Former Okanagan Sun coach Lawrence Nagy (left) is congratulated on his induction into the 2011 COSHF Thursday morning by former CFL great George Reed.

Five inducted in to Central Okanagan Sports Hall of Fame

Lawrence Nagy, Joan Campbell, Eric Tasker, Dan Bertoia and Aundrea Bertoia officially enshrined on Thursday.

To measure Lawrence Nagy’s impact on local football over the years, one only has to look at his track record.

As head coach, he led the Okanagan Sun to the organization’s only two national junior titles in 1988 and 2000.

Throw in another five B.C. junior championships and Nagy was a shoo-in as one of five new inductees into the Central Okanagan Sports Hall of Fame during a Thursday morning ceremony at the Coast Capri Hotel.

What made Nagy’s induction to the Hall particularly special was the relationships and rapport he developed with so many players over the years.

“The players are the main reason why we coach,” said Nagy, who was inducted in the Builder category. “The joy that I got out of that, knowing the players, seeing what they do and what they’ve gone on to become has made my little contribution seem small.”

Nagy thanked many for his success in football, including his parents, his wife and daughters, Okanagan Sun founder Dr. Barry Urness, and a number of his former coaches, assistant coaches and teammates.

Nagy, who played at Immaculata, UBC and the University of Alberta was also a three-time B.C. coach of the year, and the top amatuer coach for all sports in 1989.

The other 2011 inductees are:

• Joan Campbell—Pioneer

Campbell won the Interior women title 10 times between 1953 and 1972, and also won the Kelowna Golf and Country Club championship a record nine times.

A mother of five, Campbell was a three-time semi-finalist at the B.C. women’s championship and helped Team B.C. win the Canadian Senior Women’s Golf Championship in 1971.

Campbell, 95, attended the ceremony Thursday morning with one of her five sons, Chris Campbell.

What made Campbell’s exploits on the course even more impressive was the fact that golf was never the main priority in her life.

“For my mom, her boys were everything,” Chris Campbell said. “Family always came first, golf came second, many times a distant second. Yet she accomplished so much in the sport.”

• Dan Bertoia and Aundrea Bertoia—Athletes

The Kelowna brother and sister duo excelled in track and field.

Dan’s specialities were the 800 and 1500 metres runs as he won provincial, Western Canadian and national titles in each. On the international scene, he competed for Canada and won a bronze medal in the 1500 at the 1991 Pan American Games.

Bertoia said he had ample help along the way.

“The support of my family, and my coaches in the Kelowna Track and Field Club was key,” said Dan Bertoia. “With it I could continue my track career into the collegiate level and beyond, where I was fortunate enough to be on a number of Canadian national teams. I feel very thankful for my selection to the Central Okanagan Sports Hall of Fame.”

Aundrea made her mark as a long distance runner in the 1,500 and 3,000 metre events, winning medals at the B.C. Summer Games, provincial high school championships, and national junior championships.

Her biggest achievements were winning the bronze medal in the 3,000 at the 1990 Junior Olympic Athletic Championships in Japan and the NAIA national title in 1992.

Aundrea said her success is largely due to the support of her dad, Don, a former Olympian, as well as her older brother, Dan.

“(Dad’s) work ethic has always inspired me…as well as his trophies and medals that he’s always kept in the basement corner downstairs,” Aundrea said. “And my brother who made me competitively tough.”

• Eric Tasker—Builder

The late Eric Tasker was involved in virtually every aspect of soccer in the Central Okanagan as a player, coach, manager and referee.

He brought international soccer games to Kelowna in the 1980s, and founded the Okanagan Challenge men’s soccer club in the early 1990s, overseeing the operation of the team for almost two decades.

Tasker, who passed away last year, saw his team win the PCSL title three times, the last one coming in 2009.

He was also a tireless volunteer, a nationally-certified referee and conducted clinics for hundreds of youngsters in the Okanagan.

“I think he would be very proud that he left a footprint, a cleat-print if you will, in Kelowna with soccer,” said Tasker’s wife, Isla. “Because he certainly put his all behind it. Our sons and I are proud, too.

“At the same time, you can’t builder without a lot of support and Eric had a lot that over the years from many people.”

The morning’s program began with Saskatchewan Roughriders’ great and CFL Hall of Famer George Reed being interviewed on stage by former TV sportscaster Pat Kennedy.

The keynote speaker was Paul Barber, the CEO for Major League soccer’s Vancouver Whitecaps.

whenderson@kelownacapnews.com