7.25.13 Walsh to Induct Eight into Wall of Fame
Walsh University will induct eight new members into its Athletic Wall of Fame. The Wall of Fame dinner and official induction ceremony will be held on Friday, October 4, 2013. The dinner will be held at the Barrette Business and Community Center, beginning with a reception at 6 p.m., followed by dinner at 7 p.m., with the induction ceremonies to follow. Cost of the dinner is $25. Please R.S.V.P. by calling Stephanie Cady at 330-490-7035. The 2013 class will also be presented on Saturday, October 5 at halftime of the homecoming football game against Ohio Dominican University at Fawcett Stadium. Kick-off is at 6 p.m.
Chris Brink (Football, 2000-03) lettered four years at tight end for Jim Dennison and earned All-American and first-team Mid-States Football Association accolades each season. He received honorable mention NAIA All-American honors his first three years and was a first-team selection his senior year. Brink made a splash his freshman season with 37 receptions for 594 yards and a Walsh record 11 touchdowns. He led the teams in catches (30) and yards receiving (620), with five touchdowns his sophomore year on Walsh’s only MSFA championship team. In 2002, Brink made 39 catches, six for touchdowns, for 610 yards and closed his career with a personal best 45 catches for 816 yards and nine touchdowns his senior year. He is still the all-time leader in receptions (151), yards receiving (2,640) and receiving touchdowns (31). Brink is also the single season leader with 11 receiving TDs and 816 yards.
Lauren Collins (Volleyball, 2001-04) lettered four years for Cass Dixon and played on three NAIA national qualifying teams, and an Elite Eight squad her junior year. A middle blocker/outside hitter, Collins earned All-American Mideast Conference honors all four years. She was an honorable mention selection as a freshman and was named to the All-Freshman team after totaling 419 kills. As a sophomore, on Walsh’s first NAIA national tournament team, Collins earned first-team AMC and Region IX accolades after totaling 540 kills. She averaged 4.0 kills per game and compiled a .301 attack percentage. On Walsh’s Elite Eight national tournament squad, Collins earned first-team Region IX honors and was a second-team AMC selection after contributing 465 kills to the Cavs’ 37-5 team. Lauren earned first-team AMC and Region IX status. Collins ranks fourth all-time in career kills (2,004) and kills per set (3.85).
Ben Hackett (2000-03) lettered four times for Tim Mead as an outfielder for the Cavs. Hackett earned All-American Mideast Conference honors all four years. He was a second-team selection as a red-shirt freshman and sophomore, earned honorable mention as a junior and first-team honors his senior year. After redshirting in 1999, Hackett hit .383 with nine home runs, and 45 RB, and a .661 slugging percentage on Walsh’s AMC championship team in 2000. In 2001, Hackett hit .311 and earned second-team Region IX honors. Hackett hit .338 with 13 homers and 39 RBI as a junior. Ben shined as a senior, as he hit .389 and became Walsh’s all-time hit leader (233). Hackett finished his Walsh career with a .353 average, and stands first all-time in doubles (50) and runs scored (151). The slugging center fielder is also second with 35 career round-trippers and 660 at bats.
Erika (Ludwig) Stewart (1997-2000) is the first student-athlete from synchronized swimming to earn Wall of Fame honors. Head Coach Dee Dent was inducted in 2008. Ludwig became the first Cavalier to earn USSS All-American accolades when she was honored in 1998. Erika finished sixth in team, eighth in trio and fourth in duet at the US Collegiate National Championships. In 2000, she led the Cavs to a ninth place finish at the national championships and received Academic All-American honors. After graduation, Ludwig returned to Walsh and served as assistant under Dent for two years and was the Head Coach in for two years in 2003 and 2004. Erika resides in North Canton with her husband, Roger, and children Taylor (14), Hannah (10), and Blake (2). She was the assistant coach to Dee Dent in 2001 and 2002 before becoming the head coach in 2003.
Chris Saltmarsh (2001-04) lettered four times on the men’s golf team for Jeff Young. Perhaps the finest golfer to ever hit the links for the Cavs, Saltmarsh earned American Mideast Conference honors four times. Saltmarsh exploded onto the scene as a freshman, and won four tournaments and averaged 76.3. As a sophomore, he was AMC/Region IX medalist (75.9) and finished 50th at the NAIA National Championships. He posted eight rounds of 75 or lower. Chris earned NAIA All-American status his junior year (2003), averaging 72.6 and finishing first or second in seven of eight tournaments. He was a medalist at the Malone Invitational with a 67. During his senior year, Saltmarsh was ranked as the number one golfer in the NAIA and 25th collegiately by GolfStat. He shot a record 63 at the PowerAde Classic and won the tournament with rounds of 63, 68 and 69. Chris again earned NAIA All-American honors and averaged 75.3. He is currently the head coach at Florida Tech and is in his fourth season.
Sherry Bossart spent 33 on the campus of Walsh College and Walsh University. The popular Bossart coached the men’s tennis program for 31 years and women’s 26 years. Bossart compiled 620 career coaching wins, 27 championships and coached countless NAIA Scholar-Athletes. She retired as a full-time coach prior to last season, but spent the year as an assistant to former player Bryan Whittaker. Along with her role as head tennis coach, Sherry also served Athletic Business Manager until 2011. After starting the women’s program in 1983, Bossart built the program into an Ohio NAIA dynasty in the 1990s. The Cavs won six consecutive conference titles (1995-2000), 10 total, and made five straight trips to the national tournament. Her women's career mark stands at 270-171. She also established a stranglehold on Coach of the Year accolades, winning the award 10 times. Bossart, who took over the men’s program in 1980-81, directed the program to 15 conference titles, and 11 national tournament appearances. Her career men's record is 350-180. The Cavs won either the conference or region championship each year from 1999 to 2007. Sherry coached countless all-conference performers in establishing the premier men’s and women’s NAIA program in Ohio. Bossart was inducted into the Greater Canton Amateur Sports Hall of Fame in 1996, and has worked countless hours to make tennis a sport to be recognized in Stark County. She has also worked as a tennis instructor at the Village Racquet Club and the Hall of Fame Tennis Center in Canton. She has won past women's and mixed doubles championships at the Canton City Tournament and the North Canton Tennis Tournament. Sherry also helped establish the Greater Stark County Tennis Association, and served as president from 1992-94. She resides in Canton with her husband, Danny.
Honors are nothing new for James L. Dennison. He has been honored by peers in the coaching ranks and by administrators in the athletic world. He has been inducted into seven Halls of Fame and one Ring of Honor. Now, after retiring from Walsh University last November, Dennison enters his eighth Hall, or Wall of Fame, with his induction to the elite group in North Canton. Dennison walked the sidelines for 18 years at Walsh after starting the football program in 1995, and spent 20 years in North Canton. The Wadsworth native was the only head coach in the history of the football program that began in 1995. He guided the Cavs to 14 winning seasons, including a 7-3 record in the first year, and 119 wins against only 77 losses. Walsh finished with a winning record in its first 12 years. Dennison’s teams won at least eight games in a single season seven times, won nine games in 2006, and made their only NAIA playoff appearance after recording a 9-3 record. Walsh won its only Mid-States Football Association championship in 2001. Overall, Dennison finished with an overall record of 208-139-2 in 31 years as a head coach. He also spent 13 years at the University of Akron as head coach (1973-85), where he is still the all-time winningest coach (80-62-2). Dennison was named Director of Athletics at Walsh in June of 1993. The university announced on February 11, 1994, that it would institute football as a varsity sport in the fall of 1995 and named Dennison as head coach. Dennison stepped down from his role as athletic director in 2007 to devote all of his time to football. Dennison retired from his post as Director of Athletics at the University of Akron in June of 1993. He served 28 years at Akron, including 13 years as the head football coach and seven as director of athletics. During his tenure as the Zips Head Coach, he produced three of the six best records in Akron football history; 10-3 in 1976, 8-3 in 1983 and 8-4 in 1985. In 2002 and 2005, he was named NAIA Northeast Region Sports-Turf NACDA Athletic Director of the Year and was named NAIA Region IX Athletic Director of the Year in 2004 and 2005. In 2003 he became a charter member of the University of Akron’s Ring of Honor, In 2007 he received the University of Akron Alumni Honor Award. A passionate believer in positive mental attitude (PMA), Dennison is called upon to deliver his message about motivation and goal setting. Jim and his wife Sue are parents of a daughter, Mrs. Denise Morrow, three sons, Jim, Greg, and Matt, and have ten grandchildren. The Dennison’s reside in Norton.
Dan McCallion came to Walsh in 1977 and promptly began breathing new life into the track program and polishing the cross-country program. McCallion's teams made an immediate impact, rebounding from consecutive last place finishes at the All-Ohio Meet, to finish 10th, 4th and 3rd in Dan's first three years. McCallion guided the Cavs to the NAIA National Cross Country Meet 15 times, with an all-time high fourth place finish in 1988. Dan sent an individual to the to the national meet every year, and coached indoor national shot put champion and Wall of Famer Kevin Surnear and indoor long jump champion Joe Morgan. He produced two NAIA All-Americans in 1999 with a 21st place team finish, the highest in Walsh history. McCallion was also named American Mideast Conference Track Coach of the Year in 2003. His final Walsh team won the AMC Track championship in 2012. McCallion was also the first coach of Walsh’s women’s cross country and track and field programs, led the women to a NAIA District 22 Track championship in their first year in 1983. Dan also served as Walsh’s Director of Athletics from 1981 to 1983. A four-year letter winner in track and cross country and a 1975 University of Akron graduate, Dan was the last Zips' distance runner to attain NCAA All-American recognition. He was inducted into the University of Akron's Hall of Fame in 1994. Dan and his wife Kathy reside in Plain Township.