DAVID BROWN –
The induction of this 1971 Akron Garfield High School graduate establishes a new benchmark for NFL veterans in the Summit County Sports Hall of Fame. Not Cleveland Browns All- Pro lineman Jim Houston with 12 years, not five-time All-Pro Green Bay packer lineman Dave Robinson with 13 seasons, nor any other Hall of Famer has more seasons in the NFL than Dave Brown. The 26th player drafted in 1975, he played 15 seasons as a defensive back with the Pittsburgh Steelers (1975), Seattle Seahawks (1976-86) and the Green Bay Packers (1987-89). He missed only six games during his career, all in 1981 when he broke his leg, and started 203 of his 216 games. One of those was Super Bowl X. His 62 career interceptions ranked him fifth in NFL history and included two he returned for touchdowns against the Kansas City Chiefs in 1984 that tied an NFL record. Brown was Seattle’s NFL Man of the Year in 1982 and was voted to the AFC’s Pro-Bowl squad in 1984. Prior to the NFL, Brown distinguished himself as a three-year starter at safety, a three-time first team All-Big Ten and a two-time first team All-American at the University of Michigan. He played on teams that posted a 30-2-1 record and shared three Big Ten titles. He played in the 1974 East-West Shine Game, the Hula Bowl, the Coaches’ All-American and College All-Star game. In 1983, Michigan named Brown to its All-Time Team for the second 50 Years of Wolverine Football.
DAVE BUCKEY –
From setting records at Akron’s Kenmore High School, to four outstanding record-setting seasons at North Carolina State University… that’s the path the Buckey twins Dave and Don, took in the 1070’s. Dave was the quarterback and Don was the receiver. Under coach Lou Holtz at N.C. State, Dave became one of the top quarterbacks in the school history, earning 4 letters from 1972 through 1976, as he helped the Wolfpack compile their best four-year (33-12-3) to date. He played in four post-season bowl games, including the 1973 Liberty Bowl, the 1974 Bluebonnet Bowl and the 1972 and ’75 Reach Bowl games, where in the letter he won the Most Valuable Player honors in his junior year. His impressive career statistics show 307 completions in 524 attempts, for 4286 yards and 25 touchdowns. He completed an N.C. State record 65 percent of his passes in 1974, and earned first-team All-Atlantic Coast Conference honors in 1975. Dave, currently a resident of Raleigh, N.C., broke numerous school records including total offense, game and career, passing efficiency, career, passes thrown in a career, and yards gained per completion. He could run the ball, too. In a game against Syracuse, Dave gained a career high 110 yards in 11 carries. He and brother Don were Sports Illustrated “cover boys” in 1972. The Akron native played in both the Hula Bowl and the Japan Bowl All-Star games.
DON BUCKEY –
The receiver in the Buckey twin combination Don also stated his career at Akron’s Kenmore High School. He went on to play four years at North Carolina State University, setting records with completions from his brother Dave. He lead the team in receptions in 1973,’74 and ’75 and his 102 career catches for 1,735 yards rank him fifth and fourth, respectively, on the all-time N.C. State list. He caught five touchdown passes in 1974, including two against Duke, and had a career high 34 receptions and gained 551 yards in 1975. Don’s 17 yards per catch and total 1735 receiving yards put him fourth on the school’s career rankings in both categories. He started on the 1974 Atlantic Coast Conference championship team and was named first team All-ACC and first team All-American by the Football Writers Association in 1975. With his brother, Don, he played in four post-season bowl games, including two Peach Bowls, a Bluebonnet Bowl and a Liberty Bowl. He also played in the Hula Bowl and the Japan All-Star games. The New York Jets drafted him in the twelfth round and he played one year in the National Football League in Lou Holtz’s only year as a coach. At 5’11”, Don gathered in five passes good for 36 yards in limited duty as a wide receiver in 1976. Today, he works for Roadway Express in Fredericksburg, VA.
RON BELL –
Many a young Akron bowler had the dream – get a crack at the pro tour, win a tournament on TV, qualify for the world’s biggest tournament in your hometown. That dream came true for Akron’s Ron Bell. Bell was one of the Akron area’s top bowlers in the late 1970’s and early 80’s counting two Akron Open, two Stark County Masters and three Beacon Journal Classic titles among his more than 40 tournament victories. Bell made history in 1978 when he became the first amateurs to reach the TV finals of the U.S. Open. He placed fifth in Greensboro, N.C., losing to eventual champion and PBA Hall of Famer Nelson Burton Jr. A year later in a tournament in Rochester, N.Y, Bell set a then-world record for a four-game series, rolling 1,127 on games of 279, 300, 258 and 290. But Bell still yearned to prove himself on the PBA Tour, where he had played in 13 events in his first venture in 1975. Recommitted to his game, Bell went back out on the tour in 1984, this time coming home a champion. Bell recorded five top-five finishes from 1985-88, before finally breaking into the winner’s circle in 1989 by capturing the Fair Lanes Open in Baltimore. That fulfilled Bell’s dream, qualifying him for an appearance in the Firestone Tournament of Championships at Riviera Lanes where he finished 38th in the field of 52. A series of back problems forced Bell off the tour in 1990but he finished with career earnings of $220,995 and 11 TV final appearances.
ALAN W. HALL –
He is living proof that you do not have to be an athlete to be successful in athletics. A chance meeting with Hall of Famer Kenneth “Red” Cochrane through a mutual friend changed Hall’s course in life. Cochrane asked Hall for help at football games. Soon Hall was hired to assist Cochraneon on a full time basis that lasted 14 years. “I had absolutely no athletic ability,” said Hall. He, however, was a great student and had great mentors in Cochrane, Andy Malike and Tom Evans – also hall of famers. Then, too, Hall was a workaholic. He had to be as he was administrative assistant, sports publicist, intramural director, manager of Memorial Hall, physical education instructor, head cross country coach and assistant track coach. Success came quickly to Hall who reestablished cross country at UA in 1956. It included carving out a running course at the Goodyear Metropolitan Park, the same course that area high schools and colleges use today. During his 12-year tenure, he directed the Zip Harriers to Ohio Conference Championships in 1963, ’64, ’65 and All-Ohio titles in 1962, ’63 and ’65. His 1963 team finished runner up in the NCAA National College Division Championship, the highest finish in UA history. From 1962 thru ’65, Hall’s teams won 32 of 35 meets and he was voted Ohio Coach of the Year in 1963 and 1965. In 1968 he became the athletic director at Edinboro State (PA) where in 13 years he built the program from five to 22 sports. Hall was inducted into the sports hall of fame at UA in 1988 and at Edinboro in 1996.
KENNETH H. KOENIG –
This inductee is one of the reasons Kent State wrestling and a winning tradition have become synonymous over the years. During Ken Koenig’s three seasons on Joe Begala’s KSU wrestling squads, he was nearly unbeatable as he posted a 25-1-1 dual meet record. His wrestling onslaught continued in the Mid-American Conference Tournament competition where Koenig captured the 167-pound crown in 1957, ’58 and ’59. In those three tournaments, he allowed only one point to be scored against him. That mark is still the standard to beat in the MAC. In the prestigious 4-1 Tournament, Koenig captured the 167-pound crown in the 1958 and the 177-pound title in 1959. His overall collegiate record stands at 43-5-1 with three of his losses coming in the NCAA National Championships for an .888 winning percentage, ranking Koenig third on the KSU all-time list. After graduating in 1959, Koenig continued to wrestle in AAU meets. In the 1961 National AAU Championships, he earned second place in the 190-pound class and an alternate spot on the U.S. World Championship Team. A native of Cleveland, Koenig turned to coaching following his competitive career, guiding wrestling teams at University High School in Columbus, Brooklyn High School, Northern Michigan University and Appalachian State. In 1986, he was inducted into KSU’s Sports Hall of Fame.
CHARLES L. SHUMAN –
This inductee has a simple approach to coaching. “It basically comes down to getting the kids to do what they are suppose to do,” Chuck Shuman said. He has done that consistently well in 27 years as an assistant football coach – the last 17 at Ellet High School – and especially as coach of the Ellet girls’ softball team since 1985. Under Shuman, Ellet has dominated City Series softball, winning eight league play-off championships in 13 years, including the last five in a row. Under Shuman, Ellet has won seven sectional championships, five district titles and three regional crowns. In 1995, Ellet made its first ever appearance in the state Final Four , falling to Springfield in the title game. The next year, Ellet turned the tables on the Spartans, winning the state championship on a 6-4 victory. It was the first softball championship by a City Series team and the first state team championship for Ellet High since 1944. Ellet was again a state semifinalist in 1997 as Shuman raised his overall record to 233 wins against 87 losses. Shuman was also a part of Ellet’s City Series football championship in 1989 as offensive coordinator. Shuman’s son, Kevin, quarterbacked Ellet to that title as the Shumans became what is believed to be the only father-son duo to quarterback a team to victory in the Thanksgiving Day title game. Chuck Shuman guided East to a 35-6 victory over Kenmore in the 1966 contest. Shuman is a member of the Luther D. Smith Hall of Fame at East.
JERRY K. SLOAN –
Hall of Fame coach Tony Laterza was told that a student, who was tearing up The University of Akron intramurals, would be a great addition to his Zips basketball team. Laterza went to see the freshman whiz play, was duly impressed, and asked him to play for the Zips. That student’s name was Jerry Sloan. A walk-on, Sloan quickly earned a starting spot at guard. The 6-1 cager then went on to score 1,210 points, ranking him 10th on the UA’s all-time career scoring list over his four years, 100-game career between 1964 and ’68. His first season, Slaon earned first team All-Mideast Regional honors as he helped AU capture the 1965 Ohio Conference (OC) Tournament and the NCAA Mideast Regional Tournament Championships. Sloan and company repeated as OC and NCAA Mideast Champs and went on to finish third in the 1966 NCAA College Division National Championships while compiling a 24-4 record. Earl “The Pearl” Monroe and Winston Salem spoiled UA’s and Sloan’s hope for a national championship in 1967. However, Sloan rebounded by saving his best offensive performance for his senior campaign. He led the 1967-68 Zips in scoring with a 17.4 average and in free throw- shooting, sinking 103 of 120 attempts (.858). In 1989, he was inducted into UA’s Sports Hall of Fame. Sloan finally got that illusive national championship, capturing the 1994 YMCA C Singles title in handball and tacked on the YMCA Open B Singles crown in 1996.
AUGUST ZIMMERMAN –
In an officiating career that spanned 26 years, Augie Zimmerman estimated he worked about 900 football games and 1320 basketball contests. His duties ranged from Bantam and CYO contests, to YMCA and industrial basketball, to high school and college football. For 18 years he was a top Ohio Conference official. Augie, born October 3, 1907, attended South High School and in 1926 graduated from Akron Central High School where he was a member of the city champion track team, running the 100 and 200-yard dashes. His interest in officiating began around 1932, continued through 1958, and included a term as president of the Eastern Ohio Football Association in 1950. For ten consecutive years he officiated in Akron’s traditional Thanksgiving Day City Series Football Championship and worked the St. Vincent – Cuyahoga Falls football for 11 years in a row. He and his wife, Una, have been married for 64 years. Augie is the oldest person ever inducted into the Summit County Sports Hall of Fame and brings to five the number of Zimmermans, honored. Walter Zimmerman, also an official, was elected three years ago.