Howard Ferguson

Induction Year : 2018

Sport: Wrestling

Coach Howard Ferguson transformed St. Edward High School wrestling into the most dominant program in Ohio’s history in 1974 and continuing long after his death to the present day.

Ferguson, who began wrestling at John Marshall High School under hall of fame coach Gene Gibbons, turned to coaching in the 1960s at the West Shore YMCA. In seven years his YMCA teams compiled an incredible dual meet record of 138-2, which caught the attention of St. Edward High School.

He was handed the reigns of St. Edward wrestling in 1974 and almost immediately turned the Eagles into a powerhouse. In 15 seasons from 1974 through the spring of 1989, St. Ed’s won 11 team state championships. His wrestlers won 32 individual state championships and 20 runners-up. He produced one 3-time state champion and four 2-time state champions.

In college, his wrestlers captured three NCAA individual titles. Thirteen were college All-Americans a total of 26 times. At one time or another Howard’s alumni wore the singlets of nine of the original Big Ten teams.

Both the wrestling world and business world were shocked when Howard died of a heart attack in the prime of his career in October 1989. In his alternate life he became a millionaire in real estate. He was a pioneer in converting high-rise apartment houses into condominiums.

He also authored an acclaimed coffee-table book called “The Edge,” an accumulation of the quotes, beliefs and life lessons of the leading coaches and athletes of the day. The book was published not long before he died and is still in demand. It is out of print but can be located on e-bay for as much as $150.

In one of the final passages of the book, under the heading, “Leave something behind,” he wrote about his own principles:

“You can never pay back those who helped you. What you can do is follow their example and help others. Help some people get started. Teach them how to play the game the right way. Teach them about class. Show them how to overcome adversity. Take all your knowledge, experience and love and share it. Reach out to as many people as you can.”

Mike Manganello

Induction Year : 2018

Sport: Horse Racing

Mike Manganello reached the pinnacle of a jockey’s career when he won the world’s most famous horse race: the Kentucky Derby.

Manganello was in the saddle of Dust Commander in 1970 when they upset the 96th running of the Run for the Roses. The margin of victory was five lengths, thanks largely in part to Manganello’s rail-hugging ride that helped save the colt valuable ground in the testing 1¼-mile race.

A native of Hartford, Conn., Manganello was far from a one-race wonder. In a career that spanned nearly 30 years, and included five Kentucky Derby mounts, Manganello won the Blue Grass Stakes (on Dust Commander), the Ohio Derby at Thistledown, and numerous riding titles.

Manganello scored his first winner at the age of 18 in 1960 at the Fair Grounds in New Orleans. Soon afterward, he moved his family to Bedford Heights and began a stretch of successful seasons at tracks around Greater Cleveland: Thistledown, Randall Park and Cranwood.

His domination of the jocks’ colony saw him win or share every Thistledown championship from 1964 through 1968. He also added Randall and Cranwood crowns.

Manganello was aboard Te Vega in the 1968 Ohio Derby as the colt became the first Ohio-bred to win the state’s most prestigious race.

The pull of the Blue Grass State eventually landed Manganello at Churchill Downs, Keeneland and Turfway Park, a move that led to his association with Don Combs, the trainer of Dust Commander.

In the winter, Manganello rode at Sunshine Park (now Tampa Bay Downs) where he won six riding titles. It’s also where he registered his 2,500thcareer winner.

But it’s the Kentucky Derby victory that Manganello will be best remembered for. He says to this day he can feel the song “My Old Kentucky Home” reverberating through his body.

DeHart Hubbard

Induction Year : 2018

Sport: Track & Field

William DeHart Hubbard was the epitome of the unsung hero. Only a close inspection of the record books reveal the remarkable accomplishments of a true historical figure.

At the 1924 Olympics in Paris, Hubbard became the first African American to win a gold medal in an individual event when he won the long jump, notching a leap of 24 feet, 5.5 inches on his sixth and final attempt. That international stage was only part of his legacy.

A standout athlete and student at Walnut Hills High School in Cincinnati, Hubbard had to withstand the racism of the day, but did secure admission to the University of Michigan. The Wolverines benefited as he went on to become a three-time NCAA champion and seven-time Big 10 champion in track and field.

In 1925, Hubbard set the world long jump record with a leap of 25 feet, 10.75 inches. A year later, he tied the world record in the 100-yard dash at 9.6 seconds.

In perspective, Hubbard’s little-known status can be summed up in his Big 10 record of 25 feet, 3.5 inches set in 1925. It stood until heralded Jesse Owens broke it in 1935. The men would become friends years later when Hubbard left Cincinnati for Cleveland in 1942 to work for the Federal Housing Authority until retirement in 1969.

In 1948, Hubbard told The Plain Dealer of his Paris gold medal. “I was determined to become the first of my race to be an Olympic champion and I was just as determined to break the world (long jump) record,” said Hubbard.

Hubbard was named to the National Track Hall of Fame in 1957 and was posthumously selected in the second class of the University of Michigan Hall of Honor in 1979.

“He was not a boisterous person,” said friend and gold medalist Harrison Dillard of Cleveland. “There was a sense of gentleman about him.”

A longtime bowler, Hubbard was president of the National Bowling Association in the 1950s and was a founder of the baseball Cincinnati Tigers of the Negro American League.

Hubbard died in Cleveland at age 72 on June 23, 1976. The William DeHart Hubbard Scholarship Fund was established in 2010 through the University of Michigan.

Tom Tupa

Induction Year : 2018

Sport: Football

Tom Tupa left a lasting imprint on football at every level. From his state championship days at Brecksville High School to Ohio State to the NFL, Tupa established himself with both his passing arm and punting skills.

As quarterback at Brecksville, he helped lead the Bees to the Ohio title in 1983. He also lettered in basketball and baseball. He joined Ohio State, where he was the punter for four seasons, setting the top two seasonal punting averages as a freshman and senior. He was the starting quarterback in 1987, passing for 2,252 yards and 15 touchdowns. He was named All-American and All-Big 10 punter that year and played in the 1988 Hula Bowl.

Tupa was drafted by the Phoenix Cardinals in the third round, the 68th pick overall, to begin an 18-year professional career. Primarily a punter after joining the Indianapolis Colts in 1992, he was with the Browns for three seasons where he became notable for scoring the league’s first two-point conversion off a fake extra-point attempt against Cincinnati in the 1994 opener. As holder, he scored two more conversions that year to earn the moniker “Two Point Tupa.”

He kicked for New England and the New York Jets, earning Pro Bowl and All-Pro honors in 1999 with the Jets. He was with Tampa Bay for two seasons, punting for the Buccaneers in 2002 as they won Super Bowl XXXVII against Oakland.

Tupa finished his pro career after two years with the Washington Redskins in 2005. As a pro, he averaged 43.4 yards per punt, passing for 3,430 yards and 12 touchdowns.

He returned to his home town to help coach at his alma mater high school, where his three sons and daughter played. Married to Beth, he is also Brecksville Recreation Director.

Ellis Burks

Induction Year : 2018

Sport: Baseball

Ellis Burks was a manager’s dream. A major league player who was one part speed, one part power, and one part defense.
His talents were in such demand that Burks enjoyed an 18-year career with five teams, including opening and a closing acts with the team that first signed him, the Boston Red Sox.
In between were stints with the Chicago White Sox, Colorado Rockies, San Francisco Giants and the Cleveland Indians. Burks enjoyed his time in Cleveland, for he has made Greater Cleveland his home, residing in Chagrin Falls.
A first round pick by the Red Sox in the 1983 Major League Baseball draft, Burks became Boston’s starting centerfielder as a rookie in 1987.  He immediately excelled, becoming only the third player in team history to hit 20 home runs and steal 20 bases (Burks actually stole 27) in a single season.
His exploits earned him spots on both Baseball Digest and Topps’ all-rookie teams.
In 1990, Burks went into the Red Sox record book when he became the second player in team history to hit two home runs in the same inning. His rare feat (he was only the 25th in MLB history to do so) came at the expense of the Cleveland Indians at old Municipal Stadium.
Among Burks other accomplishments are twice being voted to the American League All-Star team, winning a Golden Glove for his play in centerfield and two Silver Slugger Awards.
Twice, Burks hit a career high .344, first with Colorado in 1996 and then in 2000 with the San Francisco Giants.  He made the most of the rarified air of Denver, recording career highs in home runs (40) and RBI (128) in his banner 1996 campaign.
Burks is currently working for the San Francisco Giants.

Tom Slater

Induction Year : 2017

Sport: Golf

In 2001, Tom Slater—at age 56—was Low Amateur and won a playoff to qualify for the USGA Senior Open at Salem, MA. During the first round of play, his score was -2 under par and he was leading the tournament. It was a thrill for him to see his name at the top with Tom Watson, Ray Floyd, Jack Nicklaus and Arnold Palmer. It was a difficult course and Bruce Fleisher eventually won at even par.

Slater has triumphed in dozens of golf championships, but he perhaps has saved his most rewarding victories for the cancer treatment rooms of the Cleveland Clinic.

Slater, a life-long amateur golfer, has twice defeated lymphoma. These days, he spends time helping others deal with the disease so they can move forward with a positive lifestyle.

He practices what he preaches. In 2011, after a two-year battle with cancer, Slater parlayed conquering the disease with winning the inaugural Florida State Super Senior Championship.

Born in Warwick, R.I., he was attracted to the competitiveness of sports at a very young age. He started playing golf and baseball at five and hockey at six. He played all three sports through college, but golf emerged as his love.

Slater won his first tournament at 12 and went on to win the Rhode Island championship for 21 and under when he was 16, defeating the captain of the University of Rhode Island team. In college, he was part of the Yale team that won the Ivy League Championship.

In 1970, after completing college and three years military service, Slater moved to Cleveland where he began his business career and started his family.

He soon became part of the local golf scene, dominating play and winning 22 club championships. In 1992, Slater decided to play in national level competitions. He found success, qualifying for a United States Golf Association Mid Amateur, a USGA Senior Amateur, A USGA Senior Open and finally, two USGA Senior Amateurs. He was Medalist or low scorer in 4 of these qualifiers.

In 2008, Slater was selected to be a playing member on the United States Senior Golf Association International Team. He was Team Captain in 2013 and led his squad to victory over Great Britain and Canada at Prestwick, Scotland. His International record is 15-6-6.

Slater and his wife live in Cleveland. They have eight children and 12 grandchildren.

Rick Manning

Induction Year : 2017

Sport: Baseball

Now in his 28th season broadcasting Cleveland Indians games on television, Rick Manning has established a record for longevity exceeded only by Herb Score and equaled by Tom Hamilton in the annals of Cleveland baseball announcers. Along the way he was honored with the Cleveland Association of Broadcasters Excellence in Broadcasting Award.

That’s pretty good for a second career. Manning spent 13 years as a Major League centerfielder, first with the Indians from 1975 until 1983, when he was traded in mid-season to the Milwaukee Brewers where he played until retiring after the 1987 season.

Rick earned a Gold Glove Award for his defense in 1976. A long-time media favorite, Rick received the Cleveland Baseball Writers’ “Good Guy Award” in 1980.

He retired with a lifetime batting average of .257 with 56 home runs, 458 runs batted in and 664 runs scored. Speed always was a big part of his game. He stole 168 bases.

His “magic moment” with the Indians, however, came on an otherwise routine play. He caught a fly ball off the bat of Ernie Whitt for the final out of pitcher Len Barker’s perfect game over the Toronto Blue Jays on May 15, 1981, at the old Stadium.

In Milwaukee, he is remembered for getting booed for driving in the winning run in the 10th inning of a 1-0 victory over the Indians on Aug. 26, 1987. His walk off single deprived his teammate Paul Molitor of one more chance to extend his 39-game hitting streak. Molitor, who was in the on deck circle, ended the game hitless in four at bats.

Rick was born on Sept. 2, 1954, in Niagara Falls, N.Y., where he grew up playing shortstop. The Indians made him the second overall selection in the draft of June, 1972. The Indians soon converted him to centerfield and he made his Major League debut on May 23, 1975.

Manning made his broadcasting debut as the color commentator on Indians games on SportsTime Ohio in 1990. His first partner was Dan Coughlin, followed by John Sanders and now Matt Underwood. He also works regional games on the Fox network.

Rick and his wife, Sue, have two grown children and five grandchildren.

Oliver Luck

Induction Year : 2017

Sport: Football

Oliver Luck is a man for all seasons and all sports.

The Cleveland native has been a quarterback at the scholastic, collegiate and professional levels, athletic director at West Virginia University, his alma mater, and president of Major League Soccer’s Houston Dynamo.

Luck, a 1978 graduate of St. Ignatius High School where he starred in both football and basketball, attended West Virginia where he established school records for touchdown passes and completions. He also led the Mountaineers to a 26-6 upset of Florida in the 1981 Peach Bowl.

Selected by Houston in the second round of the 1982 NFL draft, Luck played five years with the Oilers. When he wasn’t throwing touchdown passes, he worked on earning his law degree from the University of Texas.

Following retirement, Luck became vice president  of business development for the NFL, then headed for Germany where he served as general manager of the Frankfurt Galaxy of the World League of American Football and the Rhein Fire of NFL Europe. Luck was eventually named President and CEO of NFL Europe.

Luck returned home in 2001 to become chief executive of the Harris County-Houston Sports Authority, overseeing development and management of stadiums for MLB’s Astros and the NFL’s Texans and an arena for the NBA’s Rockets.

Four years later, he became the first president of MLS’s Houston Dynamo. Luck not only helped secure funding for the club’s $80 million soccer complex, he was at the helm for the Dynamo’s two league championships.

When his alma mater called in 2010, Luck returned to West Virginia to serve as the university’s athletic director.

He is currently Executive Vice President for regulatory affairs and strategic partnerships for the NCAA.

Luck is married to the former Kathy Wilson. They have four children, Andrew, Mary Ellen, Emily and Addison.

Andrew followed in his father’s footsteps. The No. 1 selection of the 2012 NFL draft out of Stanford, he quarterbacks the Indianapolis Colts.

Gordon Gund

Induction Year : 2017

Sport: Basketball

The Gund Family has always meant a lot to Cleveland. Its Gund Foundation was at the forefront of the area’s philanthropic organizations.

But Gordon Gund, along with brother, George, will also be credited for salvaging professional basketball in Northeast Ohio by purchasing the Cleveland Cavaliers in 1983. The team had been rumored for a possible move to Toronto.

Under Gordon Gund, the Cavaliers established themselves as playoff contenders, with fan loyalty at the Richfield Coliseum remaining strong when the team relocated to the new Gund Arena in 1994. The franchise consistently ranked among the NBA’s leaders in attendance as stability remained consistent.

With the drafting of LeBron James in 2003, the popularity of the team soared. Although he sold controlling interest of the team 2005, Gund remained a minority owner and was able to enjoy the satisfaction of the 2016 NBA championship.

The Gund’s also owned the WNBA’s Cleveland Rockers women’s basketball team.

While the stint was brief, the Gunds owned the NHL’s Cleveland Barons for the 1977-78 season before the club was merged with the North Stars and moved to Minnesota. Gordon was a partial owner of the expansion San Jose Sharks in 1991, selling his share of that team in 2002.

A 1961 graduate of Harvard University, he was Chairman and CEO of Gund Investment Corporation, based in Princeton, N.J., since 1968.

In dealing with personal health issues, he was the co-founder and Chairman Emeritus of the Foundation Fighting Blindness of Columbia, MD. The national non-profit organization is dedicated to seeking the causes, treatments and/or cures for retinitis pigmentosa, age-related macular degeneration and associated degenerative diseases.

Gordon Gund became a noted sculptor, working meticulously in bronze and clay. Along with wife, Lulie, the couple have two children.

Danny Coughlin

Induction Year : 2017

Sport: Media

Dan has covered Cleveland sports in print and on the air since 1964 when he joined The Plain Dealer shortly after being discharged from the Army at age 25.

His first assignment was the high school beat and over the course of 18 years with The Plain Dealer he covered virtually everything and won most significant awards. For much of that time he was Chuck Heaton’s backup on the Browns and Russ Schneider’s backup on the Indians. He was the fulltime baseball writer in the late ’70s. He covered major college football games, including the major bowl games involving Notre Dame. He was the boxing writer and covered fights from the old Cleveland Arena to Madison Square Garden, including the Ali-Frazier series. He covered 17 Indianapolis 500s and several European races. He became the soccer writer during the brief era of big time pro soccer with the Cleveland Stokers. He was at rinkside for the U.S. hockey team’s victory over the Soviets in the 1980 Olympics at Lake Placid. At one time Dan and Chuck Webster turned slow pitch softball into a major beat.

He liked to say that he loaded up for the football season by changing the ribbon in his portable typewriter every Labor Day. “I covered the big high school game on Friday, a big college game on Saturday and the Browns every Sunday. And they paid me to do it. It was like going to Cedar Point every weekend,” he said.

With a growing family in 1982, he needed a bigger house and accepted an offer from the Cleveland Press, which went out of business three months later. Nevertheless, the Coughlin family got their bigger house and Dan got a new career in television at Fox 8. He’s still there 35 years later.

Dan started his newspaper career on the high school beat and now, at the other end, he still covers high school football games every Friday night on television.

Both Dan and his wife, Maddy grew up in Lakewood and now live in Rocky River. They have four grown children and 11 grandchildren.

Dan went to St. Edward High School and Notre Dame. He served on the St. Edward board of trustees for 20 years. He is a past president of the Press Club of Cleveland and, for no known reason, is in the Greater Cleveland Softball Hall of Fame.