Oct. 19, 2004
SPRINGFIELD, Ohio — Eight Wittenberg University greats will be inducted into the school's Athletics Hall of Honor during Homecoming Weekend ceremonies this weekend. Brad Baldridge '91, Loyal Bishop '52, Beth Green '94, Taver Johnson '94, Rick Lyons '92, Tony Vedova '61, Jon Warga '91 and Scott Watters '87 will join 139 other athletes who have been selected for this prestigious honor the last 19 years.
The honorees will be formally inducted into the Athletics Hall of Honor at a banquet at 6:30 p.m. Friday, Oct. 22. They will also be honored by Wittenberg's loyal fans at halftime of the Homecoming football game against Wabash the next day, which kicks off at Edwards-Maurer Field at 1 p.m.
Brad Baldridge is arguably the greatest men's basketball player in school history. A four-year letterwinner and starter, Baldridge capped his career by becoming the third Tiger player to ever earn NCAA Division III Player of the Year honors in 1991 after he averaged a double-double with 20.1 points and 10.2 rebounds per game. A three-time All-American and two-time North Coast Athletic Conference Player of the Year, Baldridge concluded his career ranked No. 2 on the university's scoring list with 1,852 points and rebounding list with 1,030. He also holds the school record with 303 blocked shots. A native of Dublin, Ohio, Baldridge currently resides in Powell, Ohio.
Loyal Bishop earned a total of seven varsity letters in football, basketball and baseball during his stellar career. In football, Bishop was a three-year starter and letterwinner as a end on offense and a linebacker on defense, and he set records in 1951 for kickoff returns (17) and return yardage (350) in a season that stood for nearly 40 years. He also was a three-year letterwinner and two-year starter on the men's basketball team, and he earned one letter in baseball. Bishop served as president of his class as a junior and as a senior, and as an alumnus, he served as president of the Varsity "W" Association. A native of Wadsworth, Ohio, Bishop currently resides in Terre Haute, Ind.
Beth Green is one of the most influential student-athletes in Wittenberg history after she earned 10 varsity letters in her career, four each in basketball and volleyball and two in lacrosse. In basketball, Green was a three-time team MVP, and she earned first-team All-NCAC honors three straight years. As the team's co-captain, her career culminated in 1994 with first-team All-America honors while leading the Tigers to a 24-4 record - including a perfect 16-0 in the NCAC. Green was the first Tiger women's basketball player to become an All-American and the perfect NCAC record was the first ever recorded by a conference team. In volleyball, Green was a three-time team MVP and three-time first-team All-NCAC honoree. She was NCAC Player of the Year in 1992 and 1993, and she was additionally honored with all-region honors in 1993. A native of Wooster, Ohio, Green currently resides in Smyrna, Ga.
Taver Johnson made quite an impression in his four years on the football field. A four-year letterwinner and two-time team MVP, Johnson made first-team All-NCAC and first-team All-America in 1992 and 1993. The team's leading tackler in three of his four seasons seasons, Johnson earned the NCAC's Hank Critchfield Award as the top defensive player in the league in 1992 and 1993, and he capped his career with NCAA Division III Defensive Player of the Year honors while leading the Tigers to a 9-1 overall record. A native of Cincinnati, Ohio, Johnson currently resides in Cleveland, Ohio, where he works for the Cleveland Browns of the National Football League.
Rick Lyons is Wittenberg's most decorated golfer ever, and he is the only player in the program's history to ever place in the top 20 of the NCAA Division III Championship Tournament all four years of his career. He earned first-team All-America honors in each of his first three years in the Red & White before settling for 11th place as a senior, which gave him second-team All-America status. His third-place finish in 1990, his fourth-place finish in 1991 and his sixth-place finish in 1989 are the three highest finishes in school history. Lyons earned team MVP honors all four years, first-team all-conference all four years, and he served as team captain in 1992. He also led the Tigers to fifth place in 1989 national championships, the best finish in school history. A native of Dayton, Lyons currently resides in Springfield.
Tony Vedova was a starting point guard on some of Wittenberg's greatest basketball teams, and he was one of the first players under legendary coach Ray Mears to help turn the fortunes of what is now the winningest small college basketball program in NCAA history. A four-year letterwinner and a team captain in 1960-61, Vedova was a second-team All-OAC choice in 1958 and a first-team All-OAC honoree in 1959. The Tigers posted a phenomenal four-year record of 85-12 during Vedova's collegiate career, and they won three OAC titles and Wittenberg's first-ever national crown in 1961. A native of Cleveland, Ohio, Vedova currently resides in Dayton.
Jon Warga, who is being inducted posthumously, was a record-setting running back for the Tigers, someone who figures to have his name etched in the Wittenberg football record books for many years. While earning four letters between 1987-90, Warga rushed for 3,250 yards and 28 touchdowns in just 31 games. He stands fourth on the all-time career rushing list, 10th on the all-time career total offense list, sixth on the single season total offense list, sixth on the single season scoring list and first by a wide margin in single season rushing yardage. In his All-America 1990 season, Warga was simply amazing, leading the nation with 1,836 yards and 16 touchdowns on 254 carries, good for a school-record 7.2 yards per carry average. Warga had six games with 200 yards or more rushing that season, and his rushing total was the second-best in NCAA Division III history at the time. A native of Columbus, Ohio, Warga was a resident of Skippack, Pa., at the time of his death in 2001.
Scott Watters, best known by his nickname "Muddy," was a record-setting linebacker for the Tiger football team. A four-year letterwinner and two-time team MVP, Watters holds the Wittenberg records for tackles in a season (164) and a career (472). He was All-OAC three times in his career, capped by first-team honors in 1986. As the team captain that year, Watters also earned the team's Golden Helmet Award, first-team All-America honors and the Lee Tressel Award as the top player in the state of Ohio. Watters is a native and current resident of Gahanna, Ohio.