Kenneth "Red" Cochrane
Coach, Administrator 1961
Cochrane came to this country from his native Glasgow, Scotland in 1913. from Akron South High he went to Akron U where he earned nine letters - three each in football, basketball and track. Both in 1929 and '30 he was named an All-Ohio halfback as the Zippers compiled 9-1 and 7-1 seasons, respectively. Coached the Red Peppers, and at Erie, Pa., Strong Vincent before returning to become UA's first alumnus to accept the post of athletic director. He served in this capacity for 21 years during which he built a program of 11 sports and was one of the four founders of the annual Acme-Zip Game. Was a charter committee member of the Summit County Sports Hall of Fame and its first general chairman.
Talmadge Wes Bennett
Along with Russ Estey and Dave Appleby, led East High School to the "sweet 16" in basketball in 1930 and went on to star at Westminster College. As a sophomore in 1934-35, he netted 359 points to lead the nation in scoring. Included among the Titan's victories were two upsets of St. John's College, the latter win propelled by Wes' 21 points, coming before 16,550 fans in Madison Square Garden. Bennett earned All-American honors that season and the following when he scored 302 points. He returned to Akron to finish his career in industrial basketball, including playing an important role on the Goodyear Wingfoots' 1938 National Basketball League championship team.
Born in White City, Florida, Gray came to Akron as an eight-year-old, and then went on to excel as a basketball player at South High (1937-41) under Frank "Doc" Wargo and at Bowling Green University for Akron's own Harold Anderson. AS a college freshman, he won All-Ohio honors and established a state scoring record. Two seasons later, Gray was an All-American.
A native-born Akronite who launched his bowling career with his brothers, Ray and Michael, after graduating from South High in 1934. He gradually worked his way into the 190 pin average class by the time he was called into World War II. Back from the service, he started bowling again in 1946. By 1948 he was a 186 shooter when he entered the American Bowling Congress tournament at Detroit. In the singles event he couldn't miss as he strung together a 721 series with games of 256,233 and 232 to win going away. Shortly afterward, Protich developed an inner ear infection that slow4ed him down considerably. He did get on the beam briefly in 1958 at Chicago in the Lorain Classic to capture the singles event with a 1309 score.
Automobile Racing 1961
Three times the checkered flag signaled another Wilbur Shaw victory at the Indianapolis Speedway and 14 times Shaw waved the checkered flag over Soap Box Derby winners at Akron's Derby Downs. Raised in Shelbyville, Ind., a 30 minute drive from the Memorial Day 500 miler, Shaw got into racing at 18. Via Ohio, Indiana and Illinois tracks he got to Indianapolis the first time seven years later (1927).With the exception of 1929 he raced there every year through 1941 - he won in 1937 and then captured back-to-back victories in 1939 and '40 - the first time it had ever been done. For six years (1939-45) Shaw lived in Akron while employed by The Firestone Tire and Rubber Company where he became enthusiastically attached to the Soap Box Derby. When he died in a private plane crash in October, 1954 he had been president of the Indianapolis Speedway for nine years
An All-Ohio halfback in 1933 at Barberton High School where he scored a record-breaking 368 points in four season. Nicknamed "Jumpin-Joe," he went on to play at Ohio State where in 1935 he scored 54 points despite playing reserve roles and was being compared to the OSU legend, Chic Harley. However, things didn't work out for Joe in the Buckeye camp so the 5-6, 160 pound mighty mite turned professional in 1937 - playing for the Pittsburgh Pirates of the National Football League, the Columbus Bullies of the American Football League and the Hollywood Bears of the Pacific Coast League.
Track & Field 1961
An Altoona, Pa., native who was a four-year track star at Garfield High School (1929-32). It was in 1932 that McMullen, while competing in the national interscholastic half mile at Stagg Field, turned in a first place clocking of 1:58.4 - bettering his previous Ohio record by .9 of a second. His city mile record of 4:29.3 also established in 1932, stood for over 30 years.
Stephen "Bus" Gladwin
Came to Akron in 1919 and became one of the pioneer coaches in swimming. He helped organize West High School's swimming team in 1923 and shortly afterward, "Bus" began a 14-year association with the YMCA as coach and instructor. During his career, he taught some 6,000 Akron area youngster to swim. His YMCA senior team won an unprecedented five straight state titles. Bus' pupils include Hall of Famers Harry Minto, George Mollis and Elwood Woodling.