Year Inducted: 2020 (p)
Nominated By: Joseph Gersick (Relative)
Sports Competed In: None
Athlete, Coach or Contributor: Athlete, Coach, Contributor

Joseph OcchiatoJoseph Occhiato

High School:
Attended Pueblo Central from 1930-33…Three-year letterwinner in football, playing guard for the Wildcats.

Achievements:
● Approached in 1977 by Ken Adair about sponsoring an adult hockey team in Pueblo.
● Helped transform a loosely formed adult team to a legitimate hockey program, called the Pueblo Peps hockey team.
● Under his guidance, the Peps went on to create a hockey brand that was second to none in the Rocky Mountain region playing against teams from Casper to Albuquerque and west to Aspen...Competition included club teams from Colorado College, Denver University, Colorado University, and the Air Force Academy...The Pueblo Peps drew players from across the country including, Minnesota, Michigan, Massachusetts, Alaska, Colorado, Arizona, and even international players from Sweden and Canada...The success of the Pueblo Peps program led to a trip to Fairbanks, Alaska and culminated with a trip to the USA Hockey Nationals in 1980, recording a record of 15-6 during the 1979/1980 season...The success of the youth hockey program and Pueblo Adult Hockey League can be traced back to the decision Joe made in 1977 to support hockey in Pueblo.

Contributions:
● President of Old Timers Baseball Association for 34 years (1946-80).
● Coached the Pepsi Cola baseball team for two seasons (1947-48).
● Sponsored youth and adult hockey leagues in Pueblo for four years (1977-80).
● Sponsored the Olympia Brewers semi-pro baseball team for five seasons (1972-78).

Professional Affiliations:
● President of Pueblo Junior Chamber of Commerce.
● President of Old Timers Baseball Association.
● Board Member of Pepsi Cola National Bottlers Association.
● Board Member of Republic National Bank.
● Board Member of Mt. Carmel Credit Union (Under the direction of Rev. Charles Murray S.J.). From the location at 421 Clark St, Mt. Carmel was established on Abriendo, which is now Security Credit Union.
● First Chairman of Pueblo Urban Renewal Authority. This came about with Joe Occhiato's relationship with the Regional Sales Manager of Illinois Glass Company, who later  became a member of President Richard Nixon's Cabinet.
● President and Chairman of Pepsi-Cola Company of Pueblo, Colorado and Santa Fe, New Mexico.

Personal:
Lived in Pueblo for 67 years…Born March 15, 1915… Passed away on Oct. 16, 1982.


GPSA "O" By The Numbers

LEGEND: p = awarded posthumously; ^= attended first meeting; * = deceased;+ = charter member (placed after year inducted)

 1
Athlete
Ronald "Big O" Oreskovich (2017*)

Athlete/Coach/Contributor
Joseph “Swift” Michael Occhiato (2020*p)

Attended H.S. Inside Colorado
Tano Ozzello (1992*)
Trinidad H.S., Trinidad, CO

Baseball
Ronald "Big O" Oreskovich (2017*p)

Basketball
Ronald "Big O" Oreskovich (2017*p)

Charter Inductee
Edward A. "Ed" Orazem (1973*+)

Coach/Administrator
Tano Ozzello (1992*)

Contributor
Edward A. "Ed" Orazem (1973*+)

Football
Ronald "Big O" Oreskovich (2017*p)

Softball
Ronald "Big O" Oreskovich (2017*p)

 

 

2
Attended Pueblo Central H.S.
Ronald "Big O" Oreskovich (2017*p)
Edward A. "Ed" Orazem (1973*+)

Honorees Inducted Posthumously
Joseph “Swift” Michael Occhiato (2020*p)
Ronald "Big O" Oreskovich (2017*p)

 

4
Honorees Deceased
Joseph “Swift” Michael Occhiato (2020*p)
Ronald "Big O" Oreskovich (2017*p)
Tano Ozzello (1992*)
Edward A. "Ed" Orazem (1973*+)

Honorees in "O" Section

Remembering Our Fallen GPSA Inductees

The Greater Pueblo Sports Association (GPSA) has announced a list of honorees that have passed since the 2022 induction ceremony on Nov. 16.

 

Dennis TrujilloDennis Trujillo
11/28/2022
Class of 2007