2011

Sports Legend

Richard Van Valkenburgh

Dick launched his Hall of Fame career as a three sport star at HHS (football, basketball, baseball). He led the football and basketball teams to championship seasons in 1953, earning all-star honors in both sports. Continuing his career at the University of Buffalo, Dick was a member of one of the most famous teams in WNY history. The 1958 team won their conference, was awarded the prestigious Lambert Cup, which earned UB an invitation to the Tangerine Bowl. Upon learning that their black teammates could not participate, the team voted to reject the bowl invitation. After graduation, “Coach Van” began his teaching and coaching career in Warsaw, winning championships at both the JV and Varsity levels in his four years there. Returning to his alma mater in 1965, he assumed the role of Assistant Varsity coach until 1971, when he took over as the Bulldog’s head coach, leading the team to undefeated seasons in 1974 and 1994. In his teaching position, Dick was instrumental in developing one of the finest health education programs in the state.