COLUMBUS, Ohio – Eleven outstanding former student-athletes will be enshrined into the Ohio State Athletics Hall of Fame this fall. The class will be inducted Sept. 14 at a dinner and will be introduced to the public at halftime of the Ohio State home football game against California Sept. 15.
The 2012 class includes Louise Bond-Williams (fencing), Pete Cusick (football), Jessica Davenport (basketball), George Downes (wrestling), Joseph Gailus (football), Ray Griffin (football), Rex Holman (wrestling), Keturah Lofton (track and field), Dick Schafrath (football), Jim Stone (volleyball coach) and Mike Vrabel (football).
The hall of fame was created in 1977 and has inducted 261 men through fall of 2011. The addition of Cusick, Gailus, Griffin, Schafrath and Vrabel moves the all-time number of former football players in the hall to 108 and the prestigious list will now include 11 wrestlers with the inclusion of Downes and Holman.
Women were first inducted into the hall in 1993, with 96 women enshrined through 2011. Lofton is the ninth inductee for track and field, with Davenport the 10th women’s basketball honoree and Bond-Williams the fifth female fencer to be enshrined. Stone is the fourth former women’s coach to receive a spot in the hall of fame.
Reservations are now being accepted for the Athletics Hall of Fame Dinner Sept. 14, which will be a joint dinner for the men and women for the first time. The event will be held in the Archie M. Griffin Ballroom at the Ohio Union and begins at 5:30 p.m. with hors d’oeuvres and cocktails; dinner will follow at 6:30 p.m. Individual tickets are $75, with tables of eight available for $600. Payment will not be accepted at the door; reservations and payment must be submitted by Aug. 31. For more information or to register, visit: http://go.osu.edu/halloffamedinner12.
2012 Ohio State Athletics Hall of Fame Class
Louise Bond-Williams lettered for the Ohio State fencing team in 2002-04, earning All-America honors in sabre all three seasons. She helped the Buckeyes to their first combined national championship in program history as a junior in 2004, taking bronze and finishing as a First Team All-American for the second time. Her first run came as a freshman in 2002 when Bond-Williams took silver, a feat she followed with a fourth-place finish in 2003.
Bond-Williams, a member of the Great Britain Olympic Team for London 2012, made her Olympic debut at Athens 2004 where she finished 16th in women’s sabre. Prior to her appearance in Athens, she was a member of the semifinalist squad at the 2003 European Championships and an individual quarterfinalist at the 2002 World Championships. Following the 2004 Games, Bond-Williams returned to Ohio State to finish her degree in history and serve as an undergraduate assistant coach.
Pete Cusick, a three-year starter for the Ohio State football team from 1972-74, was a First Team All-American and team captain as a defensive tackle in 1974. A First Team All-Big Ten selection in 1973 and 1974, Cusick helped lead the Buckeyes to three-consecutive Big Ten championships and three-consecutive Rose Bowl appearances. Ohio State went 29-4-1 in Cusick’s three seasons as a starter and, incredibly, its defense allowed only 64 points in the 1973 campaign.
Cusick recorded 242 career tackles, including 22 tackles-for-loss in his three seasons. He played in the Hula Bowl following his senior season before going on to play a season for the New England Patriots in the National Football League. In 2000, Cusick was selected to the Ohio State football All-Century Team by the Touchdown Club of Columbus.
Women’s Basketball, 2004-07
Ohio State rode the coattails of Jessica Davenport back to the top of the Big Ten Conference and into national prominence during her four years as a Buckeye. The only three-time Big Ten Player of the Year at the time, Davenport helped the Buckeyes to a 108-22 record (.831) from 2004-07. Ohio State’s first three-time All-American captained the Buckeyes to three-consecutive conference championships.
A consumer affairs graduate, Davenport ended her career with 48 career double-doubles and Ohio State’s only pair of triple-doubles in points, rebounds and blocked shots. Davenport amassed 2,303 career points, which currently ranks third all-time on the Ohio State all-time list. Davenport also pulled down 1,094 rebounds to rank in the top 3. In 2007, Davenport became the first player in Big Ten history to record 2,000 points, 1,000 rebounds and 300 blocked shots in a career.
Davenport capped her career in grand fashion in 2007. She not only garnered her third conference player of the year award and third All-America honor, but etched her name in both the Big Ten and Ohio State record books while leading the Buckeyes to a 28-4 overall mark and fourth NCAA tournament bid in as many seasons. She topped the conference in scoring at 20 points per game and ranked second in the league in rebounds (9.6) and field goal percentage (.597). At the conclusion of the regular season, Ohio State was 26-2, the best regular campaign in Ohio State annals.
Just weeks after completing her career as the most decorated Buckeye in program history, Davenport was selected No. 2 overall in the 2007 WNBA Draft. Davenport helped the New York Liberty reach the 2007 WNBA playoffs and is currently a member of the Indiana Fever.
Davenport also attacked her duties in the classroom. She was a two-time OSU Scholar-Athlete and also an Academic All-Big Ten honoree en route to earning her bachelor’s degree in March 2007.
Part of the early tradition of Ohio State wrestling, George Downes lettered for the Buckeyes from 1938-40 and served as team captain in 1938 and 1940. Downes became Ohio State’s first national champion in wrestling and just the third Buckeye All-American in 1940 when he won the heavyweight title. Out of four matches, Downes recorded a pair of falls against two of his opponents en route to the championship. The title won by Downes helped the Buckeyes finished tied for fourth at the NCAA championships.
Ray Griffin, a three-year starter and four-year Varsity O letterwinner for the Ohio State football team from 1974-77, was a First Team All-American and team captain as a safety in 1977. A First Team All-Big Ten selection in 1977, Griffin helped lead the Buckeyes to four-consecutive Big Ten championships, two Rose Bowl appearances, one Sugar Bowl appearance and an Orange Bowl appearance.
Ohio State went 29-6-1 in Griffin’s three seasons as a starter, allowing only 102 points in the 1975 campaign. Griffin recorded 192 tackles in his three seasons in the OSU defensive backfield. He played in the Hula Bowl following his senior season before going on to play seven seasons for the Cincinnati Bengals in the National Football League. Griffin is the younger brother of former two-time Heisman Trophy winner Archie Griffin.
Joseph Gailus played the game when many players played both offense and defense, and his quickness, versatility and strength enabled him to do just that. A three-year starter, he opened holes on offense and was solid tackler on defense, also making several interceptions. Gailus, a team co-captain with Sid Gillman in 1933, was a two-time All-American for the Buckeyes in 1932 and 1933 and he was named All-Big Ten those two years as well. He was chosen to play in the East/West Shrine all-star game following his senior season. The Buckeyes had a three-year record of 17-5-2 during his tenure. Galius was from Vandergrift, Pa. When he and Gillman were co-captains in 1933, it marked just the second time in school history that two players served as co-captains for a season.
A two-time All-American, Rex Holman was crowned the NCAA champion at 190 pounds in 1993 after finishing third in 1992. In his first season with the Buckeyes, Holman immediately secured his name in the conference records book when he won the 1992 Big Ten title (190 pounds). The following season as a senior, Holman repeated as the 190-pound champion to become a two-time All-Big Ten recipient. Holman’s senior season proved to be history-making as he is the only Buckeye to post an undefeated record. Holman went 29-0 in 1993 as the team co-captain, while his 40 victories the previous season place him 12th all-time at Ohio State in single-season wins. For his career, Holman collected 69 wins (three losses) for a .958 win percentage, which is second all-time at Ohio State. During his senior campaign, Holman was selected to wrestle in the prestigious NWCA All-Star event in Bethlehem, Pa., where he defeated Oklahoma’s Andy Foster, 9-2.
Holman excelled in the classroom as well. Named to the 1993 First Team NWCA All-Academic Team, Holman was a two-time Academic All-Big Ten recipient. Additionally, Holman was an Ohio State Scholar-Athlete.
Following his collegiate career, Holman remained on campus and served as the assistant coach for the Buckeyes from 1993-98. He later joined the United States Army and subsequently became the Armed Forces Freestyle Champion in 2000. Continuing an impressive wrestling career, Holman competed at the 2000 U.S. Freestyle Olympic Trials and finished third after a fourth-place finish in 1996.
Holman and his wife, Jodi, reside in New Albany, Ohio, with their two daughters Kallie and Reese. Holman is a full-time firefighter and emergency medical technician for the City of Upper Arlington. He co-authored the book, Take Command! Be Lean, Energized & Strong.
Track and Field (2002-04, 2006)
Keturah Lofton was a three-time All-American, six-time NCAA championship qualifier and Big Ten Medal of Honor winner for the Ohio State women’s track and field from 2000-2006.
A former walk-on who missed two full seasons because of injury, Lofton experienced tremendous success as a student-athlete despite the hardships she faced. Lofton earned a full athletic scholarship by capturing a title in the weight throw at the 2004 Big Ten Indoor Championships and set OSU school records in both the hammer (209-0.75, 2006) and weight throws (69-5.25, 2006) prior to graduating from Ohio State with a Bachelor of Science degree in dental hygiene. In addition, she won a Big Ten title in the hammer throw and became the first female in Big Ten history to break the 200-foot mark in the event.
In 2007, one year removed from her Ohio State graduation, Lofton returned to the Buckeye track and field program as director of strength and conditioning for the women’s throwers. During her one season with the Buckeyes as a coach and trainer, Lofton helped Veronica Jatsek best her school weight throw record with a throw of 70-7.75, a mark that still stands today. Lofton held the school hammer throw record until this past May, when Alexis Thomas shattered the mark with a Big Ten meet record-throw of 212 feet at the conference championships.
Now employed as a dental hygienist at Merion Village Dental in Columbus, Lofton is active in her community, teaching local children the importance of dental hygiene and raising money for the National Kidney Foundation as well as local charities. She recently participated in the Dentistry from the Heart program, a charitable initiative that offered free dental services to the Greater Columbus community.
A native of Zanesville, Ohio, Lofton currently resides in Columbus with her husband and two young sons.
Richard “Dick” Schafrath
Dick Schafrath was the Ohio State team captain in 1958 and during his three-year career (1956-58), the Ohio State teams he played on never lost to Michigan. An offensive tackle and a defensive end, Schafrath also played on Ohio State teams that won the 1957 national championship and the 1958 Rose Bowl. Schafrath was a second-round draft pick by the Cleveland Browns.
Despite weighing just 220 pounds, Schafrath played 13 years in the NFL at left tackle, protecting the blind side of his quarterbacks and helping to open holes for Hall of Fame running backs Jim Brown, Bobby Mitchell and Leroy Kelly. He played in the Pro Bowl seven times, was the team’s MVP in 1963 and was elected into the Browns Legends Club in 2003. Schafrath won a seat in the Ohio State senate in 1986 and served in the senate until his retirement in 2003. On Aug. 27, 2006, and at the age of 69, he graduated from Ohio State with his bachelor’s of science degree from Ohio State.
Women’s Volleyball Head Coach, 1982-2007
Jim Stone served as the head coach of the Ohio State women’s volleyball team for 26 years and compiled a 531-294 overall record with the Buckeyes, including a 297-177 record in Big Ten competition. He won the Big Ten championship three times and finished second five times at the helm of the program. Nationally, Stone and Ohio State participated in 15 NCAA tournaments, advancing to the NCAA championship semifinals in 1991 and 1994. Overall, Stone’s teams finished the season ranked nationally 16 times, including a No.4-ranking in 1994.
During his time at Ohio State, Stone and his student-athletes compiled an extensive list of both conference and national honors. Stone was named the 1991 Volleyball Monthly National Coach of the Year after guiding the squad to an undefeated record in Big Ten play and an NCAA semifinal appearance. He was also named AVCA Mideast Region Coach of the Year and Big Ten Coach of the Year that season. In total, Stone earned four AVCA Regional Coach of the Year and Big Ten Coach of the Year honors.
Stone coached 19 AVCA All-Americans, including AVCA Player of the Year winners Laura Davis (1994) and Stacey Gordon (2004). Seventeen of his student-athletes combined for 31 AVCA All-Region honors, while 26 student-athletes totaled 60 All-Big Ten accolades. Academically, Stone coached two Academic All-Americans with student-athletes totaling eight Academic All-District and 81 Academic All-Big Ten honors.
Current Ohio State defensive line coach Mike Vrabel was one of the great defensive linemen not only at Ohio State, but in the history of the Big Ten Conference. He earned two Big Ten Conference Defensive Lineman of the Year honors (1995 and 1996) and was the first to win the award two times. He also earned back-to-back All-America honors those same seasons.
Vrabel twice set the Ohio State single-season record for sacks and tackles for loss (TFL) and he still holds school records for career sacks (36) and single season and career TFLs (26 in 1995 and 66). He ranks third all-time in the Big Ten in sacks and sixth in TFLs.
Vrabel had a distinguished NFL career with three teams following his Ohio State playing days. It was a professional career that saw him a part of the New England Patriots’ dynamic run of three Super Bowls in four years (2001, 2003, 2004). In 2007, as a member of the Patriots, he was named to the Pro Bowl and a month later was named All-Pro. On top of these accomplishments, Vrabel’s professional career included 206 games played with Pittsburgh, New England and Kansas City, 140 starts and enough impressive statistics – 57 sacks, 11 interceptions, 17 forced fumbles and 11 touchdowns receiving (as a tight end), including two in Super Bowls – that one has to conclude he is one of the great performers in a team sport that Ohio State has ever produced.