Belmont Abbey College President Bill Thierfelder Inducted Into Sports Faith Hall Of Fame

Belmont Abbey College President, Dr. William K. Thierfelder—the Saturday, March 12 guest on The Catholic Business Hour with Dick Lyles—was inducted as a member into the Sports Faith International Hall of Fame on Sunday, February 27 in Lake Forest, Illinois. The annual awards ceremony honors world-class athletes known for outstanding dedication to both sports and their faith.

Past inductees include such luminaries as George “Papa Bear” Halas, Wellington Mara, Brian Piccolo, Danny Abramowicz, Chris Godfrey, William Bidwell, Sr., Tom Monaghan, and John Gagliardi.

Dr. Thierfelder, Belmont Abbey’s president since 2004, was honored alongside Father Joe Freedy, the former University of Buffalo quarterback who now serves as a Catholic priest and vocations director for the archdiocese of Pittsburgh.

During the same awards ceremony,  three other prominent sportsmen were inducted: the late Art Rooney, patriarch of the Pittsburgh Steelers; Jamie Moyer, a veteran of 24 seasons in professional baseball and founder of the Moyer Foundation, a non-profit organization dedicated to helping children in severe distress; and Rich Donnelly, former major league baseball coach for the Texas Rangers, the Florida Marlins, the Milwaukee Brewers, the Los Angeles Dodgers and the Pittsburgh Pirates.

Patrick McCaskey, the grandson of George “Papa Bear” Halas and co-owner of the Chicago Bears, will receive the Light of Christ Award and also be inducted into the Hall.

The Induction Ceremony and Sunday Mass began at 2:00 p.m. at the home of the Chicago Bears, Halas Hall, in Lake Forest, Ill. Bishop Thomas Paprocki, bishop of Springfield, Illinois, also known as the “Holy Goalie,” celebrated Mass at 2:00 pm.  Rev. Francis J. “Rocky” Hoffman, Executive Director of Relevant Radio, Fr. John Smyth, Fr. Joe Freedy and Fr. Don Woznicki of New Ethos and the Hollywood Project concelebrated.

Dr. Thierfelder is a  former NCAA Division I Coach, Olympian, National Champion high jumper, and a two-time All-American.  An accomplished speaker on the subjects of Catholicism, Sports and Faith, Sports Science, and Psychology, he is the driving force behind, a website dedicated to using sport as a means for developing virtue. Thierfelder’s mission is to “reclaim the game” from trash talk, vice, and godlessness, and to help athletes perform to their full potential: physically, mentally and spiritually.

The Sports Faith Hall of Fame was created in 2008 by Sports Faith International in order to recognize and encourage excellence in sports and in the Catholic Faith. By providing a forum for the inductees to share their personal stories and accomplishments, the organization aims to encourage excellence in both sports and virtue.

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