Former Buckeyes Holtz, Smith, Wells to be honored by OHSAA

COLUMBUS, Ohio — The Ohio High School Athletic Association will honor six former Ohio high school greats during the finals of the 2015 Boys State Basketball Tournament Saturday, March 28. Recognized during the Division IV championship game that begins at 10:45 a.m. will be Lisa Cline, Chris "Beanie" Wells and Troy Smith, while Bob Golic, Randy Gradishar and Lou Holtz will be honored during the 4:30 Division II championship game. This is the ninth consecutive year the OHSAA has selected individuals who had prominent roles in the history of Ohio interscholastic athletics to be included in its Circle of Champions program. The state tournament will be held at Ohio State’s Jerome Schottenstein Center in Columbus.

Lisa Cline was an outstanding basketball player at Millersburg West Holmes High School and at Ohio State. In high school, she led the Knights to the first two of three-straight state championships in 1984 and ’85 while helping the team string together a state record 108 straight wins. She scored 2,958 career points, currently ranking third in Ohio girls history. She continues to hold the state record for points in a game (76) and points in a season when she averaged 37 points per game as a senior. At Ohio State, she helped the team win three Big Ten championships and a berth in the NCAA Sweet 16 all four years. She was the Big Ten Freshman of the Year, league player of the year as a senior in 1989 and finished second on the Buckeyes’ career scoring list. Lisa has been inducted into both Ohio State’s Athletics Hall of Fame and the Ohio Basketball Hall of Fame. Her brother, Mike, played basketball at Ohio State from 1976 to ’79 and was a senior captain. Lisa currently lives in central Ohio.

Chris "Beanie" Wells was an All-American running back and ran track at Akron Garfield High School before attending Ohio State on a football scholarship. As a full-time starter during his sophomore year in 2007, he rushed for 1,609 yards and 15 touchdowns, including 222 yards against Michigan. He was named first team All-Big Ten and second team All-American. Beanie gained nearly 1,200 yards his junior season despite missing three games with a foot injury. Ohio State was 33-6 during his three seasons and won three Big Ten championships. After his junior year he entered the NFL, where he was drafted in the first round by Arizona. During his four years with the Cardinals, he set a franchise record with 228 rushing yards against St. Louis in 2011 in a season that saw him rush for 1,047 yards and 10 touchdowns. A torn Achilles tendon in October 2013 has put his career on hold, but Beanie is continuing to rehab for a possible return to the NFL while working to complete his degree, donating time to charity and youth programs and also starting a broadcasting career. He resides in the Columbus area.

Troy Smith was a standout quarterback at Cleveland Glenville High School who also played basketball and ran track. He then attended Ohio State on a football scholarship, redshirting during OSU’s National Championship season in 2002 and becoming a starter midway through his sophomore year. Troy’s memorable senior season in 2006 saw him pass for 2,507 yards and 30 TDs, earn All-America honors and culminate with his selection as the Heisman Trophy winner, the sixth Buckeye to win the honor. He was especially effective during his career against Michigan, going 3-0 as a starter while accumulating nearly 1,200 total yards and accounting for nine TDs. This past fall his number ’10’ was enshrined and permanently put on display at Ohio Stadium with other Buckeye greats and Heisman winners. Since leaving Ohio State, Troy has played in the NFL with the Ravens and 49ers and in the United and Canadian football Leagues. He is currently taking graduate classes at Ohio State, is a graduate assistant in the athletic department and is an advocate for youth fitness and health programs. Troy resides in the Columbus area.

Bob Golic was a standout football player and wrestler at Cleveland St. Joseph High School, where he won the state championship as a heavyweight wrestler in 1975. He went on to the University of Notre Dame, where he helped the football team win a national championship in 1977 and earned All-America honors in both football and wrestling. Following graduation in 1979, Bob spent 14 seasons in the NFL. Seven of those seasons were with Cleveland, where he was a three-time Pro Bowl nose guard, was twice named All-Pro and helped the Browns make the playoffs his final four years. His time in Cleveland was sandwiched by stops with the Patriots and Raiders. Following retirement in 1992, Bob has worked as a television actor, radio personality and sports commentator. He currently lives in Solon with his wife Karen and owns Bob Golic’s Sports Bar and Grille in downtown Cleveland. He is the older brother of ESPN sports personality Mike Golic, the co-host of the popular Mike and Mike in the Morning show.

Randy Gradishar was a standout football and basketball player at Warren Champion High School. He went on to star as a linebacker at both the collegiate and professional levels. While at Ohio State, Randy was a three-year starter who helped the Buckeyes win two Big Ten titles. In his senior year, Ohio State defeated Southern Cal in the 1974 Rose Bowl to complete a 10-0-1 season. He was a two-time consensus All-American and an Academic All-American. A first round draft pick of the Broncos, Randy played 10 years in Denver and was the centerpiece of the Orange Crush Defense. He was a seven-time Pro Bowl and five-time All-Pro selection, played in the 1978 Super Bowl and was the ’78 NFL Defensive Player of the Year. Never missing a game, many considered him one of the smartest and most instinctive NFL linebackers ever. Among his many accomplishments are selections to the Ohio State Athletics and College Football halls of fame and the Broncos Ring of Fame. In addition to his storied athletic career, Randy made three Goodwill USO tours to Iraq and Afghanistan. He currently works for Phil Long Dealerships and Mt. Carmel Center of Excellence, which provides wellness programs and transitional programs to veterans and their families. Randy and his wife Beth reside in Denver.

Lou Holtz grew up in East Liverpool before attending Kent State, where he played football for two years and earned his bachelor’s degree. He then embarked on a long and successful college football coaching career beginning in 1960. He was a grad or assistant coach at five schools over the next nine years including Ohio State, where he was on Coach Woody Hayes’ staff of the Buckeyes’ 1968 National Championship team. Next, he served as a collegiate head coach for 33 of the next 36 years before retiring from coaching following the 2004 season with 249 wins. His most successful stint was at Notre Dame, where his 11 teams won 100 games, ranking second to Knute Rockne in Fighting Irish victories. The 1988 Notre Dame team won the national championship and he was national coach of the year. Coach Holtz is currently seen on ESPN as a college football analyst and is a frequent motivational speaker. In 1998, he also helped form the Lou Holtz/Upper Ohio Valley Hall of Fame back in East Liverpool, where Ohio Valley greats in all fields are recognized and scholarships and grants are presented to students and teachers. Lou and his wife, Beth, reside in Orlando, Fla., and have four children including son Skip, the head football coach at Louisiana Tech.

Past honorees in the OHSAA Circle of Champions program have been: 2007-Todd Blackledge; Jay Burson; Dean Chance; Archie Griffin; Bill Hosket; Clark Kellogg; Dante Lavelli (since deceased); Cindy Noble Hauserman, and Katie Smith; 2008-Galen Cisco; Jim Lachey; Susan Nash Sugar, and Bill Willis (posthumously); 2009-Robin Freeman (since deceased); LeBron James; Larry Siegfried (since deceased); Dick Schafrath, and Mary Wineberg; 2010-Howard "Hopalong" Cassady; Jerry Lucas; Al Oliver; Jesse Owens (posthumously), and Tony Trabert; 2011-Harrison Dillard; Wayne Embry; John Havlicek; Jim Houston; Madeline Manning Mims, and Phil Niekro; 2012-Barry Clemens; Bob Hoying; LaVonna Martin-Floreal; Butch Reynolds; Dick Snyder, and Gene Tenace; 2013-Earle Bruce; Rex Kern; Michael Redd; Chris Spielman, and Paul Warfield; 2014-Jessica Davenport; Abby Johnston; Jim Paxson, and John Paxson.