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July 27, 2001
OXFORD, Ohio -- Throughout the sports world, Miami University is recognized as "The Cradle of Coaches" because of the number of coaching legends who began their careers on the Oxford campus. On Oct. 13, at halftime of the Miami vs. Akron football game, Miami will honor 11 people who, by virtue of their accomplishments, have been integral parts of this unique phenomenon in American sports history.
The 2001 class includes Dick Crum, Darrell Hedric, Lou Kaczmarek, Rich Voires, and, posthumously, Earl Blaik, Woody Hayes, Walter Alston, George Rider, Raymond Ray, Leann Davidge and William Rohr.
Crum spent nine years (1969-77) on the Miami football sidelines, his first five as an assistant and his last four as head coach. During his stint, Miami captured four MAC Championships and won three bowl games. As head coach, Crum led Miami to three MAC titles, going undefeated in league play those three seasons, and Tangerine Bowl triumphs over Georgia and South Carolina, while compiling a record of 34-10-1. His 1974 squad finished the season ranked 10th in the AP poll, the highest ranking of any Miami squad to date. Crum was named Ohio Coach of the Year in 1974 and `75, District 5 Coach of the Year in 1974 and `77 and MAC Coach of the Year in 1974. Following his Miami tenure, Crum served as head coach at North Carolina from 1978-87, compiling a record of 72-41-3, the winningest record in school history. He led the Tar Heels to six bowl appearances, winning four, the most of any ACC coach at the time. His team also was ranked among the top 20 nationally four times. Prior to entering the collegiate ranks, Crum spent 12 years coaching high school football, including a six-year stint as head coach at Mentor High School (Ohio), where he compiled a 50-9-1 record. In 1986, he was inducted into Miami's Athletic Hall of Fame.
Hedric, a 1955 graduate of Miami and former basketball player, coached in the Miami basketball program for 25 years. In 1960, he was hired as Miami's first full-time assistant basketball coach and served in that post for 11 years. Hedric, a 1978 inductee into Miami's Athletic Hall of Fame, spent 14 seasons as Miami's head basketball coach from 1970-84. During that time, he posted a 216-157 overall record and a 128-76 MAC mark. His 216 wins is the most of any Miami coach. He led the Red and White to five regular-season MAC crowns, one MAC Tournament title and four NCAA Tournament appearances, including an upset win over defending National Champion Marquette in the 1978 NCAA Tournament. Hedric also is responsible for recruiting former All-American and current Los Angeles Laker star Ron Harper to Miami. During his tenure, Hedric was named MAC Coach of the Year on three occasions and was twice tabbed Ohio Coach of the Year. In 1984, he was selected as an assistant coach for the United States Olympic basketball tryout camp. That same year he also was named an associate athletic director at Miami and served as the department's interim athletic director in 1994-95. In 1997, Hedric became only the fourth individual in Miami men's basketball history to have his jersey retired. He currently serves as head scout for the NBA's Cleveland Cavaliers.
Spending nearly 50 years involved in high school athletics, Kaczmarek, a 1950 graduate of Miami, has devoted much of his life to the development of young student-athletes. Kaczmarek played football for the Red and White in 1943 and `48, having his career interrupted to serve 30 months in World War II. At Miami, he held the Red and Whit to the school's first MAC title in 1948 and an Ohio College crown in `43. He went on to serve various stints as a head football, basketball, track and wrestling coach at nine high schools. As head football coach at Ohio's Green Springs, Delta and Franklin high schools, he mentored nine all-Ohio selections and three high school all-America recipients. Six of his squads were ranked among the top 25 in the state, and he was named San Wood League Coach of the Year in 1959 and Mid-Miami League Coach of the Year in 1965. In addition to his coaching accolades, Kaczmarek spent 15 years as the director of athletics at Franklin High School, where the school's activities flourished from 17 for boys only to 53 for boys and girls. He was named Ohio Athletic Director of the Year in 1985. Kaczmarek has been inducted into the Ohio High School Athletic Directors Association, Toledo Woodward High School, Franklin High School and Toledo City Athletic League halls of fame.
A 37-year teacher and coach at Bay High School, Voiers developed the boy's basketball program into a powerhouse in the Greater Cleveland area. The 1957 graduate of Miami helped the Red and White track and field program to four MAC titles (1954-57), which capped a 10-year string of MAC crowns for Miami, the longest run of any MAC program to date. He was a four-year letterwinner, running the 220- and 440-yard dashes. Following his Miami career, Voiers was hired to teach at Bay High School and serve as head track coach. In 1963, he switched hats and was named Bay's head basketball coach, serving in that position for 31 seasons. During his tenure, he compiled a 454-178 record and was named SWC Coach of the Year 13 times, Cleveland Coach of the Year four times, Northeastern Ohio District Coach of the Year twice and was the Ohio Division II Coach of the Year in 1989. In 1993, he garnered the Paul Walker Coaching Award for his lifetime achievements in Ohio high school basketball. His teams won 14 SWC championships, 12 sectional titles and wore three district crowns. In addition to his accomplishments on the hardwood, Voiers served as Bay's head golf coach from 1966-70 and was the football team's defensive coordinator from 1962-76. The football team posted a 98-30-7 record during his stint as defensive coordinator, including 39 shutouts.
Alston coached the Brooklyn and Los Angeles Dodgers for 23 years, guiding the organization to seven National League pennants and four World Series Championships. He lettered three years in both basketball and baseball at Miami (1933-35). Following graduation in 1935, Alston signed with the St. Louis Cardinals. Most of his early career in professional baseball was as a player and a coach in the minor leagues. In 1953, he was the surprise choice of the Dodger organization to be the new manager. He wasted little time in assuring the Dodgers that he had been a good selection as he guided Brooklyn to a National League pennant and its first World Series Championship in 1955. Alston followed by winning pennants for Brooklyn in 1956 and for Los Angeles in 1959, 1963 1965, and 1966. His teams also captured World Series Championships in 1959, 1963, and 1965. In 1983, Alston was elected into the Major League Baseball Hall of Fame. He is a charter member of Miami's Athletic Hall of Fame.
Blaik was elected to the National Football Foundation's Hall of Fame in 1964 and two years later received the Foundation's most coveted award, the Gold Medal Award. He coached football at Dartmouth for seven years (1934-40) and compiled a record of 45-15-4. Blaik moved to West Point in 1941 and coached Army's football teams for 18 years. He had six undefeated teams, coached 26 All-America players, compiled a record of 121-33-10 and was voted Coach of the Year in 1946. He also served as athletic director for 11 years (1948-59). A 1918 graduate of Miami, Blaik earned three letters in football and one in baseball. From Miami, Blaik enrolled at West Point. He became the first Cadet to play against Navy in three sports in one season--football, basketball and baseball. He received All-America recognition in football before graduating from Army in 1920. He is a charter member of Miami's Athletic Hall of Fame.
Leading Miami to four consecutive MAC titles, Davidge headed Miami's women's tennis program from 1979-85 before losing her life in an auto accident while on a recruiting trip on Jan. 27, 1985. Davidge guided the Red and White to a five-year record of 92-50, including a 25-1 league mark. She was named MAC Coach of the Year in 1981 and `83. In 1986, she was inducted into Miami's Athletic Hall of Fame, becoming the first woman to earn the honor. She also is the first woman to be inducted into the Cradle of Coaches Association. To honor her memory, the Mid-American Conference established a women's tennis sportsmanship award in her name. Miami also created an award in her name given to a senior female student-athlete, who excels in academics, athletics and leadership.
After spending a two-year stint as head football coach at Miami, Hayes took the reins of Ohio State football where he spent an illustrious 28-year career guiding the Buckeyes to new heights. At Miami, Hayes compiled a 14-5 record and led the Red and White to a 1950 Salad Bowl win over Arizona State. A two-time National Coach of the Year, Hayes led the Buckeyes to five national titles and 13 Big Ten Championships. OSU played in 11 bowl games over his 28 years, including eight Rose Bowls. At Ohio State, he mentored 56 first-team All-Americans and three Heisman Trophy, three Outland Trophy and two Lombardi Award winners. He was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame and the Rose Bowl Hall of Fame. In addition to his tenures at Miami and Ohio State, Hayes, who compiled a career record of 238-72-10, also served a three-year stint at Dennison and was the head coach at New Philadelphia High School for two years.
Ray, a 1938 Miami graduate, became Miami's first swimming coach and, from 1952-74, guided the Red and White to a 148-89-2 record and three MAC championships. During his 22-year Miami career, he turned out one Olympic Gold Medalist (Bill Mulliken), 55 All-Americans and 88 MAC champions. He was instrumental in Miami hosting the 1955 NCAA Swimming Championships and the 1956 AAU National Championships at Billings Natatorium. Ray spent 12 years as the first swimming coach at Fenn College (now Cleveland State) before coming to Miami. Prior to his retirement, Ray received the Distinguished Coach Award from the College Swimming Coaches Association of America. He was inducted into Miami's Athletic Hall of Fame in 1978.
Rider was associated with Miami for 39 years as a coach and athletic administrator. His coaching record includes five sports where he had a combined record of 317-96-5 for a .764 winning percentage. Rider joined the Miami staff to coach football, basketball and baseball from 1917 to 1919. His teams won Ohio Conference titles the first year in all three sports with the football and basketball teams posting undefeated seasons. His 1917 football team outscored its opponents 202-0. However, Rider is best known for his 36 years of coaching track and cross country (1924-60). His track teams won nine Buckeye Conference titles, 10-consecutive MAC and 11 All-Ohio crowns, while his cross country teams captured nine MAC and 11 All-Ohio titles. Additionally, Rider served Miami as athletic director for 16 years (1924-40) and director of physical education for nine years (1941-50). He was selected to the Helms Foundation Track and Field Coaches Hall of Fame in 1957. A charter member of Miami's Athletic Hall of Fame, Rider's name was further commemorated with the dedication of Miami's George L. Rider Memorial Track in 1985.
A Miami basketball coach from 1951-57, Rohr led the Red and White to four MAC championships, three NCAA Tournament appearances and a 91-47 record. In 1940, Rohr began his coaching career at Massillon High School under Paul Brown. Following a stint in the Air Force, he resumed coaching, becoming the head basketball coach at Portsmouth High School, where his team posted 82-29 mark over five seasons. He then took the helm of the Miami program before moving on as the head coach at Northwestern from 1957-62. In 1963, he assumed his post as Ohio University Director of Athletics and Physical Education, which he held for 15 years. Ohio won six Reese Cups during his tenure. Inducted into Miami's Athletic Hall of Fame in 1975, Rohr also is a member of the Ohio Wesleyan, Ohio University, Butler County, National Association of Collegiate Directors of Athletics (NACDA) and MAC halls of fame.
The Cradle of Coaches Association was established in 1971 to acknowledge the role Miamians have played in establishing Miami University as the Cradle of Coaches. While all Miami Alumni who go on to coach or those who have coached at Miami are considered a part of the Cradle of Coaches, the Cradle of Coaches Association began inducting individuals into the Association in 1992 to further recognize their accomplishments. Over the past two years, Miami's Athletic Hall of Fame Committee has further developed criteria for induction into the Cradle of Coaches to be more inclusive of all sports. The following is a list of the previous Cradle of Coaches inductees along with this year's class: