Builders’ Category ~ Class of 2018
Kevin was raised on the West Side of Chicago, the oldest of six children. During the 50’s and 60s, there were no ice rinks or ponds in the area. Hockey was a dream and a sport that was played on the streets, alleys or sometimes in the playground if they froze it. Hockey sticks were often shared and rare to come by. They had one puck which was also shared. That was the extent of the equipment.
Hockey was always Kevin’s favorite sport and the Blackhawks his favorite team. He followed them whenever they were televised and occasionally went to the Stadium to watch his hero Stan Mikita light it up.
While in college, Kevin married Leah Nino and joined the Chicago Police Department. After graduating from De Paul, he attended IIT Chicago-Kent College of Law. Upon Graduating and passing the Bar he became a Cook County State’s Attorney. There was no time for his sport until going into private practice in 1980.
Finally as an adult Kevin was able to accomplish two childhood dreams – season tickets with the Hawks and playing organized hockey with Hockey North America. Fortunately his bride shared his enthusiasm for hockey.
Kevin and Leah started a family and moved to Winnetka. Their oldest son Kevin was born in 1988. Much to his father’s surprise, Kevin came home from kindergarten announcing that he wanted to play hockey. He played with the minor mite house league and volunteered his dad as a coach. Thus began the elder’s volunteering career.
Kevin coached house league and spring hockey. Vince was born in 1992 and began playing at the age of 4. Before long their two boys were travel players, and thanks to Jack Weinberg and John Skalla, Kevin became a Winnetka Hockey Board member. He served for six years on the board, one year as President, for a total of ten years with Winnetka
Kevin II went on to Loyola High School, where through Bob Saliba, he became team manager and a Loyola Board member. Kevin served eight years with Loyola.
Retirement seemed in sight, when Randy Lauer, the President of Winnetka, submitted his name as a candidate for the AHAI Board. The submission was too late and Kevin thought he dodged a bullet; he was wrong. He was contacted by Bob Mathson who appointed him to the AHAI Board. That was fifteen years ago. Since then he has chaired the Suspension Review committee, been on numerous other committees and presently serves as Vice President of Hockey Operations.
In total, the kid from the West Side has been a hockey volunteer for twenty-five years, and enjoying the opportunity to help the greatest sport on earth. Kevin is humbled and thankful to be added to this exclusive group. He would like to thank the Illinois Hockey Hall of Fame and the many people who have made this last twenty-five years possible.
NOTES: The 2018 IHHF Induction Dinner will be held in their honour on Sunday, January 27, 2019 at the Belvedere Banquet Hall located at 1170 West Devon Avenue in Elk Grove Village beginning at 5:00 pm. Tickets are available by contacting Norm Spiegel at 847/269-2922 or e-mail Norm at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Hall of Fame was established to recognize and honor the tremendous contributions of individuals who, through their dedication and tireless efforts, helped to pave the way for the future generations of kids and adults to enjoy the great sport of ice hockey.
The mission statement of the Illinois Hockey Hall of Fame is as follows:
“To honor the excellence of those individuals who, through their exceptional endeavors both on and off the ice, have contributed in an extraordinary way to enhance the sport and image of hockey in Illinois.”
The IHHF Selection Committee consists of all of the living past and present presidents of the Amateur Hockey Association Illinois, Inc. Please click HERE for further information.