Urban Meyer

Induction Year : 2019

Sport: Football

One of the most successful coaches in college football history, Urban Meyer won three national championships and compiled a career record of 187 victories and only 32 losses in 17 seasons, averaging exactly 11 wins per year. His teams were ranked in the top 25 at the conclusion of all but two seasons and won 12 of 15 bowl games.

His national championships came in 2006 and 2008 at the University of Florida, but he celebrated the apex of his career at Ohio State, where he won the inaugural college football playoff national championship in 2014 and won Big Ten titles in 2014, 2017 and 2018. Meyer’s Buckeyes dominated the Big Ten with a 54-4 record, including a 7-0 record versus Michigan. His teams enjoyed winning streaks of 24 and 23 games, longest in Ohio State history.

Meyer, 55, is a native Buckeye. He was born in Toledo on July 10, 1955. His family moved to Ashtabula where he launched his football career at Ashtabula St. John, one of the smallest high schools in the state. From there he went to the University of Cincinnati where he played defensive back. He graduated in 1986 and set out to become a coach. His first job was at Illinois State as an assistant. From there he moved on to the University of Toledo as an assistant under Nick Saban.

His first head coaching job was down the road at Bowling Green in 2001 where he stayed two years and compiled a 17-6 record, which propelled him to the University of Utah where he continued to attract attention with a two-year mark of 22-2. Florida was next from 2005-2010 and Urban became a national coaching star with two national championships and a 65-15 record. Both Sports Illustrated Magazine and The Sporting News named him Coach of the Decade for the years 2000 to 2009.

Meyer took a one-year sabbatical from coaching in 2011 before returning to Ohio where he became the first college coach to win national championships in two different conferences. His teams won every division championship since the Big Ten adopted the division format. He produced 31 first-team All-Americans and 12 Academic All-Americans over his 17-year career.

Meyer stepped away from coaching after the 2018 season and moved into athletic administration as assistant athletics director in charge of fund-raising and community relations.

He and his wife Shelley have three grown children and continue to reside in Columbus.

Tony Miller

Induction Year : 2019

Sport: Basketball Football

Tony Miller remains to this day one of the best all-around athletes produced by Cleveland’s athletic-rich Villa Angela-St. Joseph High School.

Born in Cleveland on April 16, 1973, Tony first made his mark in football, becoming the starting quarterback in his sophomore season, succeeding the heralded Elvis Grbac. As a junior, Tony led the VASJ Vikings to the 1989 Ohio state football championship in Division II, a time when the state football tournament was sub-divided into only three divisions. Today, the state football tournament consists of seven divisions. That remains VASJ’s only football title.

Tony excelled equally in basketball. He was a four-year starting point guard and led the Vikings to the Division I state championship in 1992. He was the captain of both football and basketball teams.

He was not heavily recruited for basketball because it was believed he intended to play football in college, which was not the case. Marquette basketball coach Kevin O’Neil, however, was persistent and landed Tony as his star recruit. Tony actually exceeded expectations. He was the starting point guard for all four years from the beginning of the season in 1991 to the end of the season in 1995. He was the catalyst for Marquette’s back-to-back NCAA tournament teams. In 1994, Tony was the primary reason Marquette could break Kentucky’s full-court press and advance to the sweet sixteen. The next year, with Tony again in the starring role, Marquette reached the championship game of the NIT tournament.

For his college career, Tony averaged 8.3 points and 7.8 assists. His total of 956 assists ranks eighth all-time in Division I college history.

Tony continued to play professionally for 13 years, mostly overseas in Belgium, Lithuania, the Netherlands, and England. He was an all-star in the Dutch League.

After returning to the United States, Tony coached at Southern Cal, St. John Bosco High School in Bellflower, Cal., and Cal State Los Angeles. He is now retired.

He was inducted into the Marquette Hall of Fame in 2011.

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.

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.

Kevin Mack

Induction Year : 2016

Sport: Football

Kevin Mack is a Cleveland Brown, through and through. His entire nine-year career as a National Football League running back was in the orange and brown, and today he continues in the team’s front office as the Alumni Relations manager.

Mack played in 99 games for the Browns, rushing for 5,123 yards and scoring 46 touchdowns. He also caught 197 passes for 1,602 yards and eight touchdowns.

If the Browns needed a tough yard, Mack usually got the ball.

He ranks ninth on Cleveland’s all-time scoring ledger with 324 points. He is also the franchise’s fifth all-time leading rusher and joined the Cleveland Browns Legends in 2007.

Nicknamed “Mack Truck,” he was named to two Pro Bowls in 1985 and 1987 and was considered not only an all-star runner but an exceptional blocker.

A native of Kings Mountain, N.C., Mack played at Clemson University and then one year for the Los Angeles Express of the United States Football League before the Browns made him the 11th overall selection in the 1984 NFL Supplemental Draft of USFL and Canadian Football League players.

During his rookie year in 1985, Mack ran for 1,104 yards, seven touchdowns and 5 yards per carry. He combined with Earnest Byner (1,002 yards) to become just the sixth running back tandem in NFL history to each rush for 1,000 yards.

One of Mack’s most significant runs came in the final game of the 1989 season when, with 39 seconds on the clock, he dragged defenders over the goal line for a four-yard touchdown that earned the Browns a 24-20 victory over the Houston Oilers and the AFC Central Division title.

Earlier this year Mack received the Dino Lucarelli Lifetime Achievement Award at the National Football Foundation and Cleveland Touchdown Club Charities Athlete-Scholarship Awards banquet.

Sam Palumbo

Induction Year : 2016

Sport: Football

It was all about football and family for Sam Palumbo.

Growing up in Cleveland’s Collinwood neighborhood, he made a name for himself playing football and basketball for the Railroaders. He captained both teams into his senior season in 1951. As a defensive lineman, he earned All-East Side Senate, All-Scholastic and All-Ohio honors. He could have played in the City Championship basketball game, but as a mid-year graduate, he was already enrolled at the University of Notre Dame.

Earning a role as a defensive tackle, he was on the Fighting Irish varsity as a freshman under legendary coach Frank Leahy. He was an All-Midwest selection as a sophomore and on the once-tied 1953 team. After earning four letters, he was a first team All-Catholic pick and played in the North-South game in Miami.

The 195-pounder caught the eye of another legendary coach as he was selected by Paul Brown to play linebacker for the Browns as a fourth-round draft pick (No. 49 overall) in 1955. In the self-proclaimed highlight of his career, he replaced an injured Chuck Noll and helped the Browns defeated the Los Angeles Rams, 38-14, for the NFL title that year. Palumbo contributed an interception to the victory.

After another year with the Browns, he was traded to the Green Bay Packers for his final season of pro ball in 1957.

But football remained in his blood for the next 40 years as he became a dean of Northeast Ohio’s officiating ranks, retiring from both the gridiron and his insurance business in 2001. He was always helpful lending wisdom to young officials learning their way through the rules and regulations of the high school game.

He was honored with the Cleveland Touchdown Club Bobby Brown service award in 2002 and a member of the first class in the Greater Cleveland Football Officials Hall of Fame in 2009. He had been in the Collinwood HOF since 1992.

Through it all, he was with his high school sweetheart, Catherine,for more than 60 years of marriage. The couple raised five sons and a daughter, residing in Lyndhurst.

LeCharles Bentley

Induction Year : 2015

Sport: Football

LeCharles Bentley always left a big impression. The standout lineman was a force throughout his playing days, from St. Ignatius High School to Ohio State to the National Football League. At 6-2 and 313 pounds as a professional, he was a true force at the highest level of the game.

Under veteran coach, Chuck Kyle (2013 Greater Cleveland Sports Hall of Fame) at St. Ignatius, he was a two-year starter and All-Ohio selection as a senior in 1997.

At Ohio State under coaches John Cooper and Jim Tressel ( 2012 GCSHOF), he anchored the offensive Line and solidified his presence throughout the country. He was a first team All-Big Ten pick in 2000 and 2001, a consensus first team All-American as a senior. He was named the Dave Rimington Trophy winner as the best center in the country in 2001.

Drafted in the second round of the 2002 NFL Draft (No. 44 overall) by the New Orleans Saints, he started all 57 games, at guard and then center, for the team during the next four seasons. He was named by Sports Illustrated as the league’s offensive rookie of the year in 2002 and was on the Pro Football Weekly the all-rookie team.

He was signed by the Cleveland Browns as a free agent in 2006. However, the high hopes for the return to his hometown team were shattered when he tore the left patellar tendon in his left leg at the start of training camp. A subsequent staph infection and numerous knee surgeries put an end to his career, and he officially retired in January 2009.

Bentley worked in the Cleveland media and established a football training school.

Joe Jurevicius

Induction Year : 2014

Sport: Football

Joe Jurevicius knew about winning.

At all levels, from Lake Catholic High to Penn State University to the National Football League, the strong armed wide receiver made his presence felt with his standout play. More often than not, Jurevicius used his strength and skills to outfight defenders and make the reception.

He did just that during the 2002 NFC Championship Game in Philadelphia as he turned a short crossing pattern into a 71-yard gain that proved pivotal in Tampa Bay’s victory. In Super Bowl XXXVII, he had four catches for 78 yards in Tampa Bay’s world championship win against Oakland.

Drafted by the New York Giants in the second round of the 1998 NFL Draft, No. 55 overall, he played four seasons in New York. He did not have a reception in New York’s loss to the Baltimore Ravens in Super Bowl XXV in 2000.

After signing with the Seahawks as a free agent, he had a team-high five catches for 93 yards in Seattle’s loss to Pittsburgh in Super Bowl XL in 2005. He finished that season with a career-high 10 touchdowns.

He finished his pro career with the Cleveland Browns, retiring in 2009 after seven knee operations. He totaled 323 receptions for 4,119 yards and 29 touchdowns during his pro career.

During his collegiate career, he had 94 receptions for 1,905 yards and 15 touchdowns. As a sophomore, he helped the Nittany Lions go 12-0 and defeat Oregon in the 1995 Rose Bowl. Penn State finished No.2 in the national polls.

He earned all-state honors three times at Lake Catholic as a wide receiver and punter, with the Cougars winning state championships in 1991and 1992. He also played basketball.

An avid outdoorsman, he pursued those interests in business.

Jurevicius lives in Gates Mills with his wife, Meagan, and their two daughters, Caroline and Ava. A son, Michael William, died in infancy.

Chuck Kyle

Induction Year : 2013

Sport: Football

Chuck Kyle of St. Ignatius is universally acclaimed as the greatest high school football coach in Ohio history.
Since graduating from John Carroll University as an English major in 1973, he has held one job — English teacher and football and track coach at his high school alma mater.
After 10 years as an assistant he was elevated to head coach in 1983 and in 30 seasons his teams have compiled an astonishing record of 301 victories, 69 losses and one tie. His Wildcats have captured 11 state championships and have been awarded three mythical national championships in 1989, 1993 and 1995. They have qualified for the state football playoffs 24 of the last 25 years and along the way posted winning streaks of 39 games and 38 games.
The 62-year-old Kyle has collected innumerable personal awards. He was the Nike National Coach of the Year in 2001 and the Schutt National Coach of the Year in 2008. He has been Ohio coach of the year four times.
Chuck served as a head coach in the 1989 Cuyahoga County East-West all-star game and in the 1994 “Big 33 Game” matching all-star teams from Ohio and Pennsylvania. In 2009 he was head coach of the United States team that won the world junior championship.
He is revered as an English teacher. In addition to sophomore English, he teaches Chaucer and Shakespeare as a senior elective. By the way, he still coaches the track team.
Chuck and his wife, Patricia, who teaches art at St. Ignatius, raised three daughters and one son. They live in Westlake.

Ted Ginn, Sr.

Induction Year : 2013

Sport: Football

Ted Ginn, Sr. has been described as an evangelist and a Pied Piper because he re-wrote the game plan for high school football in Cleveland.
Ted spent his early years in Franklinton, Louisiana, where his grandparents instilled in him rigid Christian values. He moved to Cleveland for his high school years at Glenville, playing center and linebacker on the Tarblooders football team of the 1970s.
After graduating, he returned to Glenville as a volunteer assistant football coach and full-time uniformed security guard. He would patrol the hallways in his blue-gray officer’s uniform during the school day and change into his coaching togs after school.
After 10 years as an unpaid assistant coach, he actually went on the coaching payroll in 1986. He succeeded James Hubbard as head coach in 1997 and before long earned national attention for the Glenville football program.
In 1999 Glenville became the first Cleveland public school to qualify for the state football playoffs and the Tarblooders went on to the playoffs 11 times in 12 years from 1999 to 2010. Glenville was state runnerup in 2009.
Glenville also has won every Senate football championship since Ted took over in 1997 and has not lost a conference game in his century.
More than 50 of his athletes have been awarded full college scholarships, including his son, Ted Jr. at Ohio State and Heisman Trophy winner Troy Smith, also at Ohio State. Several of his players went on play pro football in the NFL.
He also coached the Glenville track team to five straight state championships.
Ted has battled cancer for the last two years and did not coach last year, but he has returned to the sidelines this season.
In 2007 the Cleveland Municipal School District created Ginn Academy in the Collinwood area, an all-boys school with Ted as headmaster.
He always points out that his mission is not to win football games, it is to save lives and souls. He has been honored by numerous like-minded organizations, such as the National Association of Negro Business and Professional Women’s Clubs, the National Black Coaches Association and the National Fatherhood Initiative.
Ted and his wife, Jeanette, have two children, son Ted Jr. and daughter Tiffany.