Sept. 8, 1988
SPRINGFIELD, Ohio - Nine Wittenberg University athletic greats will be recognized at halftime of the Wittenberg-Muskingum football game Sept. 17 and inducted into the Wittenberg University Athletics Hall of Honor at a special dinner that evening.
The newest inductees into Wittenberg's four-year-old Hall of Honor are: Russel J. Beichly '26, the winningest basketball coach in University of Akron history now of Fort Lauderdale, Fla.; Lee Doellman Coleman '54, all-around female athlete now of Walla Walla, Wash.; Eugene M. Fellmeth '48, standout basketball player, now judge of Massillon Municipal Court; Jack Hawken '56, record-breaking basketball player now of Chagrin Falls, Ohio; Julie Miller McEvers '51, former field hockey and basketball star now of Brooklyn, Mich.; the late Robert "Dutch" Miller '28, great football player of the 1920s; Elwood G. Pitzer '35 of Springfield, Ohio, basketball and baseball standout; Frank Shannon '40, former coaching great at Ohio Wesleyan University, and Jim Worden '64, of New London, Ohio, who went on to all-pro honors in the Canadian Football League.
Beichly earned distinction as men's basketball coach at the University of Akron where he compiled a 19-year record of 188-143 before retiring in 1959. A charter member of Akron's Hall of Fame, Beichley coached the Zips to five Ohio Athletic Conference championships (1945, 1946, 1953, 1956, 1958) and an NAIA tournament appearance in 1943. Beichly's final year of coaching, 1958-59, remains the best record in Akron history at 21-2. Ironically, the two losses were to Wittenberg in the first and last games of the season. Beichly won a total of 16 city championships in football and basketball at Akron West High School between 1926 and 1940 and his 1932 cage squad won the Ohio Class AA championship in 1932. Beichly earned six letters in football and basketball and served as team captain in both sports as a senior. On the gridiron, he was a three-time All-Ohio choice at quarterback. He is a member of Alpha Tau Omega fraternity. He was previously inducted into the Summit County Hall of Fame in 1960, the Helms Foundation Hall of Fame in 1964 and the University of Akron Hall of Fame in 1976. Beichly and his wife, Emily, now reside in Fort Lauderdale, Fla.
Coleman distinguished herself as an all-around athlete during her days at Wittenberg. She earned four letters each in four varsity sports - truly an outstanding achievement - in field hockey, volleyball, basketball and softball. Coleman served as coach as well as team member of the synchronized swimming team and was a participant in regional and national competitions. From 1958 to 1963, she taught and coached at Wittenberg and led successful teams in volleyball, tennis and synchronized swimming. Coleman later coached synchronized swimming at the University of Kansas and George Williams College, and swimming at Brigham Young University and Whitman College. She is currently department chair in physical education and director of women's athletics at Whitman. While at Wittenberg, Coleman was named Alma Mater, served as president of the Panhellenic Council and graduated summa cum laude. She is married to Jim Coleman, a 1953 Wittenberg graduate. They have four children.
Fellmeth left Wittenberg with several basketball scoring records including points in a season (379) and career (783). He was selected second-team All-OAC in 1945-46 after helping the Tigers share the OAC title with Akron, coached by Beichly. He was selected first-team all-OAC for two consecutive years and as a senior averaged 19 points per game and was named team MVP. He batted .607 as a member of the Tiger baseball team. After graduating, Fellmeth was drafted and signed by the Baltimore Bullets of the old Basketball Association of America and later played with the Portland Athletics, a farm team of the Philadelphia Athletics. A native of Canal Fulton, he is now judge of Massillon Municipal Court. He is married to Marjorie Ruth Sheriff, a 1948 Wittenberg graduate. They have two children.
Hawken ended his Tiger cage career by breaking records established earlier by Fellmeth, including 41 points in a game against Mount Union, which still stands. A three-time first team AII-OAC choice and team MVP, he was chosen All-Ohio in basketball in 1955 and ranked sixth nationally in free throw percentage. Hawken's name remains sixth on Wittenberg's career scoring list with 1,612 points. He was a member of the 1955 Ohio Conference baseball championship team, pitching six conference victories. Hawken continued his involvement in basketball after graduating, coaching a total of 23 years at Cleveland John Marshall, Maple Heights, Willoughby Heights and Chagrin Falls Kenston high schools, compiling a 298-172 career record and winning 11 league or tournament championships. He also coached championship baseball, golf and girls' basketball teams. He is married to the former Pat Degenhard, a 1956 Wittenberg graduate. They have three children.
McEvers won all possible Wittenberg Athletic Association awards in a two-year period while a Tiger. A field hockey and basketball standout, she was a three-year first-team selection on the Central Ohio Field Hockey Association all-star squad. She also played softball, swimming and badminton while a student. A native of Toledo and graduate of DeVilbiss High School, McEvers was a physical education and health teacher in public school for nearly 20 years and then spent nine years on the faculty at Wayne State University, retiring in 1982. Julie and husband David, a 1952 Wittenberg graduate, have four children.
Miller becomes the eighth member of Wittenberg's 1928 football team, the last coached by Ernie Godfrey, to enter the Hall of Honor. Captain of that team, Miller was a two-year pick on the All-Ohio football team at center. The Dover, Ohio, native signed with the Portsmouth Spartans of the National Football League in 1931. He was later administrator of the Avenal District Hospital in Avenal, Calif. He died July 6, 1987.
Pitzer lettered three years in basketball and two years in baseball and also participated in track while in a Wittenberg uniform. He played on Wittenberg's 1933 Buckeye Conference co-championship basketball team. In a 37-34 upset of previously unbeaten Princeton in 1934 Pitzer had high scoring honors with 17 points. Signed by the Cincinnati Reds during his junior year, Pitzer played minor league ball for two years before being traded to the New York Yankees. He also played professional basketball with Columbus in the National Basketball Conference, a forerunner of the NBA. Pitzer retired in 1976 after a 40-year coaching career in the Springfield Public Schools where he coached state champions in basketball and tennis. Among Woody's players at Springfield High School were Bill Goettman and Jack Hawken. Pitzer and his wife, Betty, a 1933 Wittenberg graduate, remain active in senior citizens organizations in the Springfield area. They have two sons.
Shannon's reputation came as a longtime basketball coach at Ohio Wesleyan University, where he became the winningest coach in history with 214 victories, still 10th on the all-time OAC list. His 1962 team won the regular season title with a 21-3 record and he was named Ohio Coach of the Year. During a five-year span, from 1960 to 1965, he led the Battling Bishops to an 86-31 record. He also coached tennis for six years during which his teams won five OAC championships. He is already a Wesleyan's Hall of Fame. In 39 years coaching basketball at all levels Shannon accumulated more than 800 victories. Shannon earned three letters in basketball and played on Wittenberg's first OAC championship team in that sport in 1939, and two letters in baseball. All-Ohio in basketball, he had a 14-4 record as a pitcher in baseball, pitching in every game over a two-year period either as a starter or reliever. Shannon moved to Springfield from Parkersburg, W.Va., at age 11 and lived in the Ohio Masonic Home until his graduation from Springfield High School in 1935. He went on to become head basketball coach at Olive Branch, Tecumseh and Urbana high Schools, Compiling a record of 195-66. Shannon and wife, Mary Louise, have three sons.
Worden was a standout defensive end at Wittenberg playing on four teams with a combined record of 33-2-1 and three OAC championships under Coach Bill Edwards. He was twice selected first team all-OAC and was the top vote getter on the all-league team as a junior. Worden went on to a six-year professional career in the Canadian Football League AS a member of the Saskatchewan Rough Riders, Worden played on two Grey Cup teams, in 1966 and 1967. He was named all-CFL at tight end in 1966 when the Rough Riders won the CFL championship. Worden and his wife, Gloria, have two children. Their son, Jim, is currently a member of the Wittenberg football team.