1988 inductees

  • Richard Mostardi
    Football 1988

Mostardi's best season as Kent State's quarterback was a junior in 1958, when he led the Golden Flashes to a 7-2 record, completing 30-of-66 passes for 542 yards and six touchdowns and rushing for 302 yards. He was named first-team All Mid-American Conference in '58 and was a second-team all-conference pick as a senior. He also was named team captain and most valuable player in 1959. After graduation, Mostardi played briefly with the Cleveland Browns and the Minnesota Vikings in the NFL and with the Oakland Raiders of the old American Football League. The epitome of a student-athlete, Mostardi earned a doctorate in physiology at Ohio State in 1968. He was elected to the Kent State Sports Hall of Fame in 1988.

  • Chris Neidert
    Bowling 1988

Though Chris Neidert retired from competitive bowling at the relatively young age of 29 in 1982, he had already had a long list of accomplishments. And Neidert bowed out while he was still at the top of his game, as evidenced by his selection as the Beacon Journal's male bowler of the year for the 1980-81 and '81-'82 seasons. Neidert's success reached all the way to the international level as he won gold and a silver medal in the Federation International des Quilliers North American Zone Tournament in 1981. Neidert's other career highlights include five 300 games and two 800 series, the Ohio State men's doubles titles, a seventh-place finish in the American Bowling Congress national tournament, four Ohio Tournament Bowlers Association victories and qualifying for the U.S. Open four time.

  • John Lahoski
    Football 1988

Even after Akron U's football team went to a 2-platoon system in 1963, Lahoski continued to play offense and defense for the Zips. During his senior season, Lahoski rushed for 766 yards and 14 touchdowns as a fullback. In a 21-7 victory over Youngstown, he rushed a then-school record 42 times for 177 yards and two TDs. And though he was primarily an offensive performer as a senior, Lahoski often went into the game as a linebacker when the Zips defense got in trouble. In fact, his limited defensive role was so impressive that he was voted first team All-Ohio Conference as a linebacker as well as first-team honors as a fullback, making him the first and only Akron U player to be named All-Conferences at two positions in a single season. Lahoski was also an all-conference linebacker as a junior and a second-team pick as a sophomore. During his three years as a starter, the Zips won 19-of-27 games. In 1976, Lahoski was elected as a charter member to the Akron U Sports Hall of Fame.

  • Don Kotnik
    Golf 1988

Don Kotnik was an excellent golfer who played briefly on the PGA Tour, but the Barberton native found his real niche as one of the game's top teachers. Kotnik had been the coach of the University of Toledo golf team for 14 years and the head professional at the Toledo Country Club for 16 when he was inducted in 1988. He was certified as a PGA Master Professional in 1980, one of fewer than 40 pros in the country to have achieved that teaching status. Kotnik is recognized nationally for his teaching, particular to juniors. He has written a book and several magazine articles on the subject and has conducted seminars on how to teach juniors in more than 30 cities. He was inducted into the Barberton Sports Hall of Fame in 1982.

  • Ray Kapper
    Coach 1988

In more than 25 years of coaching from the CYO level on up, Kapper's teams won more than 1,000 times, Kapper coached both basketball and football at his alma mater, St. Mary's High School. He was an assistant on the 1961 football team that compiled a 9-0 record and won the state Class A championship. However, he is better remembered by area sports fans as a softball coach. Kapper's Firestone team won the industrial league championship nine out of his 11 years as coach. His 1978 Firestone team won the National Industrial Softball Championship. In 1982, Kapper's Major Open team became the first Akron softball team to win a state title. That same squad placed third in the nation, and the next year, the team finished eighth.

  • Dave Marshall
    Coach 1988

In more than 25 years of coaching from the CYO level on up, Kapper's teams won more than 1,000 times, Kapper coached both basketball and football at his alma mater, St. Mary's High School. He was an assistant on the 1961 football team that compiled a 9-0 record and won the state Class A championship. However, he is better remembered by area sports fans as a softball coach. Kapper's Firestone team won the industrial league championship nine out of his 11 years as coach. His 1978 Firestone team won the National Industrial Softball Championship. In 1982, Kapper's Major Open team became the first Akron softball team to win a state title. That same squad placed third in the nation, and the next year, the team finished eighth.

  • Don Zwisler
    Football 1988

Don Zwisler always may have been last at roll call, but his name was first in the Akron U football record books. In 1968, Zwisler set 17 school records as he passed and ran the Zips to a 7-2-1 record and their first appearance in a bowl game. That season was capped by a bid to the Grantland Rice Bowl, where the Zips were defeated by another blond quarterback of note - Terry Bradshaw. In 1968, Zwisler completed 135-of-244 passes for a record 2,012 yards and 13 touchdowns. The triple-threat athlete also rushed for 135 yards and six touchdowns that season and was the team's punter. In fact, he held the school record for career punting average (37.5 yards) until 1980. Zwisler's remarkable campaign did not go unrecognized. He was on the Associated Press' honorable mention Little All-America list. He also was named Akron U's Athlete of the Year for 1968-69, and was named to Akron U's Sports Hall of Fame in 1981.

  • Bob Starcher
    Coach 1988

Starcher made winning a tradition with the Malone College baseball team. In his 16 seasons as the head baseball coach at Malone, his Pioneers have averaged more than 22 victories a season, winning Mid-Ohio Conference championship and 10 NAIA District 22 titles. His first Malone team won the NAIS regional championship in 1973. Including his five years as the head coach at his alma mater, Olivet Nazarene University, Starcher has an overall record of 422-272 as a collegiate baseball coach. Starcher, who is a native of Barberton, also has been successful on the international level. In 1977, he was an assistant coach for the American team that won a silver medal in the Intercontinental Cup play in Nicaragua. In 1981, he was an assistant coach for the American College All-Stars for the USA-Japan series in Tokyo and the USA-Korea series in Seoul. He has been inducted into the Barberton Sports Hall of Fame and the Malone College Sports Hall of Fame.

  • Al Kerkian
    Football 1988

Things seemed to happen quickly in Al Kerkian's football career - both for better or worse. During his first two years at Akron U, Kerkian didn't play enough to earn a letter. Then, in his junior year, 1965, he became a star. Kerkian not only broke into the starting lineup as a defensive end, but he earned first-team All-Ohio Conference honors. As a senior, his career seemed to stall because of injuries, but the pro scouts had remembered him from the year before and the Dallas Cowboys selected him in the 13th round of the NFL draft, making him the first Akron U football player drafted for the pros. Kerkian performed well in the Cowboy's training camp, but just when he thought he had the team made, he suffered a knee injury in an intra-squad game just before the start of the season. They next season, Kerkian, still beset by injuries, left pro football after a tryout with the Browns.

  • Richard Turner
    Track & Field, Basketball 1988

His brother attracted much of the limelight, but Richard Turner moved too fast to ever stay in anyone's shadow during his four years at the University of Akron. An in 1988, Rich joined his brother Bill, who was a Little All-America basketball performer for the Zips in the mid-1960s, in the Summit County Sports Hall of Fame. Rich Turner played alongside Bill for three of their four years on the Akron U basketball squad. While Bill was a star, rich was a valuable sixth man and defensive standout on squads that won three Mideast Regional championships and finished second in the NCAA college division playoffs in 1964 and third in 1966. And as soon as basketball season was over, Rich Turner would suit up for track, where few could keep up with his pace. He was the top scorer on the track team three of his four years, finishing second by less than a point as a sophomore in 1965. He set school records in all three hurdles events and also helped the 440 relay team set a school mark.