Federal Way inducts new members into Athletic Hall of Fame

The Federal Way Athletic Hall of Fame welcomed five new members Thursday at the Great Hall at Todd Beamer High School. Pictured are Jean Licari
The Federal Way Athletic Hall of Fame welcomed five new members Thursday at the Great Hall at Todd Beamer High School. Pictured are Jean Licari's daughters, Madison and Katelin, and her widowed husband, Pat (middle), Bob France, Rick Dennison and Lee Anderson.
— image credit: Courtesy Bill Harris

Kenny Mayne might have the biggest name at the 2013 Federal Way Public Schools Athletic Hall of Fame induction ceremony Thursday night at Todd Beamer High School, but the six honorees definitely took center stage.

Mayne, the ESPN personality and 1977 Thomas Jefferson graduate, served as the master of ceremonies to honor five former coaches and one notable alumnus inside the school's Great Hall. This year's inductees included coaches Lee Anderson, Rick Dennison, Bob France, Jean Licari and Pete Refling, who all left a lasting mark on the district's middle and high school athletic programs.

Quinn Gillis was this year’s Professional Achievement award winner. This award is given to a district graduate who is continuing to model athletic excellence and leadership through a career in education and coaching.

Mayne kept the standing-room only crowd entertained while the new Hall of Famers were presented by colleagues. The 2013 class joined 33 other members of the Federal Way Athletic Hall of Fame.

Mayne's appearance at the Federal Way Athletic Hall of Fame ceremony came just four days before he hosted ESPN's SportsCenter for the first time since 2008 on Monday night. During his hiatus from ESPN's highlight show, Mayne has hosted projects like Wider World of Sports, starred in ESPN's first scripted web series, Mayne Street, and did weekly feature stories on Sunday NFL Countdown called The Mayne Event.

The Hall of Fame honors district employees who have made a significant impact on the district’s athletic programs. The honorees represent the finest in athletic administration, coaching and program development, according to Greg Flynn, the district's athletic liaison.

Lee Anderson — Anderson came to Sacajawea in 1968 after three years in Eastern Washington. He moved to a new Kilo Junior High in 1969 and then on to Decatur as head basketball coach 1982-89. Anderson was an outstanding coach and quality person who cared about his athletes. He won several Junior High Championships and started a long line of successful Decatur teams.

Rick Dennison — Dennison taught and coached at Decatur for 32 years starting in 1978. Dennison’s Decatur boys’ soccer SPSL championship in 1980 was the first team championship in Decatur history. He also coached three top-four finishers in the soccer state tournament. Dennis also coached cross country, golf, softball, and boys’ swimming, winning the state championship in 2005.

Bob France — France taught social studies and sports medicine at Federal Way High School from 1984 to 2005. He also coached football, track and served as athletic director. France developed a student-based athletic training program covering all sports at FWHS. This program became a model for schools throughout the nation and was awarded the “Best of the Best” award in 2000 and '02.

Jean Licari — Licari, who died of cancer last year, started her teaching career at Federal Way High School in 1991. Licari became head girls’ track coach in 1997. She quickly became one of the most decorated girls’ track coaches in the decade by earning SPSL championships in 1999, 2000 and 2001. She was selected SPSL coach of the year three times and was also head cross country coach and one of the premier pole vault coaches in the state.

Pete Refling — Refling coached basketball and baseball at Lakota and Kilo for three decades starting in 1970. He also was Kilo’s athletic director. Refling had a huge impact on developing young athletes who carried his winning attitude on to high school. In 1974, Refling originated the district junior high basketball substitution rule that guaranteed game participation for all team members. This rule is still in effect today.

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