St. Louis Amateur Hockey Hall of Fame

 

 

 

 

 

Bio

In the spring of 1965 Bill enrolled his oldest son John in the Affton Athletic Association's Baseball Program. AAA had just purchased a 15 acre site which is now known as the Affton Sports Field.

During that first year Bill managed his son's first year Atom Team and joined the AAA Board of Directors. 1965 thru 1971 AAA developed fields, Grand stands, an Equipment building, a concession, rest rooms, meeting room building, and paved parking area. During this time, Bill joined the AAA Board of Directors and was elected V.P. of the Board in 1969 and President in 1970.

Bill proposed to the Board the idea that AAA have a hockey program. When the board members questioned where would the Teams play?  Bill replied, "We will build our own rink." Bill then became Vice President of the Ice Rink and Hockey program working along side Board President Homer Keller.

March of 1972 AAA publicly announced the Ice Rink plans. Target date to be November of 1972 as the opening. Ground breaking began early summer of 1972, with plans to build an out-door rink with lighting for night games & skating. An attached building housing the Picard Plager Pro Shop, skate rental, warm-up room, restrooms, Concession and mechanical room. The completed Rink was opened in November and was dedicated in March 1973. The first year 600 hockey players were registered. Registration fee was $25.00. There were 30 house & travel teams in all age groups.

The following year AAA contracted to build a Steel frame structure covering the rink area and attached to the existing building. Ultimately the rink was totally enclosed with completion of locker rooms, board meeting room, activity area and grand stands.

Jackie Haas, HOF Inductee class of 2010, and Toni Murray, with the assistance from Barb Fair, and Gene Coon from Steinberg organized the 1st year hockey teams. Jackie Haas helped coordinate travel try-outs at Winterland Ice Rink while Affton's rink was being built.

Bill began the 1972-73 hockey season as a house team coach. In mid season the Bantam Travel coach left the team and Bill took over the coaching responsibilities, with Pete Zaron as bench coach. That team became the 74-75 MoAm Midget travel team. The 74-75 AAA Midget team won the Mo-Am Championship.

That same year Bill coached the Affton High school team to the Mid-States Championship. Bill started the Affton High School program and coached 3 years before forming the Affton American Jr.B Team.

The Jr.B Team was established in 1975. Bill named the team the "Affton Americans". Bill approached Pierre LaBarge to see if he would sponsor the Jr. B Team. Pierre responded "I would love to." and wrote a check for $10,000.00 and covered additional expenses as they occurred. Pierre was not an owner he was a "Volunteer".

Bill required that in putting the Jr.B team together, qualified AAA players get first choice on the draft. The team was very competive in its developmental years. Bill resigned as Jr.B coach and severed his relationship with the AAA in 1977 when he along with Jim Jost & Don Flier purchased and re-opened the Immerfrost Ice Rink. Bill was also an investor/consultant with the group that built the Arnold Ice Rink in 1973.

I applaud and congratulate the young men who are responsible for the St. Louis Amateur Hockey Hall of Fame. I thank them and the Sponsors for the recognition and Honor.

I especially want to thank my wife Toni, who is the unsung hero of the Affton Athletic Association, and my sons John and Bill Jr., without them I would not be receiving this tribute and to my girls Chris & Cindy my biggest supporters. Thanks to everyone who made this possible.