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Robert Wallace

Hall of Fame coach Ara Parseghian was one of the first to recognize and capitalize on Bob Wallace's abilities on a football field. In 1951, his first year as head football coach at Miami in Oxford, OH, Parseghian recruited Wallace. Parseghian was partial to players who showed their worth on defense. "One who readily comes to mind is Bobby Wallace from Akron North High," Parseghian said in a 1956 Akron Beacon Journal story. "At 170 pounds, he was a bearcat. They didn't come too big or too tough for him to tackle. It was amazing." Wallace, who began playing football in the Northeast Ohio Junior Bantam League, played on both sides of the ball at Miami, earning three letters as a starting running back, return man and defensive back under Parseghian. Wallace recalled his days under Parseghian. "He loved to recruit Akron area players," Wallace said. "When he recruited me, he must have had about seven players from the Akron area. In fact at one time, we had six starters from Akron." With Wallace in a lineup Miami set school standards that stand to this day. The 1953 Redskins set school records for most points (81) and most touchdowns (12) in a game. Miami's 1954 team owns the school record for the lowest offensive yards allowed average in a season (165.8). Wallace had a banner senior season earning All-Mid-American Conference first-team honors in 1954 when he scored 36 points and led Miami with a 23.3 yard punt return average, a kickoff return average of 22.3 yards, a 5.8 yard rushing average and all-purpose yardage with 757 yards. In one of his career highlights that season, the Akron product gathered in a Dick Hunter pass in the flat and took it 25 yards for the game's only score as Miami beat Big Ten opponent Indiana, 6-0. After graduating Wallace spent five seasons as an assistant football coach to Ed Kirkpatrick and Tom Pagna, a Miami teammate, at Akron North. Then in 1962 Wallace was selected to guide the football fortunes of the new Firestone High School, where he remained until 1972 when he retired from coaching.

Inducted 2002 | Football