Lou Slapnik

Induction Year : 2023

Sport: Track & Field

Slapnik won nine state championships in his 17 years as Collinwood’s girls track coach. He also won the Jesse Owens Cleveland City championship every year he coached. His nine state titles rank third in Ohio history, and is the most by any coach in Cleveland history.

Slapnik—called “coach Slap” by his students—was inducted into the Ohio Association of Track and Cross-Country Coaches Hall of Fame in 2012. In his career, his athletes won 41 individual events in state championship meets. Prior to coaching Collinwood, Slapnik spent nine years coaching at Patrick Henry Middle School, where his teams won eight MS Cleveland City Championships.

Slapnik grew up in Cleveland and went to St. Joseph High School and Ashland University, where he pitched on the baseball team. He spent 32 years teaching physical education in the Cleveland Metropolitan School District. Athletes coached by Slapnik have talked about his emphasis on classwork and team. Collinwood’s Athletic Complex is named after him.

Katie Nageotte

Induction Year : 2022

Sport: Track & Field

Katie Nageotte is the reigning Olympic gold medalist in the pole vault and only the third woman to win pole vault gold for the United States. She grew up in Olmsted Falls and attended Olmsted Falls High School and Ashland University (after spending her first two years at Dayton). Nageotte won the Gold in her first Olympics with a vault of 16 feet, 0-3/4 inches (4.9 meters) at the COVID-delayed games in 2021 in Tokyo. This year she won the World Championships with a vault of 15-11, and last year finished first in the Olympic Trials at 16-3. With hopes of competing in the Paris Olympics in 2024, she would have the chance to become the second woman ever to win consecutive gold medals in the pole vault.

Nageotte started competing in the pole vault in the seventh grade as Olympic sports always intrigued her, especially those involving adrenaline and upper body strength. She competed in gymnastics and thought that may be her path, but grew to love the pole vault when she competed for her middle school track team. As a high school senior, she was the 2009 OHSAA Division I champion. Nageotte won two NCAA Division II titles and was a three-time Division II All-American. She won gold at the 2018 U.S. Indoor Championships, silver at the 2019 U.S. Outdoor, gold at the ’19 U.S. Indoors and silver at the ’19 Indoor Championships. COVID knocked her back in 2020, but she persevered to break an Olympic Trials record in July of 2021 before going to capture gold in Tokyo.

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.

Tim Mack

Induction Year : 2012

Sport: Track & Field

There did not appear to be much of an upside in pole vaulting for Tim Mack when he was attending St. Ignatius High School. While obviously dedicated, he never qualified for the state meet.

But the Westlake resident did not let the ups and downs of his unique event discourage him from achieving a historic goal. After attending Malone College and the Univesity of Tennessee, Mack put together one of the finest seasons in the sport in 2004. After winning the U.S. Olympic Trials with a Trials-record vault of 19-4 3/4, he won the gold medal at the Athens Olympics with an Olympic record of 19-6 1/4.

Definitely not resting on his laurels, he capped his season by setting another record at the World Athletics Final with a personal best of 19-8 1/4, the top mark in the world that year.

Mack established his presence on the national scene when he won the 1995 NCAA indoor title with a 18-4 3/4. However, he did not qualify for Olympic heroics in 1996 or 2000. He broke the 19-foot barrier as the Goodwill Games champion with a 19-0 1/4 in 2001. He was the USA indoor champion in 2002, finishing second in the outdoor event that year.

After his Olympic triumph, Mack’s career was slowed when he underwent surgery in October 2006 to repair a torn labrum in his right shoulder. The long road back culminated in his winning a second USA indoor title when he went 18-8 1/4 in 2010.

Graduating from Tennessee with a degree in Education, he went on to earn a masters in Human Performance and Sports Studies. He continues to coach and run clinics at the university. He is single.

Jack Staph

Induction Year : 2010

Sport: Track & Field

Jack Staph has become a rite of the Cleveland spring.

It’s because when May rolls around, Northeast Ohio’s running community comes together for the annual Cleveland Marathon race and Staph has been at the center of the organization directing the event.

Since it began as the Revco Cleveland Marathon in 1977, Staph has served as the executive director and race chairman as the event evolved into the CVS Marathon and the Rite Aid Marathon in 2002, when Staph acquired the race’s rights under his Cleveland Marathon, Inc.

Through different course routes, the vagaries of Cleveland’s spring weather, the ups and downs of running participation, Staph has persevered to maintain the event through its various stages. For runners of all genders and ages, it has become a highlight event and Staph’s organization has accommodated participants with races of varying distances, including the popular 10-kilometer and half-marathon.

While adding to the economic well being of the city, it has also become a important fund-raising event for local charities. The Northern Ohio chapter of the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society, American Stroke Association and Cystic Fibrosis Foundation are a few of the charities that benefit.

Reaching out to area students, the races have encouraged participation from the Cleveland Metropolitan School District and the YMCA of Greater Cleveland.

In staying the course with commitment, Staph’s persistence has paid off as the race has grown in recent years to more than 15,000 participants. It has distinguished itself as one of the nation’s best organized events.

A graduate of Youngstown State and Cleveland State’s Marshall College of Law, Staph served as senior vice president and general counsel for Revco, D.S., Inc. from 1972 to 1997.

Staph, who found the time to run seven marathons, lives in Moreland Hills with his wife, Bernadette. They have three children.

Alex Ferenczy

Induction Year : 1980

Sport: Track & Field

One of the nation’s finest women’s track coaches for nearly a quarter century, he took the coaching reins of the Cleveland Division of Recreation Track Club (later the Cleveland Track Club) in 1957 and produced five Olympic and/or Pan-American Games contestants, including two-time Olympic Champion Madeline Manning. His athletes won and outdoors. He coached the U.S. Women’s Olympic Track Team in 1968 and 1976, and coached several National AAU squads before retiring after the ’76 Olympics.

Joe Scott

Induction Year : 1980

Sport: Track & Field

A two-time National Decathlon champion (1938 and 1939) at Western Reserve University, he was a dominate figure in track during the heyday of the old Cleveland collegiate “Big Four.” Averaged approximately 30 points per meet during his college career which came to an end in 1940, scoring in the high and broad jumps, pole vault, sprints, hurdles and discus. An all-around athlete who competed in four other sports at WRU, he was twice named the Cleveland AAU’s Outstanding Athlete.

Maralyn West

Induction Year : 1978

Sport: Track & Field

A physical education instructor and administrator in Cleveland area schools from 1954 until the present, she has held many positions of responsibility with the AAU and in U.S. Olympic activities. Has served on National AAU Women’s Track and Field Committee since 1957, was National AAU Women’s Track and Field Rules Committee Chairman in 1963-64, U.S. Women’s Track and Field Manager for the 1959 and 1975 Pan American Games and U.S. Olympic Manager for the 1968 Women’s Track and Field Team.

Henry Steinbrenner

Induction Year : 1978

Sport: Track & Field

National collegiate 220-yard low hurdles champion at Massachusetts Institute of technology in 1927 and collegiate All-American in 1926 and 1927. Set NCAA record in winning low hurdles event. Earlier in career he won National Junior AAU 220-yard low hurdles and title and New England AAU high and low hurdles titles. Captained the 1927 MIT team.

Sandra Knott

Induction Year : 1978

Sport: Track & Field

Member of 1964 U.S. Olympic Women’s Track Team and a member of the 1963 and 1964 AAU All-American Women’s Track and Field teams. Represented U.S. in international competition against Great Britain, West Germany, Poland and Russia. Set American records in the 800 meters and 880-yard run during one-week period in 1963. Set AAU Championships record in 800-meters in 1964.