Hall of Fame Committee

Sean O'Neill
Sean O'Neill
President 

A 2008 Hall of Fame member, Sean O’Neill has represented the United States in the Pan Am Games, Olympic Games, World Championships, World Cup (team, doubles, and singles), and various international championships.

A five-time U.S. Men’s Singles, Men's Doubles Champion, and six-time U.S. Mixed Doubles Champion, Sean won a total of twenty-eight U.S. Olympic Sports Festival medals, of which twenty-one were gold. A member of four Pan Am Games teams, Sean won two Gold, five Silver, and one Bronze medals.

Sean worked for NBC Universal at the Olympic Games in 1988, 2004 - 2016 Olympic Games as color commentator. Sean currently resides in Portland, Oregon.


 Brian Pace
Brian Pace
Member-at-Large 

Brian Pace is a native of North Carolina, and grew up in the famed Butterfly Table Tennis Program in Wilson. After just 2 years, Brian was selected to move to Colorado Springs to live and train at the resident program at the Olympic Training Center. Brian accumulated Junior and National Titles before finishing high school. He moved back to the Southern region to continue table tennis by attending Augusta College in Georgia. After 4 years and multiple collegiate titles in Team, Mixed Doubles, and Singles, Brian branched into coaching.

He had success with developing his first National Champion at 24 years old. He took a year off to train abroad, and developed another National Champion as soon as he returned to coaching. He then spent the next 4 years training and competing in Europe in the Romanian League. He reached a rating of 2612, which makes him the highest rated player that was raised in the South. He has over 65 Tournament wins, as well as 14 National Championship titles.

Since retiring from competition, he has been a full-time coach with a focus on grassroots table tennis and the goal of increasing overall participation in table tennis at all levels. Brian is a USATT National Level Coach, and has had over 17 Elite level coaches during his career that range from National Champion to Olympic Medalists.


 Dean Johnson
Dean Johnson
Member At-Large

Dean’s table tennis career began in 1957. During the 1959-1961 seasons, he was Nationally ranked in the top 40. During the 1963 and ‘64 seasons, he served as USTTA National Ranking Chairman.

After taking time out to build his advertising business and raise a family, he resumed playing in 2003. He now plays regularly in the Virginia Beach Club, the Newport News Club and he’s a member of the newly formed Hampton Roads Table Tennis Club in Chesapeake.

Dean is also a member of the Hardbat Advisory Committee.

He lives in Virginia Beach with his wife, Helga, who was a ranked player in Canada before coming to the U.S. in 1964.


 Patty Martinez Wasserman
Patty Martinez Wasserman
Member At-Large

Patty Martinez has been called a genius at the ping-pong table – her brain was apparently wired properly at birth to play ping-pong. She has a quick, “off-the-bounce,” close-to-the-table game which makes her unpredictable and keeps her opponents off-balance. Any ball on the forehand side is met quickly and decisively with a precise forehand and she can drive her backhand flick either down the line or cross-court with equal ease.

This instinctive strategy, at a very early age, brought Patty National titles not just in the Juniors but in Adult events in both the U.S. and Canada and several-times selection to the U.S team.

Patty is renowned for her 1965 U.S. Open finals match against 9-time Woman’s champion Leah Neuberger – which she won at age 13!

Patty’s father, Jess, developed an interest in table tennis during his time in the service in World War II. When he married and had children he wasted no time in introducing them to the game. He set up a table and net in the garage of their home in Hayward, California in the bay area of San Francisco.

As Patty grew old enough to join in the family play and having the opportunity for regular competition at home – and a spirited sibling rivalry between her and two brothers and sister – Jess, Jr, (Chuy) 4 years older, Raymond 3 years younger and sister, Linda, 9 years older – her skills developed rapidly.

Sensing extraordinary talent in Patty, her father brought her to the San Diego Table Tennis Club in 1960 where she began practicing on a regular basis. (Ironically the original founder of the club was Gilbert Simons whom Patty would marry in 2011.)

In 1961, when Patty was just 9, her father entered her in the 1961 San Diego Open at which she won the Women’s Championship. It was at this tournament that Patty defeated Millie Littlejohn who held the Women’s Singles title for a number of years. It was also at this tournament that her father realized that his daughter had the talent to be a future National Champion.

At 11, Patty won the 1964 U.S. Open junior championship and moved up to the women’s division. She was little more than a curiosity when she arrived at the 1965 U.S. Open in Detroit – where she won the U.S. Women’s title.

The genius of Patty is that she developed a unique set of table tennis skills on her own – with little formal instruction, without a coach to guide her stroke technique nor strategy; she was guided by her own instincts. No one taught Patty how to hit a forehand, a backhand, the importance of footwork or the level of composure that saw her through some of the most dire of circumstances that would cause others to fold.

 “I couldn’t understand why anyone thought that what I was doing was so special. It just seemed natural to me. I couldn’t understand why anyone couldn’t do what I was doing,” said Patty.

I have observed over the years that many, if not all players’ games, are a perfect reflection of their firmly established personalities. Patty is extremely intelligent. Her personality, combined with a composure which belies an almost obsessive desire to win, makes her a winner but also, at times, causes her to be as full of surprises as she is at the ping-pong table.

After winning the U.S. Open in 1965, Patty went on to win two more U.S. Opens, 3 National Junior titles, 3 Canadian National titles and was a 3-time member of the U.S. Team to World Championships. Today, in 2017, she continues to rack up National titles in her age group and Open titles in Hard Bat events.


Scott Godon
Scott Gordon

Member At-Large

Scott Gordon is a professor of Computer Science at California State University. He started playing table tennis in 1978 at Jeff Mason's "Table Tennis World" in Sacramento. He is past-chairman of the USATT Hardbat Committee, and writes articles periodically for the USATT Magazine.

He founded the Santa Rosa table tennis club in 1996, and taught table tennis at Sonoma State University. He has also recovered and restored historic 16mm films for both the USTTA and for the ITTF. Scott is the color commentator for ESPN's BudLite Hardbat Classic.

As a player, Scott was the 2009 Over-40 U.S. Open Hardbat Champion and is a four-time U.S. Hardbat Doubles Champion. He hopes to raise awareness of table tennis' legacy and its past champions.


Mal Anderson
Mal Anderson
Secretary

Mal played lots of ping-pong in grade school and high school, thought he was pretty good. Then came college - University of Wisconsin. A revelation! One of the students there was Steve Isaacson. He started re-learning TT.

There were no coaches then, one learned by watching and practice. So, he started bringing my camera to tournaments. (Wisconsin Open -Isaacson, Norbert Van de Walle, Keith Porter -) he took photos of the top players, to learn how they played. His ambition was to become the best TT player in the US. He ended up becoming the best TT photographer in the US! The USTTA Photographic Committee was formed in 1963. He became the first Chairman of it, served in this position for 23 years.

Cyril Lederman (Chairman of the Rules, Referees and Umpires Committee) initiated umpire qualifications. Mal was the first to pass the USTTA Official Umpires exam in November of 1962. He served as Eastern Region Tournament Director for 3 years. Mal resigned this when I was elected USTTA VP. Served on the EC for 10 years - 8 as VP, 2 as Recording Secretary. Cyril resigned from Rules in 1972, so he became Chairman of the Rules Committee - for 23 years.

Mal was also Chairman of the USTTA Nominating Committee. The ITTF initiated their International Umpire system in 1973. He became the first USTTA IU. When the International Referee system was initiated in 1995, He was one of the first (group of 5)

Mal has been referee of the U S Open, U S Closed, USOTC's and MANY smaller tournament for more times then he can remember. He became a member of the ITTF Rules Committee in 1975, became Secretary of it in 1985. Served until 1995.

Almost retired these days - he has scanned all his TT negatives so far 57,588 of them) and donated them to USATT. Also donated DVDs of the scans to the ITTF Museum in Lucerne, Switzerland.  He is still taking, scanning, and donating TT photos.

Most recently Mal was elected a member of the USTT Hall of Fame Board of Directors.


Dick Hicks
Dick Hicks
Member At-Large

Dick is originally from Louisville, KY, and has lived in Indianapolis since 1961.  He started playing table tennis in nearby New Albany, Indiana in 1956 at age 19, and has competed in tournament play continuously ever since. 

Dick was inducted into the Hall of Fame as a player in 2001. 

Dick received the USTTA Barna Award in 1966.  He served as Midwest Regional Tournament Director for 1 year and as National Tournament Director for 3 years.  He served on the Ethics and Disciplinary Committee for 10 years.  He owned and operated the Indianapolis Table Tennis Club for 17 years, and ran leagues and numerous sanctioned tournaments during that time.

Dick became a member of the Hall of Fame Committee/Board of Directors in 2005.


Donna Sakai
Donna Sakai
Member At-Large

Yvonne Kronlage
Yvonne Kronlage
Member At-Large