2018 USATT Hall of Fame Inductees

By Sean O'Neill, Hall of Fame President | April 17, 2018, 2:06 a.m. (ET)

USATT Hall of Fame Board of Directors Announces 2018 Inductees and Mark Matthews Lifetime Achievement Award Winner

April 16, 2018 (Portland, OR) - The U.S. Table Tennis Hall of Fame Board of Directors is pleased to announce the names of those outstanding players and contributors to be honored with induction at this year's annual banquet. 

Athletes: Aili Elliott, Dhiren Narotam, Norman Bass, Jr. Contributors: Henan Li Ai and Doru Gheorghe. This year's Mark Matthews Lifetime Achievement Award will be presented to Larry Hodges. 

The U.S. Table Tennis Hall of Fame Annual Induction Banquet 2018 will be held Thursday evening, July 5th during this year's U.S. National Championships at the Las Vegas Convention Center. Tickets are available through US Table Tennis Hall of Fame.  Please contact Sean O’Neill at olympic88@me.com for tickets.

 

Aili Elliott (Li Ai) - Athlete

  • 1991 Pan Am Games Team & Women’s Doubles Gold Medalist
  • 1990 US Nationals Mixed Doubles & U-22 Women’s Singles Silver Medalist
  • 1990 US Olympic Festival Women’s Singles, Doubles, and Mixed Doubles Gold Medalist
  • 1990 US Open U2300 Women’s Champion
  • 1989 World Team Member
  • 1989 US Open Junior U-18 & U-16 Girls Champion
  • 1989 US Olympic Festival Women’s Singles & Mixed Doubles Gold Medalist
  • 1989 American All-star Women’s Silver Medalist
  • 1989 Hall of Fame Open Women’s Champion & Mixed Doubles Silver Medalist

Dhiren Narotam - Athlete

  • 1992 US World Cup Qualifier Doubles Champion
  • 1992 North American Singles Semi-Finalist
  • 1992 World Doubles Cup Doubles Team
  • 1991 Pan Am Games Team -  Silver Medalist
  • 1991 US World Team
  • 1989 US World Team
  • 1986 – 1993 US Olympic Festivals with multiple Gold, Silver and Bronze Medals

Norman Bass, Jr. - Athlete

  • 2009 Para Panamerican Championships Gold in Teams class 6-7 
  • 2007 Para PanAmerican Games Gold in Teams class 6-7 
  • 2005 Parapanamerican Table Tennis Championships Gold in Teams class 6-7 
  • 2001 1st ParaPanAmerican Championships Gold in Teams class 7-8 
  • 1999 Para PanAmerican Games Gold in Teams class 6-8 
  • 2009 Para Panamerican Championships Silver in Singles class 7 
  • 2007 Para PanAmerican Games Bronze in Singles class 7 
  • 2005 Parapanamerican Table Tennis Championships Bronze in Singles class 7 
  • 2003 Parapanamerican Table Tennis Championships Silver in Singles class 7 
  • 2003 Parapanamerican Table Tennis Championships Silver in Teams class 6-7 
  • 2000 Paralympic Games Bronze in Teams class 6-7
  • 2001 US Open Gold in Teams class 6-10
  • 1999 US Open Gold in Singles class 6-7
  • 1999 US Open Silver in Open singles standing
  • 1998 US Open Silver in Singles class 6-7 

Henan Li Ai - Contributor

Player

  • 1965 Chinese Women’s Team first time won 26th world championships. World Championships & Women’s Doubles - Bronze
  • 1975 Head coach of Chinese women ‘s team that won 33th World Championships Team. That’s the second time Chinese won the title.

USATT National Coach

  • 1983 US Pan Am Team Coach - Women’s Team, Singles, Doubles, Mixed Doubles, Men’s Singles – Gold, Men’s Doubles - Bronze
  • 1985 USA Team World’s Women’s Coach – #28
  • 1987 USA Team World’s Women’s Coach - #19 (Qualified for first Division)
  • 1987 US Pan Am Women’s Team Coach -- Women’s Team, Singles, Mixed Doubles – Gold
  • 1988 US Olympic Coach (Insook Bhushan, Diana Gee, Sean O’Neill)
  • 1989 World Championships - #12 (highest finish for Women’s Team)

USATT Program

  • Resident Training Program in Colorado Springs with USATT Hall of Famers - Insook Bhushan, Sean O’Neill, Diana Gee, Lisa Gee, Jimmy Butler, Eric Owens, Todd Sweeris, Li Ai plus 25 kids from Chui’s, Lonnons, Dhiren Narotam, Randy Cohen
  • Coached at North American Championships, US Open, US Nationals.  Personal coach of Sean O'Neill, Insook Bhushan, Diana Gee, Lisa Gee, Jimmy Butler, Todd Sweeris, Dhiren Narotam and daughter Li Ai.
  • Participated in all USATT National Coaching Programs at USOTC

Doru Gheorghe - Contributor

  • USA Table Tennis Chief Operating Officer& High-Performance Director- January 1st, 2008- Mach 1st, 2016
  • USA Table Tennis Executive Director- April 2003- August 2007
  • USA Women’s National and Olympic Team coach- June 1998- March 2016
  • General Secretary for Romanian Table Tennis Federation, February 1990- September 1997
  • Coach of Romanian Men's Olympic Team- 1996
  • Professional table tennis player - 1968- 1989
  • Member of the Romanian National team - 1969-1983.
  • USATT Certified National coach and 1st level Romanian coaching diploma (the highest level).
  • Member of the Junior and Calendar Committees of the International Table Tennis Federation - 2003-2006.
  • Member of the European Table Tennis Union, Junior Committee -1991-1995.

USA Table Tennis National Women’s team Coach

  • 2000, 2004, 2008, 2012 - Olympic Games
  • 1999, 2003, 2007, 2011, 2015 - Pan Am Games
  • 2016- Juror at 2016 Paralympic Games
  • 1999, 2000, 2001 and from 2003 to 2016- World Table Tennis Championships
  • 2009, 2010, 2013 - World Team Cup
  •  2011, 2012- World Cup

Awards:

  • Coach of the Year in 1999, 2003, 2007 and 2008

Results:

  • 1999 - Pan Am Games - Gold medals in Women’s team and Women’s Singles
  • 2003 - Pan Am Games - Gold medals in Women’s Singles and Women’s Doubles
  • 2007 - Pan Am Games - Gold medals in Women’s team and Women’s Singles
  • 2011 - Pan Am Games - Bronze medals in Women’s team and Women’s Singles
  • Olympic Games- 2008- 5th  place (USA the best ever) in team Events and quarterfinals in Women’s Singles
  • 2015- Pan Am Games- Gold medals in Women’s Team and Women’s Singles
  • World Championships- 2003, 2005 and 2007 Quarterfinals in Women’s Singles
  • Numerous medals in North American Championships and International competitions

Larry Hodges - Mark Matthews Lifetime Achievement Award 

This year's recipient of the annual Lifetime Achievement Award goes to Larry Hodges. He has done just about everything in the sport, despite starting at the late age of 16 way back in 1976. However, it was as a writer, a coach, and a table tennis entrepreneur that he truly made his name. Rather than a long narrative, a simple bullet point list will suffice to show his credentials. (Previous recipients are on the Hall of Fame Profiles page, at bottom.) 

Writer and Editor

  • Author of 8 books, about 1600 articles, and (at tabletenniscoaching.com) over 1800 blog entries on table tennis.
  • Editor of USA Table Tennis Magazine for 12 years, 71 issues.
  • Editor of nearly 200 table tennis program booklets and newsletters.

Coach

  • USATT Certified National Coach and ITTF Level 2 coach.
  • Two-time USATT Coach of the Year (Developmental and Science Awards), three-time runner-up for Coach of the Year.
  • Many-time coach of USA Junior National Teams, coaching them at camps and at tournaments around the world.
  • Coached over 250 gold medalists at the U.S. Junior Nationals and Junior Olympics.
  • Ran over 100 five-day training camps. That's 500 days just running table tennis camps, and is in addition to running weekly group sessions for many years.
  • Manager/Director/Coach, USATT Resident Training Program at the Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs, 1985-1990.
  • The majority of his 8 books and 1600+ articles on table tennis are coaching related.
  • Founder, head coach, and daily blogger since 2011 at TableTennisCoaching.com.
  • Professional coach at Maryland Table Tennis Center since 1992 with about 30,000 coaching hours. He's been late for a session exactly two times.

Promoter, Director, and Official

  • Pioneered the idea of full-time table tennis training centers by opening the Maryland Table Tennis Center in 1992 (with Cheng Yinghua and Jack Huang), the first successful full-time table tennis center in the country. The model has been copied all over the U.S.
  • Instigated & created (with Robert Mayer) the USATT League Rating System, now used in clubs all over the U.S., processing more matches than the USATT tournament rating system.
  • Created the Club Catalyst and Creation Program, which in 1990-1991 increased the number of USATT clubs from 226 to 301, and membership from 5500 to over 7000.
  • Arranged over 100 TV showings on CNN, Headline News, ESPN, Nightline, and on local stations, and many hundreds of newspaper articles.
  • Director of over 200 USATT sanctioned tournaments, nearly all of them two days long. That's over 400 days just running tournaments.
  • USATT certified umpire
  • Wrote the original draft to cancel the infamous Paddle Point Rule.

Player

  • Reached #18 in the country, won Open Singles at 18 tournaments, and was National Collegiate Doubles and 2-time Team Champion. Though he normally uses sponge, at the U.S. Open and Nationals he was 2-time Hardbat Singles Champion, 5-time Hardbat Over 40 Champion, and 14-time Hardbat Doubles Champion.
  • Has played or coached at 42 consecutive North American/U.S. Open Teams (1976 to present), 34 consecutive U.S. Opens, and 34 consecutive U.S. Nationals.
  • Is about 2100 with a clipboard!!!

USATT Positions

  • Member of USATT Board of Directors, 1991-1992, 2015-2018 (current)
  • Chair of USATT Coaching Committee, 1991-1995, 2017-2018 (current)
  • Editor of USATT Magazine, 1991-1995, 1999-2007 (12 years, 71 issues)
  • USATT Club Programs Director, 2000-2007
  • USATT Co-Webmaster, 1999-2005
  • Assistant to the USATT Executive Director, 1989
  • Chair of USATT League Committee, 2015-2017
  • Chair of USATT Club Committee, 1990-1991
  • Chair of USATT Resident Training Program Committee, 1990-1992
  • Member of USATT Coaching Committee, 2010-2013
  • Member of USATT Club Committee, 2012-2013
  • Member of USATT Junior Committee, 1990-1995
  • Member of USATT Senior Committee, 1990-1995
  • Member of USATT Grassroots Committee, 1990-1995
  • Member of USATT Ratings Committee, 1990-1995
  • Member of USATT Hall of Fame (inducted 2003)
  • 2007 USATT President’s Award for Contributions to Table Tennis