PHILADELPHIA >> Cindy Timchal began her day in Annapolis, Md and, finished it in Richmond Va. But she knew she would not, could not miss a 200-mile detour Thursday to the Sheraton Society Hill.
That's where the Havertown native, Haverford High grad and winningest coach in NCAA women's lacrosse history was introduced with the Class of 2015 of the Philadelphia Sports Hall of Fame.
“When you see the charter members when this started in 2004, with names like Billy Cunningham and Julius Erving, I am blessed,” Timchal said. “I feel like Philadelphia is my hometown.”
Timchal is the head lacrosse coach at Navy, after stops at Northwestern and Maryland. She is the only coach to have led three different teams to the NCAA Tournament, and she coached eight national championship teams at Maryland.
Timchal will formally enter the Philly Hall in a Nov. 12 dinner ceremony, also at the Sheraton. She will be joined by, among 14 other new members, Karen Shelton, who was named as Delaware County's Field Hockey Player of the Millennium in 1999 by the Daily Times. Shelton, from Marple Newtown High, is the field hockey coach at the University of North Carolina, where she has won 18 ACC championships.
Also to be enshrined are former Phillies Sam Thompson and Garry Maddox, former Eagle Tim Brown, ex-Eagles coach Dick Vermeil and former Flyer Rick MacLeish.
“I wrote a speech,” MacLeish shrugged. “But I just had laser eye surgery and I can't see it. So … thank you.”
In addition, Billy Markward and Walt Hazzard (basketball), Rich Gannon (football), Benny McLaughlin (soccer), Bob Montgomery (boxing) and Dick Williams (tennis) will be inducted. Also, Flyers' public address announcer Lou Nolan will join the Hall, which will honor former Sixers public address legend Dave Zinkoff with its Legacy of Excellence award.
“I am a product of what Philadelphia and the suburbs had to offer to me,” said Timchal, who has a career record of 445-111, “as a young athlete and in coaching. I have had the most amazing experience.”