Craig Counsell, Pettit Director in Whitefish Bay Hall of Fame

WHITEFISH BAY -- Whitefish Bay native Craig Counsell got to live out a dream by playing major league baseball for the Brewers, and he is staying with the organization as he transitions into his post-playing career. Friday night, Counsell is part of the first-ever class for induction into the Whitefish Bay High School Hall of Fame.

Just a few miles west of Miller Park on I-94 stands the Pettit Center. Another Whitefish Bay Hall of Famer does his best work at the center - Randy Dean is the center's executive director. "I think my connection to sports all my life is great. My daughter actually skated in the opening in October of 1992, which was my first connection to the Pettit Center. We were started by someone's passion for speedskating, and that's why we're here, but now we rely on the hockey and figure skating and running track and public skating," Dean said.

Dean is just the man for a varied sports mix. An all-around athlete at Whitefish Bay High School, he went on to play freshman basketball at Northwestern, and made the 1976 U.S. Olympic team handball squad, earning a trip to Montreal with his teammate and brother, and he also made it to the NFL as quarterback. "I certainly had goals. My first one was to try to make varsity in high school, and play there, and it builds up from there," Dean said.

Dean played for the New York Giants from 1976 to 1979. "I remember those moments when I made a play here and there, scored a touchdown pass - those are pretty vivid. I still get cards in the mail from people around the country. My football card - I didn't know there were that many of those out there, but I am humbled to do it, to sign them and send them back," Dean said.

In 1979, Phil Simms was a fellow Giants quarterback, and Ray Rhodes was a defensive back. Bill Belicheck was a special teams and linebackers coach. "He and I used to play a lot of racquetball and we became good friends. Very competitive. I remember with the special teams, he would always have some kind of crazy scheme to block a field goal or return a punt for a touchdown. Very creative, very well-prepared in everything he did," Dean said.

Self-deprecation is a definite part of Dean's manner, much as it is of Counsell's. They are classy inclusions in the first class of the Whitefish Bay High School Hall of Fame.