The National Federation of State High School Associations (NFHS)
Ohio has the most inductees into the National High School Sports Hall of Fame with 27 inductees followed by Illinois (23) and California (19)
The National High School Sports Hall of Fame was started in 1982 to honor high school athletes, coaches, officials, administrators and others for their extraordinary achievements in high school sports. Beginning with the 2003 class, a major change occurred with the inclusion of fine arts individuals, and the name was changed to the National High School Hall of Fame. Through the first 25 years, 118 athletes have been inducted, along with 115 coaches, 51 contest officials, 38 administrators, five in fine arts, and 11 others who have contributed to high school athletics in other ways. As you will see in the pages that follow, some of the true legends of sport in this country are members of this Hall of Fame.
The first three induction ceremonies (1982, 1983, 1984) were held in conjunction with the National Conference of High School Directors of Athletics. In 1986, the ceremony was shifted to the NFHS annual Summer Meeting and has been held at that time ever since. Because of this shift, no ceremony was held in 1985. A complete listing of the sites of all 25 ceremonies is contained in this program on the inside back cover. At the 22 ceremonies that have been held at the NFHS Summer Meeting (1986-2007), state association personnel have served as presiders. Mo Kelley of Iowa was the emcee for the first eight years (1986-93), and the following individuals have served two-year terms as presiders: Mildred Ball, Indiana (1994-95); Randy Allen, Wisconsin (1996-97); Rick Strunk, North Carolina (1998-99); Sheryl Solberg, North Dakota (2000-01); Nate Hampton, Michigan (2002-03); Mike Wallmark, Oregon (2004-05); and Que Tucker, North Carolina (2006- 07). A major change with the induction ceremony occurred in 1995 in Portland, Oregon, with the implementation of a full-scale video production by Colortech Video Productions of Kansas City.
The National High School Hall of Fame is administered through the National Federation of State High School Associations (NFHS), which is headquartered in Indianapolis. A listing of all members of the Hall of Fame is displayed in the foyer of the NFHS building, along with plaques of the current class. Plaques of previous Hall of Fame members are on display in the various state association offices around the country.
Members of the National High School Hall of Fame are approved annually through a two-level selection process, involving a screening committee composed of active high school administrators, coaches, officials and state association administrators, and a final selection committee composed of highly respected athletic, education and business leaders around the nation. Membership in the National High School Hall of Fame is the highest honor an individual associated with high school sports can receive.
A legend among Ohio officials, Besozzi was a familiar and respected figure on football fields and basketball courts throughout the state for nearly 50 years. He was selected by the Ohio High School Athletic Association to work several state football playoffs and officiated state basketball tournament action for 10 consecutive years. Realizing the benefits of professional associations, Besozzi played a central role in developing the Eastern District Football Association of Ohio and served as the group's rules interpreter until his retirement.
After track coaching stints at Gibsonburg (Ohio) High School and Ada (Ohio) High School, Hendricks etched his name among the nation's track coaching greats at Clyde (Ohio) High School, serving from 1938 until his retirement in 1966 as the school's athletic director and track coach. He produced a state championship team in 1953 and two second-place showings in the state meet in 1942 and 1952. Overall, Hendricks' squads won 11 league championships, 10 district titles and posted a sparkling dual-meet record of 116-8.
Before his gold medal exploits at the 1936 Summer Olympics in Berlin, Owens' high school track and field accomplishments also ranked among the best ever. While at Cleveland (Ohio) East Technical High School, he won nine state track titles and established national records in three events — the 100-yard dash (:9.4), 220-yard dash (:20.7), and long jump (24-11¾). He earned three consecutive state long jump titles (1931-33) and highlighted his prep career by winning the 100, 220 and long jump at the National Interscholastic Championships in Chicago.
Considered to be one of the best professional golfers of all time, Nicklaus captained the Columbus (Ohio) Upper Arlington High School golf team and led it to 70-1-1 dual-meet record. The team had three undefeated seasons and one state championship. Since then, Nicklaus has won every major championship, including six Masters titles, five PGA championships, four United States Open tournaments and three British Open titles.
Lucas was a three-time all-state and all-America basketball selection at Middletown (Ohio) High School, as well as Ohio player of the year in 1958. He also excelled in track and field, where he held the Middletown High School records in both the shot put and the discus. Lucas then went on to Ohio State University, where he helped the Buckeyes win the 1960 NCAA national basketball championship and to runner-up finishes in 1961 and 1962. Also in 1960, Lucas and his fellow Americans brought home an Olympic gold medal in basketball.
Noble led both her Frankfort (Ohio) Adena High School basketball and volleyball teams to Ohio state titles. As a senior, Noble was named the Ohio athlete of the year. She then went on to be an all-American basketball player at the University of Tennessee. Noble played on the 1984 United States Olympic basketball team, and was a standout international basketball player in Italy and Japan.
Schaffer officiated high school football and basketball for 40 years, and served as basketball rules interpreter for the Ohio High School Athletic Association for 18 years. A former member of the NFHS Basketball Rules Committee, Schaffer is the only Ohio official to work in 15 state basketball tournaments.
Walker spent 41 years coaching high school football and basketball in the states of Ohio and Kentucky. Thirty of those years were spent at Middletown (Ohio) High School, where he accumulated a basketball record of 564-137, and led the program to 17 district titles, eight regional titles and five state championships. United Press International named Walker national high school coach of the year in 1974 and 1975.
In nine years (1932-40) at his alma mater, Brown coached Massillon (Ohio) Washington High School to an 80-8-2 record. His teams had separate winning streaks of 33 and 26 games. Brown's Massillon teams drew national attention, as many players advanced to successful college and professional careers. Brown coached Ohio State University to an 18-8-1 record in three years, and coached the Cleveland Browns to a 165-68-9 record, and to four consecutive All-American Football Conference titles and five straight National Football League championships.
A three-sport standout in football, basketball and baseball, John Havlicek was the most outstanding athlete in the history of Bridgeport (Ohio) High School. In basketball, he scored 1,569 points, averaging 35.6 points as a junior and 31.2 as a senior. Havlicek was quarterback and captain of the football team for four years, and hit .444 and .484 in his junior and senior seasons of baseball. In three years of varsity basketball, he helped lead Ohio State University to a 78-6 record, a national championship, and to two runner-up finishes. Havlicek then enjoyed a legendary 16-year career with the Boston Celtics.
In 40 years of coaching high school football, Bossu compiled a record of 279-95-18 and led Cleveland (Ohio) Benedictine High School to three Ohio state championships. He also was a highly successful baseball coach with a record of 599-228. In 1973, he was named Ohio coach of the year by United Press International and has watched seven of his players play in the National Football League.
Dawson was named MVP of his football team at Alliance (Ohio) High School, and was also named outstanding Ohio back of the year by the International News Service. This three-sport athlete set school records in football and in basketball, and was the first athlete in 13 years to be named first-team all-state in both sports during the same year. Dawson went on to enjoy a football career at Purdue and played 19 successful seasons as a professional quarterback for the Kansas City Chiefs.
Meyer is one of Ohio's winningest dual-sport coaches in state history, racking up more than 1,000 victories in basketball and baseball. In 15 years as basketball coach at Radnor and 21 years at Buckeye Valley, Meyer posted a 506-229 record. In 35 years as baseball coach at the two schools, Meyer was 542-498. He is one of this country's few coaches to register 500 victories in two different sports.
From 1954 to his retirement in 1974, Bacevich was 150-40 as head football coach at Cincinnati (Ohio) Roger Bacon High School. During this time, his teams won seven greater Cincinnati championships, and in 1973, Bacevich was named 1973 national coach of the year. Bacevich's overall coaching record, which spanned 43 years, was 312-91-17, which included 12 victories in two seasons at Quincy College in Illinois.
In the 1954 Ohio state track meet, Davis won the long jump, 220-yard dash and 180-yard hurdles and finished fourth in the 100-yard dash to singlehandedly lead Barberton High School to the state title. His individual point total was more than any other team. He also was second-team all-Ohio in football and scored 15 touchdowns as a junior and 14 as a senior. Davis, who was a standout track athlete at Ohio State University, won gold medals in the 400-meter hurdles at both the 1956 and 1960 Olympics, and he also was a member of the 1960 mile relay team that won a gold medal.
As a junior, Warfield set a Warren (Ohio) Harding High School football scoring record of 92 points as he rushed for a team-high 810 yards and was voted honorable mention all-Ohio. The following year, he scored 93 points to eclipse his mark and led the team with 1,158 rushing yards and three interceptions. As a sophomore, Warfield was the state champion in the long jump, and two years later, he set Harding High School records in the 100-yard dash (9.7), 180-yard low hurdles (:18.9 - state-record time and was state champion), and the long jump (23-9). Each of those marks ranked in the top 10 nationally. Warfield played in the NFL for 13 years and was a member of two Super Bowl championship teams with the Miami Dolphins.
In 32 years, Federici coached the Oregon (Ohio) Clay High School football program to a 204-79-19 record. He also started the track program and coached it to eight league championships. In addition, he started the wrestling program and coached girls basketball for one season.
Ryan's 44-year football coaching record was 257-140-2, and his 47-year baseball coaching mark was 471-157. In 26 years of coaching basketball at Columbus (Ohio) St. Charles High School, his mark was 373-150. His combined three-sport coaching record was a phenomenal 1,101-447-2. Ryan's football teams won 13 Central Catholic League championships, and his basketball teams were CCL champions nine times.
In four years of high school track competition at Cincinnati (Ohio) Glendale High School, Saunders won 10 individual titles, including the 120-yard high hurdles all four years. In addition to winning four high hurdles titles from 1935 to 1938, Saunders won three 100-yard dash championships, with a best of :10.1; one 220-yard low hurdles title; and the long jump title in 1938. Saunders' 22-6¾ effort in the long jump shattered the state record and the mark remained in the books for 36 years until it was bettered in 1974.
Bowers was one of the first two female officials inducted into the Hall of Fame and she was the first gymnastics official to be enshrined. In 1969, Bowers presented developmental plans and regulations to the Ohio High School Athletic Association for the first Ohio high school girls gymnastics meet, and in 1973, the OHSAA sponsored the first tournament in any girls sport — gymnastics. Since 1973, Bowers has been OHSAA state gymnastics rules interpreter, and since 1971 (except for 1976 and 1985), she has been girls gymnastics district meet referee, as well as OHSAA state meet director.
As a senior running back at Columbus (Ohio) Eastmoor High School, Griffin rushed for 1,737 yards and scored 170 points in 10 games, including 29 touchdowns. He helped his team to a 9-1 record, including the Columbus City League championship in 1971. In the Columbus league title game against Columbus Linden McKinley, Griffin rushed for 267 yards on 31 carries. He also rushed for more than 1,000 yards as a junior. Griffin continued to play in the state of Ohio, first as a two-time Heisman Trophy winner at Ohio State, and later as a first-round draft choice of the Cincinnati Bengals.
Arnzen spent his entire 43-year basketball coaching career at Delphos (Ohio) St. John's High School, acquiring 11 conference championships, five state tournament berths, two runner-up finishes and one state championship. He was named Ohio coach of the year on two occasions, and was named the 1976 National Catholic coach of the year and 1990 National High School Athletic Coaches Association regional coach of the year.
Faust was one of the best coaches in the nation for two decades (1960-80) when he led Cincinnati (Ohio) Archbishop Moeller to an impressive 174-17-2 record. His teams won 12 Greater Catholic League championships, 10 city championships, eight regional titles and five state championships. Faust’s teams had nine undefeated seasons and won 53 straight regular-season games from 1972 to 1978 and 72 of his last 73 while earning four mythical national championships. He coached 22 all-American and 39 all-Ohio players while being six time Ohio coach of the year, 12-time league coach of the year and two-time national coach of the year. Faust coached at the University of Notre Dame for five years and the University of Akron for nine years.
Muscaro retired in July 2004 after an outstanding 48-year career as a teacher, coach, assistant principal, athletic director, principal and state administrator - all in Ohio. After teaching and coaching for 11 years, Muscaro became principal at Peninsula (Ohio) Woodridge High School in 1967 and served in that capacity for 17 years. He then was an assistant commissioner of the Ohio High School Athletic Association (OHSAA) for 5 1/2 years before being named the OHSAA commissioner in 1990. Among his accomplishments at the OHSAA, Muscaro initiated the elimination of tournament entry fees in 1992. In 1997, he started the OHSAA Foundation and initiated a scholar-athlete award program. He also established a reserve fund and a building fund while at the OHSAA.
Groza was a dominating force for the Martins Ferry (Ohio) High School football team, leading his team to a co-championship in 1941 after winning the basketball title the year before. He is regarded as the school’s greatest player in history. After serving in World War II, Groza played with the Cleveland Browns and held 10 NFL records and 24 Browns records as a kicker at the time of his retirement. Known as Lou “The Toe” Groza, he accumulated 1,608 points in his illustrious career. He was inducted into the NFL Hall of Fame in 1974.
As a senior at Cleveland East Technical in 1941, Harrison Dillard won the city, district and state championships in the 120-yard high hurdles and 220-yard low hurdles. At the 1948 Olympics in London, Dillard won gold medals in the 100-meter dash and 4x100-meter relay. Four years later at the 1952 Games in Helsinki, he won gold in the 110-meter hurdles and 4x100-meter relay.
Katie taught and coached at Minster for 25 years and started the school’s sports program for girls, while also playing professional baseball in the All American Girls Professional Baseball League with the Fort Wayne Daisies. While there she coached the Wildcats to nine Ohio High School Athletic Association state championships, including, eight in track and field and one in cross country. Her track and field teams won five-consecutive OHSAA state titles from 1976 through 1980. Her teams also finished as state runner-up eight times (three in cross country, one in volleyball and four in track and field). Individually, 34 of her athletes won state track and field championships and one was the top placer in the state cross country finals. Katie also coached softball, basketball and gymnastics at Minster.
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