Former All-Pro football guard Conrad Dobler, gold medal winning swimmer Rachel Komisarz-Baugh, retired basketball player and current University of Utah coach Larry Krystkowiak and national golf long drive champion Evan “Big Cat” Williams have been elected into the National Polish-American Sports Hall of Fame for 2018.
The 46th Annual Induction Banquet will be Thursday, June 21, 2018, at the American Polish Cultural Center in Troy, Michigan. Tickets for the banquet, which begins at 5:30 pm., are $125 and can be ordered by calling (313) 407-3300. Information on the National Polish-American Sports Hall of Fame is available at www.polishsportshof.com.
Conrad Dobler played college football at Wyoming from 1968-71 where he starred as an offensive tackle in his second and third years and then played at defensive end his senior season. Named to the all-conference and all-academic team, he was taken in the 1972 NFL Draft by the St. Louis Cardinals in the 5th round. Dobler played with the Cardinals (1972-77), New Orleans Saints (1978-79) and the Buffalo Bills (1980-81). Playing at right offensive guard, he started every game but four in his 10-year career. For six of his NFL years, the offensive lines anchored by Dobler led the league in fewest sack allowed. The 1975 Cardinals set the NFL record for fewest sacks in a season by only allowing only eight the entire year. Dobler was selected for three consecutive Pro-Bowls in 1975, 1976 and 1977.
Rachel Komisarz-Baugh was a three-time Southeastern Conference champion and a seven-time NCAA All-American swimmer at the University of Louisville from 1996-1999. Swimming freestyle and butterfly, she was named SEC swimmer of the year in 1999. Komisarz-Baugh was a member of the U.S. National team that won two Olympic medals and 13 World Championship medals. In the 2004 summer Olympics, she won a gold medal in the women’s 4×200-meter freestyle relay, and a silver medal in the women’s 4×100-meter medley relay. In the 2003, 2004 and 2005 World Championships, Komisarz-Baugh won Gold medals in the women’s 4×200-meter freestyle relay, and in the 2008 World Championship, she won a Gold medal in the women’s 4×100-meter medley.
Larry Krystkowiak played basketball at the University of Montana where he still holds the school career records for points and rebounds. The 6’9” forward was named conference MVP three times (1984-86) and was a two-time Academic All-American. Krystkowiak was selected by the Chicago Bulls as the 28th pick in the ’86 draft. He played nine seasons in the NBA with the Spurs, Bucks, Jazz, Magic, Bulls and Lakers where he averaged eight points and five rebounds per game. After his playing days, Krystkowiak coached Montana to two conference tourney championships and two NCAA tournament appearances. He joined the NBA coaching ranks as an assistant with the Bucks before being elevated to head coach in 2007. Krystkowiak is currently in his seventh season as head coach at the University of Utah.
Evan “Big Cat” Williams is credited by many with creating visibility for long drive competitions, putting the sport on the map by virtue of his back-to-back U.S. National Long Drive Championship titles in 1976 and 1977. With a blast of 353 yards, he defeated, among others, Jim Dent, considered the longest driver on the PGA tour. His winning drive stayed on the books as the championship record for 18 years. Big Cat brought long drive competitions to the forefront of sports with exhibitions in 26 countries. Over the years, Williams won national long drive titles in the United States, Australia and Bermuda.