Director of Athletics Victor “Vic” Trilli and Volunteer Assistant Men’s Baseball Coach Mike Pelfrey will each be inducted into the Wichita Sports Hall of Fame.
The presentation will take place during an April 21 induction ceremony.
Each year, 10individuals and one team are elected for induction. Nominations are considered for athletes, coaches, benefactors, administrators and contributors who have “achieved extraordinary success and have been a positive influence on the lives of their players, exhibited the type of leadership which serves as a positive example to other coaches and possess the attitude and abilities that future athletes can aspire to.”
Pelfrey graduated from Wichita Heights in 2002 and attended Wichita State University where he pitched for the Shockers for three seasons. Pelfrey was drafted in 2005 and played seven seasons for the New York Mets, three for the Minnesota Twins and finished with a season for both the Detroit Tigers and Chicago White Sox. In 2012, he was inducted into the Wichita State Shockers Hall of Fame after winning 68 games in the majors.
After returning to Wichita and working on his sports management degree at Wichita State University, Pelfrey realized he needed an internship in 2019 in order to finish his degree. Within three days of reaching out to Newman Head Baseball Coach Zane Ehling about a possible internship, Pelfrey was given the position of volunteer assistant coach for the men’s baseball team.
“In the last four to five years of my career, I took on more of a mentor role for the younger guys,” Pelfrey said. “It opened up the idea of coaching when I was done. Ultimately, I want to make them better players but also better men. I’m learning every day how to better relate to these men who are 15 years younger.”
“This is an opportunity to give back some of the knowledge that I have learned along the way and I’m excited to see where it goes.”
Pelfrey’s wife and three young children were excited when they heard the news, he said, and Pelfrey’s family is proud of him for his accomplishments throughout the years as a baseball player and coach. His parents look forward to attending the induction ceremony in April, he said.
“It’s very humbling,” Pelfrey said. “I have been blessed and this is an honor. I’ve been given a gift and I’ve tried to not take it for granted and have always wanted to make the most of it. It’s gratifying to see that my hard work has paid off.”
Trilli, who is in his 10th year as the director of athletics at Newman, said it is an honor to be inducted.
“Most of what I’ve done all my career and what I love to do is not about me,” Trilli said. “I had my time when I played and I loved it, which is what caused me to go into coaching and to athletic administration. But for me, it’s just been a privilege to be around so many cultures and athletes for 43 years or so.”
In 2010, Trilli was inducted into the Mid Mon Valley All Sports Hall of Fame, which honors athletes, coaches and others from the Mid Monongahela Valley near Pittsburgh. Trilli is one of seven men who comprise the hall of fame’s class of 2010. He was also inducted into the Sheridan College Hall of Fame in Wyoming in February of last year.
Trilli said there has never been a day in his life when he has gone to work.
“My wife laughs at me when I say that,” he said. “I just love what I do. I absolutely enjoy the students — what they do and the commitments they make, the hours they commit and the responsibilities they accept. Same thing with the coaches — it’s about the hours they put in, their commitment … they even sacrifice family time in order to dedicate themselves to their work.
“All I ever wanted to do is to advocate on behalf of them. I hope I’ve been able to do a good job with that.”
After receiving the news about his induction, Trilli said his kids were once again excited.
“I think my family is getting sick of me,” Trilli said with a laugh. “My brothers and sisters and I were always so competitive growing up.”
Trilli is the oldest of 11 children. His mother has passed away, but his father is now 98 years old.
“He wants to come down for the induction ceremony, although I don’t know how he plans on doing that,” Trilli said.
“I’m excited about Mike Pelfrey being honored, too,” Trilli added. “That guy is special. He’s from Wichita, too, and I’m excited to be going in with him. Basketball Coach Gregg Marshall (Wichita State University) is also being inducted, and one of his teams that went to the NCAA Final Four will be there also. It’s a pretty neat class that’s being inducted.
“It’s been an honor and a pleasure for me here at Newman and I’m excited about the opportunities for all parts of Newman that are to come,” Trilli said.