Springfield, Ohio — Six Wittenberg University greats will be inducted into the school's Athletics Hall of Honor during 2009 Homecoming Weekend ceremonies, Oct. 23-25. Joe Govern '80, Sarah Jurewicz '98, Sarah Newlin '96, Bob Wagner '69, Tom Young '70 and longtime statistician Joe Clayton will join 178 other Wittenberg greats who have previously been inducted into the university's Athletics Hall of Honor.
The honorees will be formally inducted into the Athletics Hall of Honor at a banquet on Friday, Oct. 23. They will be introduced to Wittenberg's loyal fans during halftime of the annual Homecoming football game against Carnegie Mellon the next day, which is set to kick off at Edwards-Maurer Field at 2 p.m.
Joe Govern was a hard-working defensive tackle who played a key role for the Tigers as they made back-to-back appearances in the NCAA Division III Championship game in 1978 and 1979. Part of a defensive unit dubbed the "Checkmates" by then-defensive coordinator Bob Rosencrans, Govern was a two-time first-team All-Ohio Athletic Conference (OAC) selection, and he earned the Hank Critchfield Award, given to the top defensive player in the OAC, following his senior year. He capped his career with All-America honors from three different organizations and second-team Academic All-America honors. Described as "one of the best gridders to ever play for the Red & White" by National College Football Hall of Fame Coach Dave Maurer, Govern helped the Tigers to a combined 30-2-1 record during his collegiate career, including four straight undefeated OAC seasons. A native of Macedonia, Ohio, Govern graduated from Wittenberg in 1980 with a degree in accounting. He currently resides in Powell, Ohio.
Sarah Jurewicz was the first junior in Wittenberg women's basketball history to reach the 1,000-point plateau, and her career point total remains the best in school history. In her career, Jurewicz picked up first-team All-North Coast Athletic Conference (NCAC) honors three times in her career (among four All-NCAC awards overall), NCAC Newcomer of the Year honors in 1995, three team MVP awards and three NCAC All-Tournament awards. Also a two-year letterwinner in track and field and an All-NCAC honoree in the discus in 1996, Jurewicz still ranks ninth in career assists, seventh in career steals and second in career rebounds at Wittenberg after leading the Tigers to records of 85-24 overall and 59-5 in the NCAC regular season as a player. The university's NCAC female scholar-athlete award-winner in 1998 and a member of the NCAC's Women's Basketball 20th Anniversary Team, Jurewicz returned to her alma mater to coach the women's basketball team in 2007 following the passing of her coach and mentor, Pam Evans Smith. Jurewicz has led the Tigers to a 29-23 record and the 2008 NCAC Tournament title game in two years at the helm. A native of Shakopee, Minn., Jurewicz graduated from Wittenberg in 1998 with a degree in art. She currently resides in Springfield.
Sarah Newlin was the first Wittenberg women's soccer student-athlete to earn All-America honors, and she remains the lone Wittenberg female student-athlete (regardless of sport) to earn national player of the year honors after picking up that award in 1995. A four-year starter in goal for the Tigers, Newlin led her teams to a cumulative 51-23-3 record, including a 17-12-3 in the challenging NCAC. As a senior, Newlin spearheaded one of the best seasons in program history as she allowed just seven goals while making 153 saves as the Tigers posted records of 15-3 overall and 6-2 in the NCAC in 1995. Individually, Newlin was named first-team All-NCAC in 1993, 1994 and 1995, and NCAC Defensive Player of the Year in 1995. She was later selected to the NCAC's Women's Soccer 20th Anniversary Team. Still the school record-holder for career and season saves, the Middletown, Ohio, native and current resident, earned a degree in psychology from Wittenberg in 1996.
Bob Wagner was a two-time first-team All-OAC selection for his work as an offensive tackle on the football field, and a two-time all-region selection for his work as a defenseman on the lacrosse team. The football Tigers posted a 28-7 record during Wagner's four years in the Red & White, including a 14-5 OAC record with one conference title. A team captain as a senior, Wagner capped his collegiate football career with honorable mention Lutheran All-America honors in 1968. He went on to a successful coaching career, starting with four years at Muskingum and Wooster before moving on to the NCAA Division I coaching ranks, including stops at the University of Washington, University of Arizona and University of Texas-El Paso. He capped his career with 19 years on the football coaching staff at the University of Hawaii, including nine as the program's head coach. He led the Rainbow Warriors to their first-ever NCAA Division I top-20 finish, first-ever Western Athletic Conference (WAC) title and first-ever bowl appearance while accumulating career records of 5-1 against the Pac-10 and 2-2 against the Big 10. He was named WAC Coach of the Year in 1989 and 1992. A native of Newark, Ohio, Wagner earned his degree in management from Wittenberg in 1969. He currently resides in Keaau, Hawaii.
Tom Young was the captain and in many ways the heart and soul of Wittenberg's 1969 national championship football squad. An offensive guard, Young won the Golden Helmet award that year for his "toughness and leadership by example," according to National College Football Hall of Fame Coach Dave Maurer. The Tigers posted a phenomenal 32-4 overall record during Young's collegiate career, including a pair of OAC championships. After the season, Young earned second-team "Little All-America" honors from the Associated Press, in addition to first-team Lutheran All-America honors and second-team All-OAC honors. A native of Clairton, Pa., Young currently resides in Jupiter, Fla., with his wife of 38 years, Beverly (Bates), class of 1971, a former Tiger cheerleader.
Joe Clayton, a lifelong Springfield resident, served as an invaluable statistician for Wittenberg's football, men's basketball and women's basketball teams for more than 20 years before his passing in March 2009. In addition to tracking statistics at hundreds of football and basketball games through the years, he also helped track statistics for Wittenberg men's and women's soccer, baseball and volleyball games in recent years. In addition, Clayton traveled to road football games from 2005-08 to help out with sports information duties. Also a member of the Athletics Hall of Honor committee, Clayton did almost all of his work on a volunteer basis, contributing thousands of hours to his hometown university.
Written By: Ryan Maurer and Erin Slattery '10