The Central State Department of Intercollegiate Athletics has announced the 2016 inductees for the CSU Athletic Hall of Fame. Five individuals and four teams make up this year’s class which includes:
Leonard “Tony” Blaine ’62
John E. Day ’71
Eric Love ’83
Dr. Paul Nitz
James Rollins ’96
1960 & 1962 men’s cross country teams
1983 football team
1991 women’s track & field team.
[easyazon_infoblock align=”right” cart=”y” identifier=”0873383494″ locale=”US” tag=”hbcusports-20″]”We are proud of the inductees and appreciate all they have done for Central State University,” Vice President of Athletics Jahan Culbreath said. “The induction ceremony is an opportunity for all of our Central State alumni, friends and family to come together to celebrate the accomplishments of Marauder athletics. The event is a true celebration of Central State University, its rich history, and those who have contributed to our athletic success over the years.”
In addition to this year’s inductees, Central State will pay special tribute to Grace Baptist Church, an organization that has provided tremendous service and support to Central State student-athletes.
ESPN analyst Chris Broussard will serve as the keynote speaker for the event. An internationally known sports analyst, Broussard regularly appears on a variety of ESPN shows such as “Outside the Lines,” “First Take” and the network’s flagship program, “SportsCenter.” Broussard is also the founder of a men’s movement called K.I.N.G., which stands for Knowledge, Inspiration and Nurture through God. K.I.N.G. is a nondenominational movement that seeks to unite true Bible-believing Christian men across all denominational lines. A former writer for the New York Times, Broussard has also authored several books and is a frequent speaker at churches, colleges, high schools, charitable fundraisers and youth-related events. He has also been recognized for his work with Big Brothers Big Sisters of Greater Flint (Mich.), where Mayor Dayne Walling issued a public proclamation declaring September 17, 2010, “Chris Broussard Day.” In 1997, Broussard was named as an African-American Man of Achievement by Bright Star Baptist Church in Cleveland, Ohio.
The 2016 Hall of Fame Luncheon will be held at the Country Club of the North on Friday, October 14 at 1 p.m.
Leonard “Tony” Blaine
Class of 1962
Leonard “Tony” Blaine was a men’s basketball team co-captain and a three-time Midwestern Athletic Association All-League selection from 1959 to 1962.
After an outstanding career at Hamilton High School, Blaine enrolled at Central State to begin his academic and athletic pursuits. He quickly earned a starting spot in the Marauder frontcourt and would go on to establish himself as one of the top post players in CSU history.
In the 1959-60 season, Blaine averaged a double-double with 11.9 points and 11.9 rebounds per game. He also set the school single-game rebounding record with 27 in a 85-81 win over Baldwin-Wallace. Blaine had his best statistical season in the 1960-61 campaign where he was second on the team in scoring with 14.1 per game and led the Marauder rebounding efforts with 12.3 rebounds per contest. In his final year playing in Beacom/Lewis Gymnasium, Blaine averaged 12.8 points and 7.4 rebounds on a team that would go on to play in the MWAA Championship game.
With Blaine’s induction into this year’s Hall of Fame, the 1961-62 Central State men’s basketball roster now has five CSU Hall of Famers (William “Cody” Anderson, Jerry Cummings, Ted Day, Jerome Tillman). The 61-62 team helped set the standard for future Marauder success on the hardwood including the 1965 and 1968 NAIA national championship runs.
After graduating from Central State, Blaine went to build a rewarding career as a civic leader and contributor in the community. Blaine has served as the executive director on the Butler Metropolitan Housing Authority, director of the Booker T. Washington Commission, and a member of the Butler County Community Action Committee.
John E. Day
Class of 1971
John E Day enrolled at Central State in 1966 after graduating from Xenia Woodrow Wilson High School a private school for children of the Ohio Soldiers and Sailors Orphans Home (OSSO Home). While attending school there, he was an outstanding running back, point guard, hurdler, pole vaulter and high jumper in track.
After graduating from high school, Day enrolled at Central State. Hearing that they had a football team, he decided to try out for the team as a walk on.
During his freshman year, Day immediately solidified himself as one of the most versatile players in CSU football history. He started at running back and defensive back, handled all the kicking chores, and ran punts and kickoffs back. Due to his high stamina and endurance, he was often able to play the entirety of the game.
Day also lettered in basketball as a guard and track as a pole vaulter and hurdler. He went on to play football for four years at Central State and was selected as a Black College All-American in 1968. In 1971, he received a BS degree in Recreation.
After college, he played semi-professional football for many years for the Columbus Bucks, Columbus Brewers, Dayton Colts, Springfield Sun Devils and the Dayton Metro Pros.
Throughout his professional career, Day worked for the Montgomery County Children’s’ Service Board as a Caseworker and the Dayton Job Corps Center as the Director of Recreation. He was the first Recreation Director for the Dayton Job Corp Center where he wrote the curriculum and was responsible for the Center receiving the District IV Recreation Program Award.
Day retired from the City of Dayton as a Program Administrator/Supervisor for the Recreation Department. While working in this position, one of his responsibilities was the management of the “Project Risk” Program, a Federal Grant that the City of Dayton Department of Recreation received the Outstanding Program Award from the Ohio Parks and Recreation Association. He also retired from Dayton Public Schools as a Reserve Teacher.
Day has been married for thirty years to his lovely wife Fay. They have three children: Rasheed, Katatra and Roushaad.
Class of 1983
Eric Love finished his career as one of the top scorers and rebounders in the Central State basketball record books.
The 6’4 versatile player from Dayton, Ohio was a premier player from the time he stepped on to the CSU campus to the time he graduated.
As a freshman, Love averaged 15 points and 6.5 rebounds per contest. Teaming up with another great scorer in senior Melvin Crafter, the duo helped the Marauders to a 22-7 overall mark and the 1979 NAIA District 22 Championship. Love continued his consistency his sophomore season, once again averaging 15 points while upping his rebound totals to 7.5 per game while the team finished with another 20 win season. As a junior, Love was selected to the 1980 NCAA Div. II All American Team after a season in which he led CSU in points (22.0 ppg) and rebounds (9.3 rpg). Love had his best year as a senior. In front of a sold out crowd on Jan. 14, 1982, Love scored a career high 40 points against Wright State University. Averaging 22.3 points per game, Love became the second player in school history to eclipse the 2,000 career point plateau. He also collected 275 rebounds that season to become one of two players to record 2,000+ career points and 800+ rebounds. The Marauders finished the 1981-82 season as the Great Lakes Regional Runner-Up with a 21-8 overall mark while Love was once again named to the NCAA Div. II All-American Team.
In 111 career games, Love made 820 field goals while shooting over 51% from the field. He shot 72% from the free throw line and finished his career with 2,052 points and 840 rebounds.
Dr. Paul Nitz
Dr. Nitz has been serving Central State University since 1992 as the athletic department’s primary team physician. While being asked year after year to serve teams on the professional and NCAA division I level, Dr. Nitz has remained dedicated to catering to the needs of athletes at Central State University. In addition to his duties as the physician, Dr. Nitz has been instrumental in a number of athletic initiatives including the success of the Marauders’ fall football camp and integral improvements to athletic facilities.
Dr. Nitz’ practice specializes in orthopaedic surgery with a special emphasis in shoulder and knee surgery and sports medicine. Dr. Nitz graduated from the Indiana University School of Medicine and completed his orthopaedic surgery training at William Beaumont Army Medical Center in El Paso, Texas. He received specialized fellowship training in Sports Medicine at the Methodist Sports Medicine Center in Indianapolis, Indiana, under the direction of Donald Shelbourne, M.D., team physician for the Indianapolis Colts and Orthopaedic Consultant to Purdue University.
Dr. Nitz served in the U.S. Army receiving an honorable discharge with the rank of Major. While in the service he served as a staff orthopedic surgeon and later as chief of orthopedic surgery at Reynolds Community Hospital in Fort Sill, Oklahoma.
Dr. Nitz is Board Certified in Orthopedic Surgery and is a Fellow of the Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons. He is an active member of the Arthroscopy Association of North America and the American Orthopedic Society for Sports Medicine. Dr. Nitz serves on the editorial board for The Physicians and Sports Medicine journal. He provides sports medicine coverage for various high school, college and professional teams in the Dayton, Ohio area.
Class of 1996
James Rollins established himself as one of the all-time great track & field athletes while competing at Central State in the 1990s where he helped the Marauder men’s track & field program to three NAIA National titles.
Competing in the hurdles from 1992 to 1995, Rollins’ list of individual accomplishments include:
-1992 55 Meter Hurdles Indoor All-American
-1992 110 Meter Hurdles Outdoor National Champion
-1993 110 Meter Hurdles Outdoor All-American
-1994 55 Meter Hurdles Indoor National Champion
-1994 110 Meter Hurdles Outdoor National Runner-Up
-1995 60 Meter Hurdles Indoor National Champion
-1995 110 Meter Hurdles Outdoor National Champion
His top times of his collegiate career include a 13.89 pace in the 110 meter hurdles and a time of 7.40 in the 55 meter hurdles.
After graduating from CSU, Rollins went on to compete in the USATF National Championships in 1996 and 2000.
He began his coaching career with youth athletes competing in events hosted by the Amateur Athletic Union (AAU) while serving as the Director of the Total Effect Sports Academy in Columbus, Ohio. Rollins started the program in 2008 to reach inner city youths and teach them about the fundamentals of the sport.
He joined the collegiate coaching ranks in 2011 as an assistant at Capital University.
In 2013, Rollins returned to Central State to serve as the Head Coach of the cross country and track & field programs.
1960 & 1962 Men’s Cross Country Teams
The Central State cross country teams of 1960 & 1962 brought home the first two national titles in school history. A small but powerful squad, went undefeated in dual meets on their way to earning the ’60 and “62 NCAA College Division Cross Country Championships.
CSU won the 1960 title with a low score of 72 points, topping a 109 point performance from second place finisher Mankato State. The title was earned through a tremendous team effort led by Leslie Hegedus. Hegedus finished with a time of 20:51 followed by Josh Ruga’s 20:56. Choice Phillips finished right behind Ruga with a pace of 20:58. With three men finishing under 21 minutes, Central State accomplished a rare feat for small college at the time.
Phillips, Hegedus and Nate Foster, key competitors on the ’60 title team, continued their dominance while leading CSU to its second title in three years in 1962. Hegedus was the first individual to cross the finish line with a time of 19:59.1. Central State became the first team to win the NCAA College Division title twice while Hegedus became the first individual national winner from CSU.
Coach David Youngblade, who entered the CSU Athletic Hall of Fame in 1993, became the first coach in school history to win a national title. He also coached the mile relay team which broke a world indoor record in 1962 at the Mason-Dixon Games in Louisville, Kentucky.
1983 Football Team
The 1983 Central State football team helped solidify the Marauder football program as a perennial football powerhouse while gaining uncharted publicity and exposure for the university during its magical run to the NCAA Div. II finals.
Coached by the legendary Billy Joe, the Marauders opened the ’83 campaign with convincing wins over Salem College and Ferris State College. The Marauders edged a tough opponent in Grand Valley State College in week three, 21-14. The Marauders went on to dominate in final seven games of the regular season, beating opponents by an average point margin of 31. The Marauders finished the regular season with a perfect 10-0 record for the first time in school history.
In the first round of the NCAA Div. II playoffs, the Marauders topped Southwest Texas State, 24-16. In the semi-finals against a formidable University of North Alabama team, Central State clawed its way to a 27-24 triumph to reach the NCAA Div. II Finals. With high wind gusts proving to be a major factor during the championship game, North Dakota State University spoiled a potential perfect season for the Marauders as NDSU hoisted the ’83 trophy with a 41-21 win.
Despite the loss in the title game, Central State’s winning streak of 12 games remains the longest in school history. The ’83 team is still the only Central State program to reach the NCAA Div. II finals while setting the standard for future CSU teams which includes NAIA championship runs in 1990, 1992 and 1995.
1991 Women’s Outdoor Track & Field Team
The 1991 women’s track & field team was the first group to win the track & field program’s first NAIA national title.
Coached by CSU Hall of Famer Joshua Culbreath, the team claimed the ’91 title with a total of 105 points, winning the event by a 28-point margin.
On their way to the title, the 400 meter relay team set a NAIA record with a pace of 44.81. Deon Hemmings won the 400 meter hurdles with a time of 58.14. Audrea Sterling took first place in the 400 meter run with a time of 52.87 while teammate Alwren Wallace placed third with a time of 54.67. Sherdon Smith finished second in the 800 meter run and Sandra Boothe earned points for the team with a fifth place finish. The Lady Marauders earned crucial points in the 200 meter thanks to a second place finish from Wallace, a fourth place finish from Carolyn Sterling and fifth place run sprint from Audrea Sterling. Carolyn Sterling earned the top mark in the long jump with a leap of 20.8 meters. Antoinette Jones, Carolyn Sterling, Wallace and Smith teamed up to take first in the spring medley relay with a pace of 40.02. Carolyn Sterling took another top place finish in the 100 meter hurdles with a time of 13.91. The Lady Marauders also won the mile relay with a time of 3:38.55 on the legs of Wallace, Hemmings, Smith and Audrea Sterling.
Carolyn Sterling was named the NAIA Women’s Outdoor Track & Field Most Valuable Athlete at the conclusion of the event.
The title was the first of seven national crowns earned by the women’s program between 1991 through 1997.
Many members of the team went on to compete at the international level with Hemmings capturing the gold medal in the 400 meter hurdles at the 1996 Summer Olympics in Atlanta, Georgia.
Courtesy: CSU Athletics