Class of 1999
Gene Conley - Baseball & Basketball
Before Bo Jackson and Deion Sanders, there was Gene Conley. A two-time Minor League Player of the Year, Conley grew up in Richland and attended Washington State University before signing a pro contract with the Boston Braves after his sophomore year. In 1952, he was signed by the Boston Celtics and became the first two-sport pro athlete in history. Major league owners were not excited about the 6'8" Conley playing basketball as well as baseball and he was traded when he refused to give up his "other job." Conley played six seasons in the NBA and eleven years in the Major Leagues. He appeared in pro baseball's All-Star game three times, won one World Series ring and three NBA titles. He is the only athlete known to have won world championships in two different professional sports.
Phil & Steve Mahre - Alpine skiing
Perhaps no duo has made a greater impact on Olympic history than twin brothers Phil and Steve Mahre. Graduates of Naches High School , the brothers appeared on the Olympic ski team three times, capping their careers with a gold and silver medal performance in the slalom at the 1984 Sarajevo Olympics.
Phil is a member of the Olympic Hall of Fame, was overall World Cup Champion three consecutive years (1981-1983), won a silver medal in the slalom at the 1980 Lake Placid Olympics, and was a three time winner of the U.S. National Giant Slalom title and five time winner of the U.S. National Slalom title. As a pro, he won two World Slalom Championships.
He was named International Skier of the Year three times and Skier of the Year five times.
In addition to his Olympic silver medal, Steve Mahre clinched nine World Cup event victories between 1978 and 1983. He was the 1982 World Champion in the Giant Slalom and was a seven time U.S. National Champion.
Ray Mansfield - Football
Ray Mansfield was a star football player for the Kennewick Lions before playing three seasons on the offensive line for the Washington Huskies from 1960-62. He was a member of the winning Rose Bowl team of 1961, a 17-7 victory over the University of Minnesota. In 1963, Mansfield was drafted by the Philadelphia Eagles and played one season for them.
From 1964 to 1976, Mansfield played center for the Pittsburgh Steelers and still holds the team record for most consecutive games played at 182. Mansfield was the starting center for the Steelers' 1975 and 1976 Super Bowl teams and claimed two championship rings.
Karen Murray-Hodgins - Basketball
Karen Murray graduated from Pasco High in 1980. To this day, she is still the record-holder for the most career points (1,338) among female basketball players for the Bulldogs.
Murray played four seasons for the University of Washington where she finished third in career scoring with 1,745 points. She holds the University of Washington individual career highest field goal percentage at .541 (734 out of 1,365 attempts) and holds the season record for free throws made at .848 (89 out of 105 attempts). Murray also shares the career record for most free throws made with 269. In 1992, Murray was the first female basketball player to be inducted into the University of Washington Hall of Fame.
During the 1980's and early 1990's, pro basketball was available to women in Europe where Murray played with various teams for several years. She currently assists the girl's basketball program at Pasco High and works with her husband Mike assisting younger players in developing their skills.
Ed Troxel - Coach
When Ed Troxel came to the Tri-Cities in 1978, he was already a legend in the Northwest for his winning football program at Borah High School in Boise, Idaho, and as a college coach at the University of Idaho. He inherited a football program at Kennewick High that had won only one game in the previous two seasons combined. In his 13 seasons at Kennewick, Troxel led the Lions to one second-place state finish, two semi-final games and four state quarterfinals.
Troxel's installation of a weight program at Kennewick High was quickly copied by the rest of the Big Nine and is a major reason the conference is one of the toughest in the state. He also serves on numerous charity boards.
Ray Washburn - Baseball
Perhaps one of the most recognizable professional baseball names in the Mid-Columbia area is Ray Washburn. Born in Pasco, he attended school at Columbia-Burbank High School and went to Columbia Basin College before signing with the St. Louis Cardinals.
During his ten year Major League career, Washburn appeared in three World Series, won 72 games and posted a 3.54 ERA.
His greatest moment may have come during the 1968 season when he won a career-best 14 games, had a 2.26 ERA and fired a no-hitter against the San Francisco Giants.