May 27, 1987
SPRINGFIELD, Ohio - A pair of Wittenberg University coaching legends head the list of nine former Tiger athletes and coaches to be inducted into the university's Athletics Hall of Honor on June 5.
Dave Maurer, one of the top college football coaches in history, and Ray Mears, a national championship coach at Wittenberg and later a coaching legend at Tennessee, will be honored along with Sarah Emblen Beneke, Mack Hummon, John Kostyo, Bill Lange, Jim Price, Eugene Urbanski, and Tony Wilcox.
Maurer resigned after the 1983 season as the winningest head coach in all of college football. His 15-year record of 129-23-3 gave him a winning percentage of .842. He began as Wittenberg head coach in 1969 anad produced three national championship teams, two NCAA runner-up squads, three unbeaten teams, and seven OAC championships. He was selected Kodak Coach of the Year twice, in 1973 and 1975 when Wittenberg won NCAA titles. He currently serves as a professor of health and physical education and as Wittenberg's golf coach.
Mears, athletic director at the University of Tennessee at Martin since 1980, put Wittenberg on the basketball map with a 1961 college division national championship and a six-year record of 121-23. His Tigers were the best defensive team in the nation four times and won four Ohio Athletic Conference titles. Mears became head coach at the University of Tennessee in 1963 and led the Volunteers to seven post-season appearances. The Vols won or shared three Southeastern Conference (SEC) titles, and he was named SEC Coach of the year in 1967. Just as he gave Wittenberg national prominence, Mears turned Tennessee into a nationally recognized program, sending such players as Bernard King and Ernie Grunfeld into the NBA. He had a 14-year record of 278-112 at Tennessee and his overall collegiate coaching record was 399-135 for a percentage of .747.
Sarah Emblen Beneke, a 1946 graduate, competed in swimming, volleyball, field hockey, basketball and swimming at Wittenberg.
J. Mack Hummon, a 1923 Wittenberg graduate, was the first Tiger athlete to earn varsity letters in four sports in one year. The versatile Hummon participated in football, basketball and track at Wittenberg and was an All-Ohio end in football.
John Kostyo, a 1941 graduate, was a football phenom at Wittenberg and also played third base for the Tiger baseball team. The Elyria High School grad was chosen Ohio's outstanding grid star of 1940 by the Downtown Coaches of Toledo. As an honorable mention All-America halfback on Wittenberg's undefeated 1940 squad, Kostyo led the state in scoring with 67 points.
William Lange, who died in 1953, was an All-Ohio tackle on the undefeated Wittenberg teams of 1918, 1919 and 1920. He was also an All-Ohio basketball player at Wittenberg. The 1921 Wittenberg graduate is already a member of the Muskingum athletic hall of fame. Lange had a coaching record of 76-35-6 in football and 132-95 in basketball at Muskingum and served as the Muskies' athletic director for 13 years.
Jimmy Price, a 1929 Wittenberg graduate, was a starting quarterback for three years and was a first-team All-Ohio Selection.
Eugene Urbanski graduated from Wittenberg in 1957 after a successful football and a baseball career. He was halfback and safety for the Tigers of Coach Bill Edwards. The four-year letterman was a three-time first-team all Ohio Conference pick and was MVP and captain of the football squad his senior season. Urbanski played center field for the baseball team and won three letters while the Tigers won two conference baseball titles.
Tony Wilcox, a 1960 graduate, was an All-American center on the Wittenberg basketball squad. The 6-foot-7 center averaged 15 points per game for the Tigers, who were frequently ranked in the nation's Top Ten during the Wilcox era. After Wittenberg, Wilcox joined the Harlem Globetrotters and made two world tours with the famous team.