Larry Vaznonis, a former Purdue University Calumet baseball standout, will receive the Purdue Alumni Association-Calumet’s Bob Hayes Athletic Alumni Award during Purdue Calumet homecoming festivities, Saturday (2/26).
Vaznonis, a Valparaiso resident and Hammond native, is a 1977 graduate of Purdue Calumet, where he competed on the baseball and basketball teams. A baseball centerfielder, he earned team most valuable player honors in 1974, 1975 and 1977 and was an All-Chicagoland Collegiate Athletic Conference selection for four seasons: 1974-77. In 1975, he led the CCAC in batting with a .548 average. Since then, Purdue Calumet discontinued its intercollegiate baseball program.
Vaznonis also starred in baseball and basketball at Gavit High School.
He will receive his award, which is named after his former and long-time Purdue Calumet coach, prior to the 7 p.m. tip-off of the Purdue Calumet vs. Olivet Nazarene University men’s basketball game.
“I feel deeply honored and humbled to be receiving an award named after Bob Hayes who was my mentor and a wonderful teacher,” Vaznonis said. “I am honored because I know all that he has done for Purdue Calumet and for its athletic program. Purdue Calumet gave me an opportunity to play intercollegiate athletics, and that is something I will always remember and for which I will always be thankful. It was one of the reasons why I chose to attend Purdue Calumet and to get a degree in physical education.”
Vaznonis is a school teacher and coach (head varsity girls softball) in the Lake Ridge School System. Next month (March 16), he will be inducted into the Hammond Sports Hall of Fame.