Thad Matta, AJ Hawk Among 2019 Inductees Into Ohio State Athletics Hall of Fame

By Colin Hass-Hill on June 6, 2019 at 10:39 am
Thad Matta

Thad Matta and AJ Hawk headline the 2019 inductees into the Ohio State Athletics Hall of Fame.

Mike Nugent (football), Boyd Cherry (football), Justin Fry (baseball), Jim Foster (women’s basketball coach), Stan Lyons (men’s track and field), Andrew Pierce (men’s track and field), Natalie Spooner (women’s ice hockey) and RJ Umberger (men’s ice hockey) round out the list of 10 former Buckeyes who will be inducted into the hall of fame.

The induction into the hall of fame will take place at a dinner at the Ohio Union on Sept. 7 Tickets for the dinner will go on sale at some point this summer. All 10 newly inducted members will be recognized in front of a home crowd at halftime of Ohio State's game against Cincinnati.

The Ohio State Athletics Hall of Fame currently has 426 members, which includes athletes, coaches and administrators.

Here are some of the accomplishments of each of the eight athletes and coaches.

  • Thad Matta (2005-17): The program's all-time leader in wins with 337 victories. He coached two teams that made the Final Four, won the regular season Big Ten title five times and won the Big Ten tournament four times. The Buckeyes won 18 NCAA tournament games during his tenure.
  • AJ Hawk (2002-05): He as named an All-American linebacker twice as a Buckeye. He's the fifth-leading tackler in school history (394 tackles) and won the Lombardi Award in 2005 as a unanimous All-American. He was also named Big Ten defensive player of the year that year.
  • Mike Nugent (2001-04): He held 22 program kicking or scoring records by the end of his tenure. He still holds 16 Ohio State records, including most points (356), career made fields goals (72) and 50-yard made fields goals in both a season (five in 2004) and career (eight).
  • Boyd Cherry (1912-14): He was named a first-team All-American in 1913, the Buckeyes' first year in what eventually became the Big Ten. He was Ohio State's first all-conference player in 1914. 
  • Jim Foster (2002-13): After 11 seasons, he left with the best winning percentage in program history (.772). His teams won six Big Ten regular season titles in a row and four Big Ten tournament championships. 
  • Justin Fry (1996-99): He was a first-team All-American and the Big Ten pitcher of the year in 1999, and he also won the conference's pitcher of the year award in 1997. He still holds career program records for wins (36), innings pitched (419.2) and strikeouts (382). 
  • Stan Lyons (1956-58): He's a four-time Big Ten champion in pole vault, and he won the national championship in a four-way tie in 1958. 
  • Andrew Pierce (1998-01): He twice won Big Ten athlete of the year, and he holds the program record in the indoor 400-meter dash, which came in 2001 at the Big Ten championships. He was a six-time All-American.
  • Natalie Spooner (2009-12): The All-American is the only player in program history to have recorded 100 career goals. She's also second in the program with 163 career points.
  • RJ Umberger (2001-03): He was picked 16th overall in 2001, becoming the highest selected Buckeye in the NHL draft. He's was a Hobey Baker Award finalists and ended his career with 129 points and 58 goals in 112 games. 
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