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Patano to be inducted into IHSAA Hall of Fame

Greg Lee: HSAA again makes great Hall choices
Greg Lee
The Spokesman-Review
May 10, 2007

Every year the Idaho High School Activities Association inducts a worthy list of candidates into its Hall of Fame, and this year's crew of inductees is no different.

The foursome to be inducted is Bill Young, Sherie Patano, Don Armstrong and Jack Jones. Folks who have been around high school activities for any length of time don't have to be introduced to this group.

The IHSAA should be applauded for wasting no time in inducting Bill Young, the IHSAA's former executive director. In fact, the chair Young once occupied certainly didn't get cold considering he retired just 10 months ago.

Young spent 44 years in education, 26 of which were at Middleton and Vallivue high schools. He wore head coaching hats in football, wrestling and track before swapping a whistle and clipboard for a tie and monkey suit on his way to being an athletic director and principal before spending his final 18 years as the IHSAA's executive director. He warmed up for his position as chief of high school activities by spending eight years as an IHSAA board member.

Much like the path his successor, John Billetz, took. In fact, Billetz and Young have so many similarities I've teased Billetz often that he didn't have to buy any new sports coats with the emblazoned IHSAA patch. He could just take Young's hand-me-downs.

Seriously, though, Young set the standard by which all IHSAA executive directors will be measured. Young has enjoyed plenty of time with his wife and grandchildren in recent months. It shouldn't surprise anyone that when the first opportunity to serve came knocking on Young's Caldwell home door, he accepted. He's on the state parole board.

Patano is a familiar name in our parts. Like her friend Mary Jean Hinkemeyer at Kellogg, Patano blazed the trail for girls athletics at Post Falls High School the past three decades.

Back when Title IX came to the forefront in the 1970s, Patano called Alice Deaver at Lakeland and Ruth Palm at Coeur d'Alene and organized a basketball schedule for girls when the sport was in its infancy.

Patano spent 37 years of a 40-year career as a teacher, coach and athletic director at Post Falls before retiring last year. She also spent six years on the IHSAA board and was respected statewide for her involvement in the advancement of girls athletics.

Armstrong also retired last year after a 39-year career as a principal and superintendent at schools in North Idaho. The majority of his time was spent at Potlatch. He also was an IHSAA board member.

Jones, who lives in Nampa, retired from Vallivue High School in 1999. His career spanned more than 40 years as a teacher, coach and administrator. He was most visible in the athletic arena as a football referee.

Young, Patano, Armstrong and Jones will be inducted Aug. 1 at the 28th annual Hall of Fame banquet in Boise.

Youth in this state were well served by them.