Punxsutawney Sports Hall of Fame » Chuck Daly Lifetime Contributor Award

Chuck Daly Lifetime Contributor Award

Chuck Daly began his coaching career as the head boys’ basketball coach at Punxsutawney High School from 1955 -1963.  He went on to coach the Detroit Pistons to two consecutive NBA championships in 1989 and 1990.  He also coached the 1992 USA men's basketball "Dream Team" to the Olympic gold medal.  This award has been created by the Hall of Fame Committee to keep Coach Daly’s connection to Punxsutawney athletics, and serves to recognize deserving individuals that have made significant contributions to not only Punxsutawney High School sports, but to other local sports organizations as well.

 

Elvin “Scrap” Snyder - 2015

“Scrap” was born on Dec. 10, 1928 and is 1 of 12 children to Elvin & Agnes Snyder.  He is a 1947 graduate of Punxsutawney High School.  Following graduation he worked for his father as both a meat cutter and in the coal mines before joining the U.S. Army.  During his years in the Army he spent time at White Sands (NM) proving grounds. In 1955, he entered Clarion State Teachers college, earning a degree in mathematics and playing baseball (catcher) for the Golden Eagles. Scrap returned to Punxsutawney as a teacher for 34 years.  He married Dorothy Shaffer on June 17, 1950 and they have been married for 65 years.  They have four children:  Bradley “Grizz” Snyder, Derek “Duke” Snyder, Mittie Tomey and Gordon “Chopper” Snyder.  Some of his many contributions include not only running the scoreboard for home basketball games and wrestling matches but maintaining the boards in the gym and at the stadium.  “Scrap” was a PIAA official for over 30 years.  He was a baseball umpire for 3 years; was a track and state track meet official for 30 years, ran the electronic timing start/finish line for 21 years, and officiated the exchange zone for 9 years; and was football official for 35 years. His surveying classes help lay out the throwing areas for the field events.  Many former athletes will tell you stories of his bus driving career as he transported the PHS sports teams over the decades.  Outside of the sports arena, Scrap took pride in being a Apheresis Donor of Blood Platlets.  He was a regular donor for the American Red Cross.  He also served as Timblin Boro secretary/treasurer for 49 years.  He was a scout master for the Boys Scouts in Timblin.  He is a Charter member of the Ringgold Fire Company, Timblin Lions Club, John Jenks Lodge, Jaffer Shrine Jesters, Coudersport Consistory, and attends Timblin United Methodist Church.  He also operated and maintained the family owned beef farm until the late 1990’s.

 

Dr. John “Jack” Smelko - 2017

He graduated from PAHS with the class of 1965.  He was a member of the 1960 Groundhog Little League team that participated in the state tournament. During his high school years, he was a letter-winner in football, basketball, and baseball. Following high school, he played football at the Bordentown Military Academy in New Jersey. Jack then earned an Army ROTC scholarship to the University of Pittsburgh. He graduated from Pitt Dental School and completed the eight-year program in seven years.  Doc was a dentist in the Punxsutawney community for forty-one years, and also served as the school district’s dentist. He played several sports and faithfully attended and supported Punxsutawney sports. In order to honor his friend, Tony Parise he was one of the founders of the A.J. Parise Youth Football Program. He was a sponsor of Groundhog Little League teams, and he faithfully attended Chucks and Pitt sporting events throughout his life.   He spent a lot of his time improving the Punxsutawney area.  His mantra was “for the betterment of my family and my community” and “if you always do right, you can’t go wrong.”  He was one of the original members of the Sports Hall of Fame and served on the organization’s committee for many years. He was 67 years old when he passed away suddenly on September 15, 2015.