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Desko headlines Syracuse Sports Hall of Fame '08 class

John T. Smith, a high school teacher, first gained athletic notice in 1980 when he coached the Fowler High School track and field team to a league championship, dethroning long-time power CBA. He also served as an assistant coach for the famed GP Express semi-pro football team that won national titles in 1985 and '87.

As far as officiating goes, Smith started with high school football in 1981 and, in eight years' time, moved up to the NCAA Division I ranks. He stayed there 17 years, eventually becoming a crew chief for Big East games before retiring in 2006. His most famous game was the 1993 Boston College upset of no. 1-ranked Notre Dame in South Bend. Smith also worked 20 years as a high-school basketball official.

Doris Saladay was born in 1931 in New Mexico. Following college study in Colorado, she came to Syracuse University in 1960 and devoted her career to promoting women's athletics at SU and making sure the landmark Title IX ruling of 1972 was enforced.

Saladay was SU's first Director of Women's Athletics, a title she carried until 1992, when the men's and women's athletic departments at the university merged and she became associate athletic director. During that time, she served with all kinds of local athletic organizations, from the YWCA to the Syracuse Chargers and Syracuse Sports Corporation. She passed away in 2001.

In all, 168 sports figures have been named to the Syracuse Sports Hall of Fame in the 21 years since it was founded in 1987.

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