Jim Tressel Headlines 14-Member 2015 Ohio State Athletics Hall of Fame Induction Class

By Eric Seger on September 18, 2015 at 6:39 pm

They came to Ohio State as relative unknowns, but left as champions and legends.

One of the most decorated football coaches in school history, an All-American defensive back with a pair of national titles and a Big Ten Player of the Year on the hardwood received some much deserved recognition from where they blossomed Friday, along with a slew of their peers.

Jim Tressel, Tim Anderson and Terence Dials headlined Ohio State's 2015 Hall of Fame class, a 14-member contingent recognized and inducted Friday at the Columbus Renaissance Hotel downtown. The group joins an already wide contingent of great athletes before them.

"This is a special weekend for Ellen and I," Tressel said, donning a scarlet, and black tie with a white shirt and black suit. "It's so good reconnecting with some of the guys and folks via the phone or the text and the email and all the rest. Now we'll get a chance to see each of the folks and be here. Excited to be here."

Ohio State's former coach led the Buckeyes to the 2002 BCS National Championship with a 31-24 of top-ranked Miami (FL), just his second season at Ohio State. The title was one of Ohio State's eight BCS bowl appearances, including trips to the national championship game in 2006 and 2007. He finished 106-22 overall — including an astounding 9-1 against Michigan — in his 10 seasons at the helm in Columbus, though the 12-1 record 2010 season and Sugar Bowl triumph over Arkansas was eventually vacated by the NCAA due to sanctions against Tressel and five players for their roles in the Tattoo-gate scandal that rocked the program.

It's been more than four years since Tressel resigned amid controversy, but The Senator said its things like this that make him take a step back and look at what he was able to accomplish at Ohio State.

"You do reflect back and just like, 'Wow, this is just like thousands of people for the 10 years they sent together,'" said Tressel, now the president at Youngstown State University. "It goes fast and it's a blur while it's happening and as you say life gets in the way and you don't sit around in a rocking chair thinking about those things. But when moments like this happen, you think about how fortunate you've been."

Tressel is also scheduled to be inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame Dec. 8 in New York City.

Dials, born in Detroit but grew up in Boardman, Ohio, before coming to Ohio State in 2002. He blossomed into a three-year starter for the Buckeyes from 2003-06, taking home Big Ten Player of the Year honors his senior season. Dials finished his Buckeye career No. 14 on the school's all-time scoring list (1,566), No. 5 in rebounding (876) and No. 4 in field goal percentage.

"This is truly an honor for me. This school means a lot to me and means a lot to my family," said Dials, who still plays professionally overseas. "This is truly a big honor to be inducted into The Ohio State University Athletics Hall of Fame."

Anderson was a member of the famed Super Sophomore recruiting class, a three-year starter at defensive back for Woody Hayes. He helped the Buckeyes win the 1968 and 1970 national championships, in addition to the 1969 Rose Bowl against USC. After tallying 49 tackles and eight pass break-ups, Anderson earned All-American honors in 1970 before playing six years in both the NFL and CFL.

"It's a dream come true. I'm humbled by this experience — it's so good," Anderson said. "I gotta thank my teammates first of all and the committee for actually getting me in and selecting me. I just can't tell you. It'll probably be a couple more years before it sinks in, but I love it."

Other members of the 2015 Ohio State Hall of Fame class include: Justin Cook (men's soccer), Lara Dickenmann (women's soccer), Natalia Diea (women's diving), Annabelle Fago (rowing), Joey Galloway (football), Therese Hession (women's golf coach), J Jaggers (wrestling), Perry Martter (wrestling), Teresa Meyer (pistol), Dan Seimetz (baseball) and Paul Tilley (men's hockey).

Fago, Dickenmann and Galloway, a current ESPN College Football analyst, will not be attendance Saturday when the class is recognized early in Ohio State's football game against Northern Illinois. Undoubtedly, the biggest roar from the crowd will come for Tressel, who said he's unsure what the reaction is going to be like from fans.

"Heck, I don't know what I expect (Saturday)," Tressel said. "Other than I think our fans are appreciative of the 10 years that our teams represented them from 2001-10."

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