SHERIDAN — Mike Daley still remembers vividly the time Bruce Hoffman told him he’d start for the Sheridan College men’s basketball team more than 30 years ago. For a local kid from Big Horn, it meant everything to Daley.
“It was just a great moment in time for me,” Daley said.
It came full circle for Daley Saturday at the Bruce Hoffman Golden Dome. The same place where he made his first start as a General, Daley was inducted into the SC athletic Hall of Fame.
“I was pretty overwhelmed (when I found out),” Daley said. “I am very honored to be considered. It has far outreached my expectations.”
Daley played for the Generals in the early 80s and later coached under Hoffman as an assistant. Daley credits a lot of his knowledge of the game and success as a coach to things he learned from SC’s legendary head man.
“What I gained from playing for Bruce Hoffman and coaching for him, the understanding of the game is evident in everything that I teach today,” Daley said.
Daley — in his first year back as the head coach of the Rams — led the team to a region championship and a top two seed at the state tournament. Big Horn fell in the semifinals and ended up taking fourth.
Daley joined Martha Saxton, Rory Williams and Ryun Williams as the 2019 Hall of Fame inductees. Saxton worked in the SC athletics department for 16 years. She started the Adopt a Player program, which gave players a second family in Sheridan.
Rory Williams attended SC in the last 90s and was an All-Region IX selection after ranking third in the conference in scoring. Ryun Williams attended SC in the early 90s. He helped the Generals hold the top spot in the top 25 for seven straight weeks and was selected to the All-Region IX team. The ceremony Saturday was multiple months in the making. SC athletics director Richard Hall’s vision was to have a night dedicated to not only recognizing former SC greats, but current ones, as well.
Five of the seven teams — the rodeo team, excluded as they were competing at the University of Wyoming Rodeo — were honored for their feats on and off the court. The 105 student-athletes across all seven sports boasted a cumulative grade point average of 3.12.
The Generals and Lady Generals also performed well on the playing surface. The women’s volleyball team held a spot near the top of the Region IX North Division before a late-season swoon.
The men’s soccer team advanced to the Region IX championship game — the furthest the program has ever made it. The women’s team joined the men in Denver as the Lady Generals advanced to the conference tournament semifinals.
The women’s basketball team was one of eight teams to advance to the conference tournament in Scottsbluff, Nebraska, while the men’s team earned an at-large bid to the National Junior College Athletic Association national tournament.
The rodeo team wrapped up its regular season within the Central Rocky Mountain Region last weekend. The men finished in the top five as a team and both Chance Ames (bareback) and Coby Johnson (bull riding) will advance to the College Nationals Final Rodeo in June.
Hoffman addressed the student-athletes, coaches and fans Saturday, and that represented just a small piece of his role in the special night. Because athletic records haven’t been kept well or consistently over the years, Hoffman’s memory is relied upon.
“A lot of it is going off of the memories and knowledge of Coach Hoffman,” Hall said. “It’s great having an individual around the college with his longevity. He is able to remember a lot. He’s able to tell us who did what when, and it was pretty impressive because I can only imagine how many people he’s come across in his lifetime.”
Hall is working on a more structured approach to selecting nominees, as he’d like to make Hall of Fame inductees an annual tradition and not every few years or sporadically like it has been in the past.