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.

Brian Brakeman

Induction Year : 2017

Sport: Wrestling

Brian Brakeman’s influence on Ohio high school wrestling is legendary. A statistical wizard with the papers to prove it, Brakeman has compiled a dazzlingly accurate state tournament forecast that for 45 years has been an invaluable guide for wrestlers, coaches and college recruiters. He calls it the “Brakeman Report.” Others call it the wrestling “bible.” It is the premier state wrestling forecast in the country.

Since 1972, Brakeman has ranked the top 25 or so wrestlers in each weight class in every division, highlighted by projected state champions and order of team finish. In all these years his accuracy rate is 70%. One recent year he picked 13 of 14 state champs in Division I.

Hall of Fame wrestling coach Jamie Milkovich points out that compiling the report was more than clerical. “Brian incorporated the intangible effects of diverse styles, projected development and quality of coaching into his rankings.”

Milkovich adds, however, “The annual Brakeman Report represents only a portion of Brian’s contributions.”

Beginning in the early 1970s, working alongside Mike Massa, he anchored television broadcasts of the sectional, district and state tournaments along with top dual meets and holiday tournaments on WVIZ-TV. He became the face of high school wrestling. He archived all these telecasts beginning in 1971 and made them available to anyone who requests them. Because of his corporate position as Vice-President of Planning for East Ohio Gas Company, the gas company underwrote the first 30 years of broadcasts on WVIZ.

The Ohio High School Athletic Association (OHSAA) adopted many of his recommendations to improve the state tournaments. He served as chairman of the seeding committee for the state dual meet tournament. In 1993 he was inducted into the Ohio Wrestling Hall of Fame.

A native of Parma and graduate of Parma Senior High School, Brian went on to earn a bachelor’s degree from Case Tech, an M.B.A. from Western Reserve and a Ph.D in statistics.

He spent his entire working career with East Ohio Gas in planning and research. He also spent 14 years as a math teacher and tutor at North Coast Academy.

He and his wife Cheryl live in Shaker Heights. They have five grown children and eight grandchildren.

Bill Beard

Induction Year : 2017

Sport: Hockey

Bill Beard was one cool high school hockey coach.

In the fast-paced game where emotions run high, Beard was able to keep the ideals of sportsmanship in the forefront. While not one to shy from stating his position, it was never Beard’s place to lose respect for the human side of competition.

It was just part of the base, along with solid knowledge of the game, that enabled him to establish University School as a perennial state-wide contender. With Beard at the helm for 16 seasons (1998-2014), the Preppers won two state championships  (2003 and 2009), and had two runner-up finishes (2002 and 2004). US won nine district titles, earning nine trips to the state tournament’s final four.

There were also seven Baron Cup tournament championships, four Greater Cleveland High School Hockey division titles and the 2009 triple crown of GCHSHL division, Baron Cup and state wins.

The final totals were 347 wins, 181 losses and 48 ties. His 2009 title team went 31-6-3.

A 1980 Cleveland Heights High graduate, Beard played hockey and baseball for the Tigers, At Princeton University, he logged one season of hockey and was a four-year pitcher for the New Jersey-based Tigers before graduating in 1985 with a sociology degree.

On the baseball side, he won several team awards, served as co-captain his senior season and stands tied for third on the school’s all-time list with 19 career victories. His .760 career winning percentage (19-6 in 49 appearances) ranks fourth.

Before taking over at US, Beard was an assistant hockey coach at Cleveland Heights that included a state championship, a state runner-up and two Baron Cup title. He served as an assistant coach at Kent State for two years, at Padua High for three and Team Ohio Midget AAA for three. He found time to be pitching coach At Case Western Reserve University for the 1987 season.

Beard was head hockey coach at Upper Arlington High for one season, going 21-9-3 in 2016-17. Living in Perrysburg, Ohio, plans call for Beard to work at Toledo St. Francis de Sales High, where he will also serve as hockey assistant coach.

Married to Courtney, the Beards have two children.