... in 13 years as the head coach, has led the Terps to four NCAA titles, 10 consecutive Final Four appearances, and 19 conference championships including four straight Big Ten titles.
ALLIE RITZENBERG (1918-2018): A fixture of Washington’s tennis community for more than eight decades ... a local and global instructor and a coach to generations of students at St. Albans School and at Georgetown University ... a District high school doubles champion and a star at the University of Maryland, losing only four times in his college career ... a competitive senior player who won more than a dozen international championships and retired as the top-ranked 85-year-old player in the world.
The names of DC Sports Hall of Fame inductees are prominently displayed at Nationals Park, the site of the annual induction ceremony. Information about the DC Sports Hall of Fame, including the honor roll of all inductees, is available on the organization’s website, dcsportshall.com.