After making a name for himself at Akron East High, Dr. Horace D. Bell became a fixture at guard and field goal kicker at the University of Minnesota which won the national football championship in 1936. Also known as "Horse," he was the first black to play in the All-Star Classic in Chicago's Soldier Field. Older brother, Bill Bell, also a Hall of Famer, had launched a successful coaching career at Florida A. and M. and talked Horace into becoming his line coach. As coaching partners, two national black titles resulted. Horace left coaching to earn his medical degree at Indiana U. in 1952. In 1965 when he was inducted, Bell was practicing physician and surgeon in South Bend, Ind.
William M. Bell
Football, Coach 1965
After graduation from Akron East High in 1928 as an All-City and All-Ohio gridder, William M. "Bill" Bell was the first member of his race between 1897 and 1929 to make the Ohio State University football team. He was voted All-Big Ten tackle and landed on several All-American teams in 1931 including that of the Associated Press. His first coaching job was as a Howard U assistant. Then followed head coach positions at Claflin College and Florida A. and M. where his teams won conference titles. Later his Tuskegee Army Air Field gridders won 15 of 16 games which earned him his postwar job as professor and director of physical education and varsity athletics at North Carolina A. and T.
Roy H. Burris
Baseball, Basketball 1965
Before joining Firestone in 1928, Burris had graduated from Indiana State Norma College where he starred on all their athletic teams and had played professional baseball as a centerfielder in Newark and Oklahoma City. However, his key to fame was as a guard on Firestone's 1933 national industrial championship basketball team which won 36 of 40 games including 17 straight. That season the Non-skids victims include Rochester Centrals, the Eastern professional champs, two out of three; the Indianapolis Kaut-skys, Midwestern kings, also two out of three; and the \ Cleveland Rosen blums, national pro champions, two for two.
Track & Field 1965
There’s no telling how far Johnny Rabb might have gone in college football on two sound legs. They carried him to prep fame and halfway to greatness on a national level. His most rewarding high school football season came in 1932 when Akron North tied for the City Series championship. While at North, he broke the state discuss record in 1933 and 1934 and was the Ohio shot put king in 1934. Playing fullback at Ohio State, Rabb had a fine sophomore year and an even better junior season until his left knee went bad.
Glenn "Jeep" Davis
Track & Field 1965
Three-time gold medal winner in the Olympics, "Jeep" Davis is one of the greatest trackmen Barberton and Summit county have played parts in producing. In the 1954 track and field state meet, he scored 20 points - Barberton High's entire total - to give the Magics the team championship, finishing first in the 200-yard dash, 180-yard love hurdles, and broad jump and forth in the 100-yard dash despite a bad start. While at Ohio State Davis won his first Olympic gold medal in the 400-meter hurdles in 1956. He repeated that triumph in the 1960 Olympics and also ran the third leg on the U.S. 1600-meter relay team which set a world record of 3:02:2.
William J. Laub
Football, Coach 1965
During his post-football years, Laub was Akron mayor, city manager, and U.S. commissioner. That was far removed from his abilities as a football player, coach, and organizer. All told, he crowded in 13 seasons of competitive football between 1893 and 1906, starting at Akron High where he captained the team in 1895. Laub worked his way through four years of college and three of law school, managing five years of football and captaining three grid varsities. He coached Akron High in 1903, an Akron pro team in 1904, and the Canton Bulldogs in 1905, also playing with the latter two clubs. The canton talent was so good enough to beat the Carlisle Indians of the pre-Jim Thorpe era by two touchdowns.
If Chic Harley was Ohio state's trail blazer in football, then Johnny Miner first made the Buckeyes conscious of basketball excellence. Using his favorite two-handed shot, he led Ohio State to second-place finishes in Western Conference in 1923 and 1924 and to the league championship in 1925. Miner's individual record of the most total points by an Ohio State player in a single season was not broken until 14 years later. In recognition of what he had done, Ohio State made a half life-size bronze statue of Miner into a trophy to e presented to the state Class A high school basketball champion. It was retired in 1951. Later he came to Akron to be an important cog of the 1932 and 1935 Goodyear cage varsities.
Tennis, Administrator 1965
Cuyahoga Falls High (1933) and Ohio State University (1937) graduate Bob Nihousen made an indelible mark on district and state tennis. After winning a state prep singles crown, he won six straight Akron District Tennis Association tournament titles. Meanwhile, Nihousen attended Ohio State and made off with a Western Conference crown. Subsequently he added seven more district championships. After becoming eligible for national seniors play, he once reached the finals of the doubles. When Nihousen wasn’t a court, he devoted himself to keeping association tennis on sound footing, serving repeated terms as present.
Baseball, Football 1965
When Buchtel College hired Frank Haggerty as coach and director of athletics in 1910, he brought an insurance policy with him – Joe Wilhoyt. With the 180-pound end in the lineup, Buchtel College lost only to Western Reserve and Notre Dame. Wilhoyt beat Oberlin with a 45-yard dropkick and took a pass in the final minute to polish off Mount Union, skipping out of the hands of five tacklers en-route to the end zone. Oberlin was hailed as conference champion but Haggerty figured Buchtel had an even better claim. At season’s end, Wilhoyt moved elsewhere but his name popped up later in major league baseball with Boston, Pittsburgh, and New York.
Now a pastor in Florida, he is also famous in Akron Buchtel High and Wheaton College football history. He was a 10-letterman and All-City at Buchtel. Over the span of the 1953 and 1955 seasons, Burnham led Wheaton College to three College conferences of Illinois football championships. In his final season the 6-2 180-pound quarterback-halfback set an all-time school record with 406 yards in 55 carries for a 7.3 season average. During his Wheaton stint, he was a three-time all-conference selection and named to both the Williamson and Associated Press Little All-American teams. Burnham gave up a possible pro football career to follow the ministry in the footsteps of his father the late Rev. Carl H. Burnham.