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2016 Circle of Champions Inductees

2016 Circle of Champion Inductees

 

Tom Cousineau
Herb Williams
Dave Wottle

 

Tom Cousineau grew up in Fairview Park, Ohio, and was an outstanding football player at Lakewood St. Edward High School. He then went to Ohio State where, as a senior in 1978, he was a captain and team MVP, and he twice won All-America honors. Also while with the Buckeyes, the linebacker set single game and single season tackle records, and he ranks second in Buckeye history with 569 career tackles. Tom helped Ohio State win or share three Big Ten titles during his career. Cousineau was the selected first in the 1979 NFL draft by the Buffalo Bills but instead signed with Montreal of the Canadian League and was the MVP of the 1979 Grey Cup. In 1983, his NFL rights were traded to Cleveland, and he spent four years with the Browns and two more years with the 49ers before retiring in 1987. Earlier this year, Cousineau became the 25th player from Ohio State elected to the College Football Hall of Fame, and he will be inducted in December. He and his wife reside in Akron and have two college-age daughters.
 
Herb Williams was an all-state basketball player at Columbus Marion-Franklin High School, where he was the big-school player-of-the-year as a senior in 1977. He then went on to a tremendous career at Ohio State, where he was a four-year starter, scored a then-school record 2,011 points and finished second in career rebounds with 1,111. The two-time team captain earned first team All-Big Ten honors as a junior and finished his career averaging 17.9 pointsand nearly 10 rebounds per game. He was a first-round draft pick of Indiana and spent 18 years in the NBA with the Pacers, Mavericks and Knicks. He scored nearly 12,000 career points, had over 6,500 rebounds and was Patrick Ewing’s primary back-up on Knicks’ teams that reached in the NBA finals in both 1994 and 1999. Williams retired at the age of 41 following the ’99 finals. He was an assistant coach for the Knicks for 13 years between 2001 and 2014 and also was interim head coach for parts of two seasons. This coming summer he will be in his second year as an assistant coach with the WNBA’s New York Liberty, serving under Head Coach Bill Laimbeer and alongside Assistant Coach and former Buckeye Katie Smith. Herb and his family reside in Connecticut.
 
Dave Wottle was a standout distance runner at Canton Lincoln High School, where he won the big-school mile run at the OHSAA state track and field championships as a senior in 1968 after finishing fourth the previous year. He went on to an outstanding career at Bowling Green State, where he won the NCAA outdoor mile run as a senior in 1973 in NCAA record-setting time after winning the NCAA 1,500-meters the previous year. He became an American icon in track after his junior year at BGSU. After tying a world record in the 800 meters at the Olympic Trials, Wottle won the Gold Medal in the 1972 Olympic Games in Munich, coming from the rear of the pack late in the race to stun the favorite from the Soviet Union while wearing his trademark white golf cap. Dave also participated in the 1,500 meters at the Munich Games. He graduated from Bowling Green in 1973 and turned professional for a short time before embarking on a career in higher education. He was the track coach at Walsh College in Canton and Bethany College in West Virginia, served for 29 years as the dean of admissions and financial aid at the Rhodes College in Memphis and spent time at both at Millsaps College in Mississippi and Ohio Wesleyan University in interim vice president of enrollment positions. Dave is now retired and lives in suburban Memphis with his wife. The Wottles have three children and six grandchildren.
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