Francis Schmidt, Aaron Brown, Regis Monahan, Karen Dennis Among 12 Members of Ohio State Athletics Hall of Fame Class of 2020

By Dan Hope on June 16, 2020 at 10:13 am
Francis Schmidt
Ohio State Athletics

Twelve Buckeye greats are set for induction into the Ohio State Athletics Hall of Fame this fall.

Longtime track and field coach Karen Dennis and legendary football coach Francis Schmidt will be joined in the Ohio State Athletics Hall of Fame's class of 2020 by 10 former Buckeye athletes: Aaron Brown (football), Eric Brunner (men's soccer), Amanda Furrer (rifle), Steven Kehoe (men's volleyball), Daren Lynch (men's gymnastics), Lance Palmer (wrestling), Don Perry (men's gymnastics), Samantha Prahalis (women's basketball) and Amanda Purcell (rowing).

The class of 2020 is scheduled to be inducted into the Ohio State Athletics Hall of Fame on Sept. 25 and honored at halftime of the Ohio State football game against Rutgers on Sept. 26.

Dennis, who has been at Ohio State since 2003 and has coached both the men's and women's track and field teams since 2014, and Schmidt, who was the head coach of the Ohio State football team from 1934-40, will bring the total of coaches in the Hall of Fame to 30. Brown and Monahan will become the 127th and 128th former football players enshrined among Ohio State's all-time greats.

A brief look at the accomplishments of each new Hall of Famer:

  • Aaron Brown (1974-77): A three-year starter at nose tackle, Brown recorded 314 career tackles and 32 tackles for loss. He served as a team captain in 1977, when he earned first-team All-American honors. All four teams he played on won at least a share of the Big Ten title.
  • Eric Brunner (2005-07): The first-ever Ohio State men's soccer player to earn first-team All-American honors, Brunner led the Buckeyes to a Big Ten title and an appearance in the College Cup final in 2007.
  • Karen Dennis (2003-present): First hired as an assistant coach in 2003, Dennis became the head coach of the women's track and field and cross country teams in 2006, then was promoted to director of track and field and cross country in 2014. She has coached both the men's and women's track and field teams ever since, leading the Buckeyes to eight Big Ten title. She became the first woman in Big Ten history to lead a men's team to a conference title in any sport when the Buckeyes won the indoor and outdoor Big Ten titles in 2018.
  • Amanda Furrer (2010-12): Furrer earned five All-America honors and qualified for the NCAA Championships in three consecutive seasons, placing in the top 10 nationally in all three appearances.
  • Steven Kehoe (2008-11): A two-time All-American and MIVA Player of the Year, Kehoe led the men's volleyball team to an NCAA title in 2011, when he was also named the Most Outstanding Player of both the MIVA and NCAA tournaments and Ohio State's Male Athlete of the Year and received the Big Ten Medal of Honor.
  • Daren Lynch (1998-01): Lynch was a three-time All-American gymnast for the Buckeyes who capped his career by leading Ohio State to its third team title at the NCAA Championships while also becoming one of only three Buckeyes to win the individual NCAA title in the vault.
  • Regis Monahan (1932-34): A guard, tackle and kicker for the Buckeyes, Monahan was a team captain and first-team All-American in 1934 when he helped Ohio State win a share of the Big Ten title for the first time in 14 years. In 1935, Monahan received the famous distinction of appearing on the front of a Wheaties cereal box.
  • Lance Palmer (2007-10): One of eight four-time All-Americans in Ohio State wrestling history, Palmer accumulated 121 victories in his Buckeye career. In 2010, Palmer won the Big Ten title at 149 pounds and made a run to the finals at the NCAA Championships. He currently competes in the Professional Fighters League as a mixed martial artist.
  • Don Perry (1952-55): Perry became Ohio State's first All-American gymnast in 1954, when he finished fourth on trampoline at the national championships. A three-time captain for the gymnastics squad, Perry also spent one year competing for the Ohio State track and field team.
  • Samantha Prahalis (2009-12): One of only three women's basketball players in NCAA history with over 2,000 career points and 900 career assists, Prahalis still holds the Big Ten record with 901 career assists and ranks in the top 10 in Ohio State history in many other statistical categories. A two-time All-American and the 2012 Big Ten Player of the Year, Prahalis led the Buckeyes to two regular-season conference titles, three Big Ten Tournament titles and 109 wins.
  • Amanda Purcell (2003-05): Purcell initially joined the Ohio State rowing team as a walk-on yet finished her career as an All-American, becoming just the second Buckeye rower to go from walk-on to All-American.
  • Francis Schmidt (1934-40): An innovative coach known for his “razzle-dazzle” offense, Schmidt is perhaps most famous for his quote that Michigan football players “put their pants on one leg at a time, the same as everyone else,” leading to the tradition of awarding Gold Pants to the Ohio State football team after every win in the rivalry game. In his four years coaching the Buckeyes, Ohio State went 39-16-1 and won two Big Ten titles. He was previously inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame in 1971.
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