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1978 inductees

  • Glenn "Bo" Schembechler
    Coach 1978

In 1989, this Barberton, Ohio native ended his 27-year football coaching career with a record of 234 wins, 65 losses and eight ties for a phenomenal .775 winning percentage. The 234 victories ranked him fifth on the NCAA's all-time coaching victories list. The last 21 seasons were spent at the University of Michigan. Under Schembechler, the Wolverines won 13 Big 10 championships, played in 10 Rose Bowl classics and participated in a total of 18 bowl games, including the Orange, Sugar, Gator and Fiesta Bowls. "Bo" went to Michigan and Miami (Ohio) University where his teams posted a 40-17-3 record, including two Mid-American Conference championships in six seasons. He has been voted Coach of the Year nationally (1969) as well as in the Big 10 (1971) and the MAC (1965).

  • Tom Suchan
    Bowling 1978

Another outstanding bowler who began to demonstrate his expertise as a teenager. As an 18-year old, Tom won the Ohio State Bowling Association (OSBA) all-events with a 1898 score in 1958. The Cleveland native moved to Summit County in 1970 and he promptly won the OSBA singles event with a 744 score. He followed that effort up by winning the OSBA match game championship in 1974. Tom was selected on the Akron Beacon Journal All-Star team seven consecutive years and was named BJ Bowler o the Year four times. Tom has rolled eight sanctioned 300 games and has had high season averages of 227 in 1958-59 and again in 1975-76.

  • Vern Sir Louis
    Basketball 1978

Vern joins teammates Russ Estey and Dave Appleby, already in the Hall of Fame, who were members of the University of Akron 1934 basketball squad that captured the Ohio Conference Championship. The UA squad posted an excellent 15-1 mark and Sir Louis was named to the All-Ohio and All-Ohio Conference teams. The four-year regular at forward under the late Howard "Red" Blair, another Hall of Famer, was among top scorers during his collegiate days - averaging 11.7 points when offense was secondary to defense. Since his basketball days, Sir Louis has influenced many a youth by introducing them to the Christian way of life.

  • Pete Rademacher
    Boxing 1978

Pete is another transient who made Summit County his home for 13 years. The Yakima, Washington native enjoyed enormous success as an amateur boxer from 1949-56. He captured numerous Golden Glove titles and then joined the Armed Services where he won the Army Heavyweight Championship in 1953 and again in 1956 to earn a chance to represent his country in the 1956 Olympic Games. Not only did Pete represent, but earned a gold medal by capturing the Heavyweight Championship. Later, he became the first and only amateur to fight for the World's Heavyweight Championship against Floyd Patterson. Patterson rallied from a second round knockdown to knockout Rademacher in the sixth round.

  • Fritz Graf
    Official 1978

Fritz is Summit County's contribution to the National Football League (NFL), where he is generally considered one of the finest officials in the business. Now in his 22nd consecutive year in the NFL, Fritz has worked three Division Championships, eight League Championships, two Hula Bowls, and two Super Bowl games. His career spans four decades that includes high school and college competition. As a college official, he began in the Ohio Conference, then the Mid-American and worked in the Missouri Valley. A life-long resident of Akron, Fritz was a two-time All-City back in football under Eddie Wentz at St. Vincent High School, where he is a charter member of its Hall of Fame.

  • Richard Giller
    Powerlifting 1978

One of the many national champion weightlifters developed by the late Hall of Famer Larry Barnholth. Giller, a native of St. Paul, Minnesota, excelled in the 165 pound class. From 1950 through 1959, he won the Ohio State Championship seven times. In 1952, he was the Junior National Champion and also captured the National Collegiate crown that same year while a student at Kent State. Three years later, Giller became the AAU Senior National Champion and went to Israel to compete in the Jewish World Olympics Maccabiah Games. He was the Maccabiah Champion in 1965 and repeated that effort in 1956 and 1957.

  • Bill Gaume
    Bowling 1978

A native of Canton, Bill began bowling in the Stark County adult leagues in 1953 at the age of 15. Eight years later he joined the famed Detroit Stroh's team and was named "Rookie of the Year". He continued to perform for Stroh's for two more years - averaging 208 for that three-year span. Bill came to Akron in 1965 to join the Cherry's Steak House team and proceed o capture the Ohio State Bowling Association singles and all-events titles. He later joined the Red's Bar team and helped it win the Ohio Actual Team Championship in 1975. He has been named to the Akron Beacon Journal All-Star team several times and had bowled four 300 games, two in sanctioned competition. His career high season average was 217 and his high series was 792.

  • Calvin Fowler
    Basketball 1978

Although Calving spent only four years in Summit County, he left an indelible mark that can't be erased. He came to Akron in 1965 after an outstanding basketball career at St. Francis College, N.Y. In three seasons (1965-66, 1966-67, 1967-68) as a playmaking guard with the Goodyear Wingfoots Calvin got his chance to receive one of the most coveted awards in amateur athletics - an Olympic gold medal. That achievement came in 1968 after he had helped the Wingfoots capture the Amateur Athletic Union (AAU) national championship. Needless to say, Fowler was named an AAU All-American and was selected on the U.S. Olympic team which defeated Yugoslavia to win the gold medal in 1968.

  • George Ellis
    Official 1978

George was Akron's first official to reach the professional sports level. Encouraged by veterans like Titus Lobach and Dave Klocker, George began first to officiate basketball contests, then football and baseball. His ability quickly recognized and in a few short years he was called to work high school playoffs and championship games, and then advanced into college competition. He quickly was certified by the Mid-American Conference and then the Big 10 - the first from Akron to reach that level. During the 1960s, George served in the American Football League, then the Continental League and finally in 1968 he got the call to join the National Football League (NFL). He served in the NFL until illness sidelined him in 1973. His 30-year career as an official was cut short by his death at the age of 54 in 1974.

  • Andy Porosky
    Coach 1978

An outstanding high school coach whose career spans 34 years and involved four sports - football, basketball, track and golf. His teams won league, city, or district championships in all four sports. Andy coached at Ravenna and Akron Central High Schools before going to Akron Buchtel where he closed out his coaching career. His first love was basketball. High Buchtel cagers advanced to the "sweet 16" in Ohio High School Tournament play on four different occasions - 1936, 1938, 1939, 1940. A native of Akron, Andy was a graduate of Otterbein College where he earned eight letters, three each in football and track two in basketball.

  • Jim King

Basketball 1978

When Hank Vaughn brought Jim King from Oklahoma State, where he was a two-time All-Big 8 selection, and teamed him with Cal Fowler, little did Vaughn know that they would become one of the most successful duos in Goodyear Wingfoot history. During the years (1966-68) he starred with the Wingfoots he was selected to play on the United States National team. In the 1967-68 campaign he and Fowler were greatly responsible for Goodyear capturing the AAU National Championship. As a result, King was named an AAU All-American. He went on to earn a berth on the U.S. Olympic team that won the gold medal by defeating Yugoslavia.

  • Arlen Vanke

Automobile Racing 1978

One of the nation's most outstanding drag racers, Arlen began his career at the age of 18 at a makeshift drag strip on a section of blocked off runway at Akron Municipal Airport. Like most of the traffic at Akron Municipal, his career took off. Vanke's expertise with a 1956 Chevrolet served notice that he was a comer in drag racing, and by 1966 he was well established as one of the top stock class drivers in the country. From 1968 through 1970, Vanke was almost unbeatable. He won Super Stock Eliminator at the nationals in Indianapolis and at the Drag World Open in Columbus in 1968. The Akron native added four more titles in 1969 and in 1970 he won over 80 percent of his match races and captured all five World Championship Series point meets - the first in the National Hot Rod Association to accomplish that feat.

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