June 29, 2012
Springfield, Ohio — Seven Wittenberg University greats will be inducted into the school's Athletics Hall of Honor during 2012 Homecoming Weekend ceremonies, Oct. 5-7. Ken Bonner '89, Eddie Ford '75, Eric Horstman '89, Lamar Kilgore ‘55, Karen Larson '96, Gary Sitler '78 and Tom Weller '88 will join 194 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. 5. They will be introduced to Wittenberg's loyal fans during halftime of the annual Homecoming football game against Wabash, which is set to kick off at 1 p.m. the next day at Edwards-Maurer Field.
Bonner is one of the finest offensive linemen in the history of Wittenberg football, a four-year starter at right guard between 1985 and 1988. The Tigers posted records of 28-13 overall and 22-10 in the challenging Ohio Athletic Conference (OAC) during Bonner's four years in the Red & White, highlighted by a conference championship and NCAA Division III Tournament berth in 1988. Bonner served as a team captain as a senior, spearheading an upset of the University of Dayton in the first round of the national tournament. He finished his career with three first-team All-OAC awards to his credit, to go along with second-team All-America in 1987 and first-team All-America honors in 1988. A native of Warrensville, Ohio, Bonner currently resides in Lake-in-the-Hills, Ill.
Ford was a four-year starter for the Tiger men's basketball team between 1971 and 1975 after arriving at Wittenberg as a walk-on. During his collegiate career, Wittenberg posted tremendous four-year records of 78-26 overall and 40-9 in the OAC, winning three regular season titles and three conference tournament crowns. Ford led the Tigers in scoring as a sophomore and junior, earning second-team All-OAC honors, and he finished his career with 1,025 points. A team captain in 1974-75, Ford also helped Wittenberg to three NCAA Division III Tournament appearances, including a berth in the quarterfinal round during his senior year. A native of Dayton, Ohio, Ford went on to enjoy a tremendous career as a high school boys' basketball coach. He currently resides in Springfield.
Horstman joined Bonner on the right side of the offensive line between 1985 and 1988 to form a nearly impenetrable wall. The Tigers allowed just 12 sacks in nearly 500 passing attempts over the final two seasons of their collegiate career. A three-year starter and four-year letterwinner at right tackle, Horstman earned first-team All-OAC in 1987 and 1988, when he capped his years in the Red & White by earning the prestigious Mike Gregory Award, given annually to the conference's Offensive Player of the Year. A two-time first-team All-America honoree, Horstman also earned the coveted Golden Helmet Award, given by the coaching staff to the player who best exemplifies the qualities of a Tiger football student-athlete. A native of Chesterland, Ohio, Horstman currently resides in Cleveland, Ohio.
Kilgore was Wittenberg's first-ever winner of four letters in men's golf between 1951 and 1955. He led the team in scoring average and was elected team captain in 1954 and 1955. Also a member of the men's basketball program for two years, Kilgore was a campus leader, serving as vice president of the Beta Theta Pi fraternity and Student Senate during his senior year. A native of Springfield, Kilgore continued to hone his golf game since graduation from Wittenberg, competing in tournaments in 37 states and 17 foreign countries. In 2010, he made an estate gift to Wittenberg that will endow a fund to support the men's and women's golf programs, an academic Chair in Peace Studies, an academic Chair in Global Citizenship and a Fellowship Toward Justice for Animals. In 2012, Kilgore led a fundraising drive to expand and equip an indoor training and practice facility for the Tiger golf teams. Kilgore currently resides in Malvern, Pa.
Nearly two decades after concluding her career, Larson continues to stand atop every scoring list in the Wittenberg women's soccer record book. A four-year starter between 1992 and 1995, Larson holds records for points (44), goals (18) and assists (8 — twice) in a season, in addition to points (127), goals (50) and assists (26) in a career. She earned All-North Coast Athletic Conference honors following each of her four seasons in the Red & White, including first-team awards in 1993, 1994 and 1995. The Tigers posted a four-year record of 52-22-3 during Larson's collegiate career as she picked up team MVP honors in 1994 to go along with a pair of All-Midwest Region awards, two All-Ohio awards and two Academic All-Ohio awards. A native of Carmel, Ind., Larson currently resides in Washington, DC.
Sitler is one of the finest punters in Wittenberg football history. He earned first-team All-OAC honors three times during his career and Lutheran Brotherhood All-America honors in 1975 and 1976. Sitler's name appears frequently in the program record book, standing atop such lists as career punts (177) and punting yardage (6,934), while his punting average for a game (51.6), season (41.1) and career (39.2) all rank second in school history. The Tigers compiled four-year records of 39-5-1 overall and 20-1 in the OAC during Sitler's career, winning two conference championships and the 1975 national championship, in which Sitler set the Amos Alonzo Stagg Bowl record for punting average (46.4). He earned a tryout with the Pittsburgh Steelers of the National Football League, making it to the final round of cuts. A native of Newark, Ohio, Sitler currently resides in Granville, Ohio, where he has served as kicking/punting coach for Wittenberg's NCAC rival Denison University for 12 years. He continues to coach youth of all ages, including four former Wittenberg kickers/punters and numerous high school standouts.
Weller is one of the most accomplished post players in Wittenberg men's basketball history. While earning four varsity letters for the Tigers between 1984 and 1988, Weller played for teams that compiled records of 95-24 overall and 51-13 in the OAC, winning one regular season title and two conference tournament titles. Wittenberg reached the NCAA Division III Tournament three times during Weller's career, finishing third in 1987. Along the way, Weller earned three All-OAC designations, including first-team all-conference following the 1987-88 season, and he served as a team captain and earned team MVP honors that year as well. A native of West Carrollton, Ohio, Weller currently resides in Monroe, Ohio.
Written By: Ryan Maurer