Illinois Hockey Hall of Fame ready to welcome newest class
Mike Mullally has come a long way since skating at the Maine Park Lagoon in Park Ridge, starting at age 3.
"We skated on the lagoon as soon as the ice froze," Mullally said. "Mom had to call us home because no one wanted to leave.
"The lagoon at (age) 3 to now, (at age) 63 … I've had a lot packed into 60 years, all of which I am grateful for," said Mullally, a Naperville resident.
Mullally's organized hockey career started Oak Park, included time on the Chicago Minor Hawks, NCAA hockey at Ohio University and club hockey at Illinois State University. He also coached the Franklin Park Panthers and the Flames at Franklin Park Ice Arena, and had a stint as Naperville Central's head coach.
Mullally's hockey life also has involved more than 20 years as a local and national administrator. For the past 17 years, he has been on the board of the Amateur Hockey Association of Illinois (AHAI), and in 2015 was named a director for the six-state Central District of USA Hockey.
Now he is part of the 12th class of honorees to the Illinois Hockey Hall of Fame. The other inductees are Olympian Megan Bozek of Buffalo Grove, Steve Konroyd of Hinsdale, Linda Becker of Arlington Heights, Myles Gottainer of Glenview, Dave Loughnane of Crystal Lake, Mike Rohdenburg of Bloomingdale, Dick Sharp of Dalton and Dave Siatta of Park Ridge.
"The class of 2016 exemplifies the spirit of volunteerism as all of this year's class went above and beyond giving back to our game," said Jim Smith, president of USA Hockey and a Mount Prospect resident.
The IHHF induction dinner is at 5 p.m Sunday at the Belvedere Banquet Hall in Elk Grove Village.
"To be included in such an esteemed group is very humbling," Mullally said.
Smith said Mullally is one of those rare individuals who always gives 100 percent.
"Mike is a player, coach, hockey dad, administrator and most importantly, a true fan of the game. Mike has done it all, allowing more kids to enjoy the greatest game ever invented."
Bozek, a Stevenson graduate, will be inducted in the Player's Category along with Steve Konroyd, who played professionally from 1981-1995, including time with the Blackhawks, and now is a TV analyst.
Myles Gottainer, who coached Bozek locally, enters the Hall of Fame in the Builder's Category, along with Linda Becker, who is the former president of the Northwest Chargers and has served on the AHAI Rules and Ethics Committee. Dave Loughnane is a past president of the Northern Illinois Hockey League. Mike Rohdenburg is the longtime head coach of the Chicago Bruins' Midget Major (Central States) team and has been part of 14 state titles and two national championships. Dave Siatta, a referee for more than 40 years, is being inducted into the Official's Category, along with the late Dick Sharp, who mostly worked on the South Side.