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OPS Hall of Famers represent highest levels of sports

By: - October 26, 2022 5:30 am

(Getty Images)

OMAHA — Nine representatives of Omaha Public Schools, ranging from a world champ boxer to a former Olympic gymnast to an athlete-turned-school principal, are to be inducted into the OPS Athletics Hall of Fame.

Terence “Bud” Crawford (Courtesy of Omaha Public Schools)

Honorees include high-profile community members, former coaches and administrators connected to schools from across the district’s middle and high schools. They will be inducted Nov. 19 during a 6:30 p.m. ceremony at the CHI Health Center. 

All proceeds go to assist OPS athletics.

OPS is the state’s largest school district, employing about 7,000 full-time staff in 86 schools and nine programs. About 52,000 students attend kindergarten through 12th grade, including special education and English language learners.

The Athletics Hall of Fame, Class of 2022, as announced by OPS:

  • Paul Brown, Benson High, played football, basketball and baseball before advancing to collegiate baseball in 1958 at the University of Iowa. Brown and his wife are inaugural members of the Benson High Foundation.
  • Terence “Bud” Crawford, Bryan High, remains ranked as one of best professional boxers in the world. Turning pro in 2008, Crawford has held multiple global championships and has reigned as WBO welterweight champ since 2018.
  • Chequetta (Bearfield) Jackson, Burke High, continued as a track start into an All-American career at the University of Illinois. Jackson won the all-class gold in 1997 and 1998 at the State Track & Field meet, and as a senior won four gold medals.
    Chequetta Jackson (Courtesy of Omaha Public Schools)

  • Akoy Agau, Central High, is the first Class A basketball player to start on four consecutive state title teams, 2009-2012. Agau also starred on the Eagles football and track teams before moving on to a Division 1 college basketball career.
  • Adam Wright, North High, quarterbacked the Vikings to an NSAA football playoff appearance in his senior year, before going on in 1996 to the University of Nebraska at Omaha, where he became UNO’s all-time leading rusher and an All-American. 
  • Cara (Churchich) Riggs, Northwest High, spent 30 years as teacher, coach and administrator within the district she graduated from in 1980. Riggs now works for the National Center for Urban School Transformation out of San Diego State University and is a published author.
    Cara Riggs (Courtesy of Omaha Public Schools)

  • Jim Hartung, South High, is described as the most decorated gymnast in Nebraska history, having won 18 gold medals during three years of high school meets. The 1978 Packer alumni was All-American at the University of Nebraska and an Olympic qualifier. 
  • Preston Love Jr., Tech High, a three-sport letterman, was named to All-City and All-Tournament teams before graduating in 1960. Love went to the University of Nebraska, was drafted by the Detroit Lions and later became an author and political activist. (He was an organizer of Jesse Jackson’s 1984 presidential campaign.)
  • Tom Robertson, Middle School honoree, served OPS as a coach, mentor, administrator and leader for the past three decades in numerous capacities. Robertson has had an “immeasurable” impact on countless youth and others, according to his nomination, and he was selected for the honor by a group of his peers.

 

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Cindy Gonzalez
Cindy Gonzalez

Senior Reporter Cindy Gonzalez, an Omaha native, has more than 35 years of experience, largely at the Omaha World-Herald. Her coverage areas have included business and real estate development; regional reporting; immigration, demographics and diverse communities; and City Hall and local politics.

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