In a January press conference held at the Senator John Heinz History Center and Western Pennsylvania Sports Museum, the Western Pennsylvania Interscholastic Athletic League (WPIAL) introduced its 2023 Hall of Fame class, which featured 15 inductees across seven different categories, including two with strong ties to Bethel Park athletics. Emily Carter
’01 was a standout swimmer for the Hawks. She won seven WPIAL and five PIAA gold medals during her illustrious career. She also led Bethel Park to three WPIAL titles from 1998 to 2000 and back-to-back PIAA crowns in 1998 and 1999 under legendary coach Bill Kennedy
. Carter earned 11 All-American nods over her high school career and set WPIAL records in the 200 medley relay and 100 breaststroke, as well as the PIAA record in the 200 medley relay. Her WPIAL record in the 100 breaststroke stood for 15 years. She was inducted into the Bethel Park Athletic Hall of Fame in 2007.
Carter was also an outstanding student, a three-time Scholastic All-American, and a member of the National Honor Society who graduated from high school with a 4.3 GPA.
She would go on to swim collegiately at Stanford University, one of the nation’s most prestigious universities and one of her sport’s most elite programs.
Carter gives credit to her old coach, Bill Kennedy, for being instrumental in helping her to achieve her athletic goals and to get recognized by the top NCAA Division 1 swimming program in the country.
According to Carter, after competing in the Olympic Trials the summer after her junior year at Bethel Park, she returned home and told her coach that she wanted to swim at Stanford, a wildly ambitious goal for anyone, much less a young lady from Western Pennsylvania. “He immediately picked up the phone and called them and really talked me up to them,” she said. “Before I knew it, I was on their radar and eventually went on to gain a swimming scholarship to the program.”
Emily began swimming competitively as an eight year-old in the old Bethel Park swimming pool and says the sport was a significant part of her early life.
“I really feel like I’ve had two lives – my swimming life and my post-swimming life,” she said. “There’s no question, however, that many of the lessons I learned in the pool – being dedicated and persistently working towards my goals – have helped to launch me into where I am today.”
Since graduating from college, Carter has remained in the Bay area. She now lives in San Francisco, where she is the Senior Director of People Analytics & Workforce Strategy for Visa. Despite remaining in California for more than 20 years now, Carter insists that she is a Pittsburgh girl at heart, and she’s looking forward to coming home for the induction ceremony.
“Western Pennsylvania has an incredible athletic tradition and has produced many legendary athletes and coaches,” she said. “It is an amazing honor to be a part of that legacy and recognized among them.”
Carter is not the only Bethel Park connection to this year’s induction class. Assistant athletic director Laura Grimm
is also among this year’s honorees.
The 2006 Serra Catholic alumna compiled career marks of 1,940 points, 497 assists, 391 steals, and 283 three-pointers over her varsity career, leading the Eagles girls basketball team to an incredible 103-12 record in her four seasons at the school. The Maroon and Gold made four consecutive WPIAL Championship Games appearances, winning in 2003 and 2005. They also won the 2005 PIAA championship. The slick shooting southpaw was named the Associated Press Pennsylvania State Player of the Year in 2005. She also collected Player of the Year accolades from the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette and Pittsburgh Tribune-Review in 2005 and 2006 respectively and was named All-State First Team in those seasons. Grimm played collegiately at Colgate University.
“It’s an incredibly humbling honor to be included in this group with so many WPIAL legends,” said Grimm. “I am sincerely at a loss for words to describe my emotions at this recognition.”
Grimm is especially thankful to be joined in this honor by her former coach and athletic director, Bill Cleary
. “Bill meant so much to my development as a player, and he has continued to mentor me in my career as an athletic administrator,” she said. “I cannot tell you how much pride it gives me to receive this honor and share it with someone I hold so dear to my heart.”
Carter and Grimm were among the three female student-athletes inducted. The other female student-athlete inductee was Sarah Riske McGlamery
, a tennis standout from Peters Township.
The other inductees were:
- Ray Brinzer (Athlete, Wrestling), North Allegheny
- Virginia Fronk (Courage, Girls Soccer), Seneca Valley
- Jonathan Hayes (Athlete, Football), South Fayette
- Greg Meisner (Athlete, Football, Wrestling, Track & Field, Basketball), Valley
- James “Lash” Nesser (Heritage, Basketball), Uniontown
- Bob Osleger (Official, Softball, Basketball), Ringgold
- Bill Palermo (Coach, Softball, Girls Basketball), Sto-Rox
- Tom Pipkins (Athlete, Boys Basketball), Valley
- Don Rebel (Contributor)
- 1981-82 Monaca Boys’ Basketball Team
- 2000-01 Oakland Catholic Girls’ Basketball Team
Now in its 16th year, the WPIAL Hall of Fame was organized as a means of recognizing, preserving, and promoting the heritage of interscholastic sports in Western Pennsylvania. Many individuals have made extraordinary contributions and have achieved superb accomplishments in high school sports. The WPIAL Hall of Fame honors the contributions and accomplishments of these individuals who are worthy of recognition as examples for others to emulate.
The annual WPIAL Hall of Fame induction banquet will be held on Friday, June 2, 2023, at the DoubleTree Hotel in Green Tree (500 Mansfield Ave., Pittsburgh, PA 15205).