The Summit County Sports Hall of Fame has selected twelve new members for its 2014 induction class. They are Bruce Alexander, Jim Beck, Cheryl Bowles, Cathy Cook Russell, Howard Curry, Bob Lindsay, John Sarver, Christi Smith-Ryan, Emmett Taylor and Eugene Thomas. The Phil Dietrich Senior Achievement Award will go to Gail Hackett and the Andy Palich Service Award will be presented to Dr. John Sassano. Induction ceremonies will be held in October 7, 2014 starting at 5:30 pm at the Tangier Restaurant. To reserve tickets for the event please contact Jim Young at 330-388-6062.
Alexander, a four-year letter winner in basketball at Youngstown State University, was named both little All-American and All-Conference his senior year. The 5’10” guard totaled 1,300 points during his career ending up in 10th place on the all-time scoring list.
Beck, a three-year member of The University of Akron basketball team, set the initial single game scoring record at Memorial Hall dropping in 42 points. He was a member of the 1952-53 Ohio Conference championship team which had a 17-7 record.
Bowles became The University of Akron’s first ever women’s basketballplayer to be named first-team All-Conference in the 1999-2000 season. She is the school’s all-time leading scorer racking up 1,712 points in 115 games.
Russell was a four-time letter winner in golf at The Ohio State University. The 1980 Ohio Women’s Amateur Champion, she led the Buckeyes to three Big Ten Championships and as many NCAA tournaments.
Curry’s officiating career spans nearly 40 years, beginning with 15 years in local and state high school games . He moved on to college contests, working the Mid-American and the Big East conferences. He has officiated in two Big East championship games and 15 different bowl games.
Lindsay is the Mid-American Conference winningest coach for women’s basketball in its long and storied history. His league record is 260-120 which is 120 wins more than any other coach. He was MAC Coach of the Year in 1996 and 1998. He also led the Golden Flashes to four MAC tournament titles and four NCAA tournament appearances.
Sarver has coached high school baseball for 34 years at four different schools—and still counting because he is still coaching at Ellet. He won four District Titles at Hoban, and his 1993 team played for the state championship. At Ellet, Sarver has 10 City Championship titles and was named Coach of the Year six times.
Taylor is Ohio University’s only two-time NCAA track champion. As a sophomore he set a stadium record in Provo , Utah of 45.9 sec in the 440 yard dash. The next year he won the 220 yard dash in a time of 20.8 and as a member of the mile relay team just missed chalking up another win finishing second.
Smith-Ryan became the University of Akron's first national NCAA Division I champion and first multiple All-American in track. As a senior in 2000, she won the NCAA I heptathalon in Durham, NC with a UA and Mid-American Conference record 5,797 points. The three-time All-American was voted UA's Female Athlete of the Year in 1998, '99 and '00.
Thomas is another outstanding trackman from Eastern Michigan University where he lettered four years. He held two world records in the 300 yard and 300 meter dash. He led Eastern to a regional championship besting 20 other teams.
Hackett has won the Women’s Ohio State Amateur title twice and was runner-up once. She has been club champion at Congress Lake 21 times and holds the Club record of 67 on the par 74 course.
Dr. Sassano has volunteered his medical services work for more than 27 years at numerous schools throughout the county. He has worked with CYO for 20 years in its football and basketball programs.
Founded in 1957, the Summit County Sports Hall of Fame recognizes Summit County residents who have been outstanding in one or more organized sports beyond the high school level.