Hall of Fame

Members of the Bluecoats Hall of Fame are individuals whose history of outstanding contributions and dedication is worthy of the highest level of recognition by the organization’s board of directors. Want to nominate someone? Hall of Fame nomination process.

John and Suzanne Yerkey

2016 Bluecoats Hall of Fame Member

John & Suzanne Yerkey began their many years of service to the Bluecoats when their daughter Ellen joined the corps in 1985. Mr. Yerkey began his volunteer work as a driver of one of the buses and the equipment truck. Mrs. Yerkey helped with the ... | Read More

Jay and Penny Pillo

2015 Bluecoats Hall of Fame Member

Penny Pillo or “Aunt Pen” (as she was known) supported the Bluecoats food service program and served as a volunteer bus driver during the Bluecoats formative years in the mid-1980’s.

Jay Pillo also also began his journey as a Bluecoats volunteer ... | Read More

Phil and Marilyn Booth

2015 Bluecoats Hall of Fame Member

As the corps took the field in 1984 after a year absence, the new Bluecoats quickly identified Phil and Marilyn Booth as the corps “mom and dad”.   Phil or “Bubba” (as he was affectionately known) worked tirelessly as the corps mechanic and all around “fix ... | Read More

William "Bill" Duff

2014 Bluecoats Hall of Fame Member

William Duff’s career with the Bluecoats began in the fall of 1973 when the idea was presented to him of a world class musical organization that would travel the United States from coast to coast performing in front of large crowds of people. This ... | Read More

Roger Walker

2013 Bluecoats Hall of Fame Member

Roger Walker began his service with the Bluecoats as a volunteer parent in 1996 when his daughter Teresa joined the Bluecoats’ Color Guard. Teresa marched 4 years in the Bluecoats, but Roger continued his involvement and currently is in his 17th year with the organization.

< ... | Read More

Marge Haas

2012 Bluecoats Hall of Fame Member

Marge Haas became involved with the Bluecoats as a Bingo volunteer in 2002 and has since been an important part of the Bluecoats Bingo game’s success.

In 2005, Marge served a critical role as the game went through a difficult transition and through ... | Read More

Dale & Laverna Williams

2012 Bluecoats Hall of Fame Member

Dale & Laverna Williams began their service to the Bluecoats as parents and volunteers in the founding year of 1972. For the next ten years, they were the consummate parent volunteers supporting their three children Marty, Sandy, and Sherry who marched in the Bluecoats. From ... | Read More

Dinah Armey

2011 Bluecoats Hall of Fame Member

Dinah Armey became involved with the Bluecoats as a parent and volunteer in 1993 and continued her service to the organization for the next 10 years.

After 4 years of working on the food truck, Dinah took it upon herself to get her CDL after ... | Read More

Debbie Pietrangelo

2011 Bluecoats Hall of Fame Member

Debbie Pietrangelo began her service to the Bluecoats as a parent and volunteer starting in 1997 and continued through 2010.

During Debbie’s 13 years with the Bluecoats she supported the Corps wherever needed and spent countless hours in her primary role as the Corps ... | Read More

Tom Rarick

2011 Bluecoats Hall of Fame Member

In 2009, Tom assumed the role of percussion arranger/composer for the Bluecoats Drum & Bugle Corps, after serving as the front ensemble arranger since 2002. Prior to his involvement with the Bluecoats, he was a marching and staff member with the Cadets of Bergen County.Read More

Derrick Mergen

2010 Bluecoats Hall of Fame Member

Derrick Mergen has served as a member of the Bluecoats Board of Directors since 2001. Derrick’s Drum Corps roots date back to the early 1960’s when, at the age of eight, he began his marching career with the Cambria Cadets Jr. Drum & Bugle ... | Read More

Carol "Aunt Buff" Newton

2009 Bluecoats Hall of Fame Member

Carol “Aunt Buff” Newton became involved with the Bluecoats in 1993 when a friend’s son marched in the corps. He marched one year with the Bluecoats, but she remained with the corps for the next 13 years as an avid volunteer. From airport runs to ... | Read More

Dave MacKinnon

2009 Bluecoats Hall of Fame Member

Dave MacKinnon returns to the Bluecoats for his 22nd season in 2015 Brass Supervisor. Dave brought a vast wealth of experience to the Bluecoats when he joined the staff in 1994. His experience dates back to the 1970s when he was the musical director of the ... | Read More

Doug Thrower

2009 Bluecoats Hall of Fame Member

Douglas Scott Thrower is a free-lance composer/ arranger/ trumpeter from Mississauga, Ontario, Canada. He has been a brass instructor for the Bluecoats since 1992 and has arranged for the corps since 1997. He has instructed and arranged for many bands and drum corps including Troopers, Dutch ... | Read More

Fred Morris

2004 Bluecoats Hall of Fame Member

Now the director of the Troopers from Casper, Wyoming, Fred was a key member of the Bluecoats instructional staff, support staff, and board of directors from the mid 1980’s through the mid 2000’s.

Gerald Brown

2003 Bluecoats Hall of Fame Member

Gerald “Jerry” Brown and his wife Fran served as very active volunteers from the early 1990’s through the mid 2000’s in a variety of capacities.

In addition to serving as a member of the Bluecoats board of directors, Jerry was an important ... | Read More

Fran Brown

2003 Bluecoats Hall of Fame Member

Fran Brown and her husband Jerry served as very active volunteers from the early 1990’s through the mid 2000’s in a variety of capacities.

In addition to serving as a member of the Bluecoats board of directors, Fran was an important member ... | Read More

Carl Gannon

1997 Bluecoats Hall of Fame Member

Carl started his drum corp career in 1961 marching 13 years with the Marion Cadets. Upon aging out, he was hired to be the Bluecoats’ head percussion instructor, a position he filled from 1975 until 1983. Under his direction, the Bluecoats percussion section won high percussion at the ... | Read More

Bill Tietjen

1996 Bluecoats Hall of Fame Member

Bill Tietjen served many key roles within the Bluecoats organization in the 1980’s and 1990’s.  While he drove both bus and truck, served as a board member (including a term as President), he’s perhaps best remembered as the corps media manager during that ... | Read More

Sandy Poglitsh

1995 Bluecoats Hall of Fame Member

Sandy Poglitsh and her husband Rudy were active volunteers for the Bluecoats from the late 1980’s through the late 1990’s, managing the corps food service program and coordinating volunteers.

Marlene Wagner

1995 Bluecoats Hall of Fame Member

Marlene and her husband Tom are some of the most prolific volunteers in the organization’s history, having assisted in a variety of ways from the mid-1970’s until the mid-2000’s.

Marlene assisted Tom in the corps’ food service operation for ... | Read More

Betty McCauley

1995 Bluecoats Hall of Fame Member

Betty McCauley and her husband Ralph served as a key members of the corps’ administrative and support team from corps’ founding through the mid-1990’s and to this day remain strong supporters and huge fans. Betty will always be remembered for her homemade strawberry ... | Read More

Brad Gessner

1994 Bluecoats Hall of Fame Member

Brad Gessner is a long-time member of the Bluecoats leadership and support team. A member of the corps in the early eighties, Brad filled many important roles with the organization over the years, including manager of the corps’ merchandise program from the early 1990’s ... | Read More

Truman Crawford

1993 Bluecoats Hall of Fame Member

Colonel Truman Crawford served as the Commandant of the Marine Drum & Bugle Corps from 1973 – 1998, and arranged for the Bluecoats brass section from 1975-1978. He is also a member of the World Drum Corps Hall of Fame and the Drum Corps International Hall of ... | Read More

Terry Stan

1993 Bluecoats Hall of Fame Member

Terry marched in the Bluecoats drum line from 1977 through his age out year of 1980. At that point, he continued his involvement as a member of the drum staff in 1981 and 1982. When the corps re-formed in 1984, Terry was selected as a member of the corps’ ... | Read More

Linda Swaldo

1992 Bluecoats Hall of Fame Member

Linda Swaldo served as a very important member of the corps’ administrative and support team from the mid 1980’s – through mid 1990’s and continues to be a huge supporter of the organization to this day.

Ted Swaldo

1992 Bluecoats Hall of Fame Member

In 1984, Ted took over the Bluecoats as Executive Director, a volunteer position he held until his retirement in 1994. During his tenure, Ted’s management abilities, and enthusiasm became the catalyst, which not only propelled the Bluecoats into national recognition as a competitive unit, but ... | Read More

Larry R. Hershman

1991 Bluecoats Hall of Fame Member

Larry Hershman joined the Bluecoats organization in the fall of 1985 as the corps’ first Program Director. After re-forming in 1984, the Bluecoats had finished in 27th place in both the ‘84 and ‘85 seasons. The stated goal for Larry was to help the corps break into DCI’ ... | Read More

Chuck Stan

1991 Bluecoats Hall of Fame Member

Chuck became active with the Bluecoats in 1977 when son Terry and daughter Lisa marched their 1st season with the corps. When the corps re-formed in 1984, Chuck was selected as a member of the corps’ board of directors. While on the board, Chuck played a ... | Read More

Dick Kempthorn

1991 Bluecoats Hall of Fame Member

Richard “Dick” Kempthorn was an active supporter of the Bluecoats in the 1980’s and 90’s, providing personal financial assistance and in-kind donation of services through his company, the Canton-based car dealership Kempthorn Motors.

Bill Hamilton

1991 Bluecoats Hall of Fame Member

Bill started his marching career as a charter member of the Bluecoats in 1972. After marching in the corps for seven years, Bill stayed on to serve as brass instructor, brass caption head, and then tour coordinator before serving as corps director until 2003. In his ... | Read More

Don Leininger

1990 Bluecoats Hall of Fame Member

Don Leininger, the business manager of a Massillon based drum & corps corps that competed in the VFW & American Legion National Championship competitions in the 1970s, served as a key advisor and fundraiser in the founding of the Canton Police Boys Club Drum & ... | Read More

Tom Wagner

1990 Bluecoats Hall of Fame Member

Tom and his wife Marlene are some of the most prominent volunteers in the organization’s history, having assisted in a variety of ways from the mid-1970’s until the mid-2000’s.

In addition to serving as a Bluecoats board member throughout ... | Read More

Neil Johnson

1990 Bluecoats Hall of Fame Member

Neil Johnson and his wife Iva were very active volunteers for the Bluecoats from 1984 – 1990, specializing in the management of the corps’ merchandise program. Neil also served for many year’s on the Bluecoats’ board of directors, assisting with accounting and financial management.

Tom Jakmides

1990 Bluecoats Hall of Fame Member

Tom Jakmides was a founder, instructor and long-time director of the Bluecoats Drum & Bugle Corps.

Tom, a Goodyear Executive and former member of the Massillon, Ohio based drum & bugle corps that competed in the American Legion and VFW national championships, ... | Read More

Walter C. Deuble

1989 Bluecoats Hall of Fame Member

Local businessman Walter Deuble was instrumental in the founding of the Canton Police Boys Club Drum & Bugle Corps (the precursor to the Bluecoats), serving as a very important financial supporter of the corps in it’s early years. Walter helped the corps purchase ... | Read More

Richard L. Frederick

1989 Bluecoats Hall of Fame Member

Richard “Dick” Frederick served as the Attourney of the Canton based Timken ball bearing company at the time of the founding of the Canton Police Boys Club Drum & Bugle Corps (the program that would later become the Bluecoats). He was as a key ... | Read More

J. Babe Stearn

1989 Bluecoats Hall of Fame Member

J. Babe Stearn spent the majority of his professional life as a law enforcement officer, first as a patrolman and a lieutenant in the Canton Police Department and later as the Stark County sheriff. Stearn became the first Jewish officer hired when he joined ... | Read More

Arthur J. Drukenbrod

1989 Bluecoats Hall of Fame Member

Canton businessman Art Drukenbrod was a founder and long-time instructor, administrator, board member, supporter and fan of the Bluecoats Drum & Bugle Corps.

Besides being a businessman, Art was a musician who had played his drum with many of Canton’s big ... | Read More

Ralph W. McCauley

1989 Bluecoats Hall of Fame Member

Ralph McCauley, former Canton police officer, assistant director and director of the Canton Police Boys Club, is a founder and long-time administrator and supporter of the Bluecoats Drum & Bugle Corps.

In 1972, Ralph and J. Babe Stearn, both of the Canton Police ... | Read More