Former Buckeyes star Laurinaitis headlines 2018 OSU Hall of Fame class

St. Louis Rams middle linebacker James Laurinaitis (55) during an NFL football game against the Arizona Cardinals, Sunday, Oct. 4, 2015, in Glendale, Ariz. (AP Photo/Rick Scuteri)

COLUMBUS, Ohio – This fall, 10 new members will be inducted into the Ohio State Athletics Hall of Fame.

The group includes Dick Bruggeman (men’s track), Cassie Dickerson (women’s soccer), Greg Drown (rifle), Linda Haussener (field hockey), Ray Hupp (men’s track), Bryan Koniecko (men’s tennis), James Laurinaitis (football), Mike Pucillo (wrestling), Jerry Welsh (men’s hockey) and Brandon Wynn (men’s gymnastics).

The Class of 2018 will be officially inducted at a dinner Sept. 7 in the Ohio Union and introduced to the public at halftime of the Ohio State home football game vs. Rutgers Sept. 8. Tickets are on sale for the dinner and can be purchased online.

The Ohio State Athletics Hall of Fame was created in 1977 and has inducted 426 athletes, coaches and administrators through 2017. Bruggeman and Hupp will bring the total of men’s track and field inductees to 33. Drown is the first male from the rifle program and the third overall to be selected. Wrestling will have 16 inductees with the addition of Pucillo and Wynn will bring the number of men’s gymnasts enshrined to 11. Haussner will be the eighth field hockey player added to the hall and Dickerson will be the fourth women’s soccer player to be enshrined. Laurinaitis will be the 123rd football alum added to the hall and Welsh will be the sixth member of the men’s hockey program. Koniecko will join six other men’s tennis standouts in the hall.

Dick Bruggeman, Men’s Track and Field (1967-70)

Dick Bruggeman ran track for the Buckeyes from 1967-1970. He won the Big Ten 400-yard hurdle championship in 1968, finishing as the conference runner-up twice, and earned Indoor All-America status in 1970 in the 600-yard run. Bruggeman won the 400-yard hurdle championship at the 1972 AAU meet on his way to competing in the 1972 Olympics. A muscle injury hindered his 1972 Olympic run, but he continued to compete, making a trip to China in 1975 with USA Track and Field.

His lifetime best time in the 400-yard hurdles is 48.6, which was the fourth fastest time ever recorded at the time. He also owned the Ohio State 600-yard and indoor mile relay records. Bruggeman retired in 1976 to pursue a career in real estate.

Cassie Dickerson, Women’s Soccer (2008-10)

Cassie Dickerson was a three-year letterwinner for the Ohio State women’s soccer team from 2008-10. Now a volunteer assistant coach and director of player development for the Buckeyes, Dickerson battled back from multiple knee injuries to captain the Buckeyes three times. Dickerson garnered NSCAA First Team All-America and Big Ten Defensive Player of the Year laurels in 2010, when she started all 24 matches, anchoring a defense that recorded 12 shutouts, while helping the Buckeyes to a Big Ten Championship and the NCAA College Cup for the first time in program history. The Kalamazoo, Mich., native was named First Team All-Big Ten and NSCAA All-Great Lakes Region in 2009 and 2010 and was a 2010 semifinalist for the MAC Hermann Trophy.

Dickerson also was a winner of the 2010 Big Ten Medal of Honor, which recognizes the athlete in the graduating class who has attained the greatest proficiency in both academics and athletics, and was subsequently the Big Ten’s nominee for NCAA Woman of the Year.

Greg Drown, Rifle (1981-84)

Greg Drown was a four-time letter winner on the Buckeye rifle team from 1981-84. He received the NRA gold medal three times and the silver medal twice while leading the Buckeyes to four Big Ten titles. At the Big Ten Championships, Drown won a pair of individual titles and earned First Team All-Big Ten honors four times.

After captaining the Buckeyes as both a junior and senior and posting a pair of NRA Inter-Collegiate Sectional wins, Drown earned himself a tryout for the 1984 US Olympic Team. He went on to compete across the country after earning his surveying and engineering degree in 1985 and won the Ohio State Championship in 1985, 1996 and 1999. Drown then began to develop neurological problems with his back and legs. After major back surgery in 2001, the problem was diagnosed as multiple sclerosis.

Undeterred because of his strong faith and constant support from friends and family, Drown returned to competitive shooting in 2006 and has since won a total of 14 Ohio State shooting titles. In 2009, he won the small bore, 3 position, any sight, National Championship. He then claimed bronze at the 2010 US Individual Smallbore Rifle Championship and silver in 2011. That led to him receiving the NRA Distinguished Rifle award and most recently he was a member of 2017-18 US National Paralympic Development Team. Drown has continued to mentor and encourage young shooters and has been a tremendous ambassador for the sport.

Linda Haussener, Field Hockey (2005-08)

Linda Haussener is one of the most decorated field hockey players in Ohio State history. On the field, her career culminated in 2008 when she was named a First Team All-American. It was the third such honor of her career, following second and third team honors in 2007 and 2006, respectively. The 2008 Big Ten co-Offensive Player of the Year and a unanimous first team all-conference selection, Haussener scored 52 points as a senior in 2008, sixth most in single-season program history. In 2006, as a sophomore, Haussener helped lead the Scarlet and Gray to the Big Ten regular season title. The Buckeyes won 50 games during her four-year career and made two appearances in the NCAA Tournament. On the career charts, she currently ranks sixth in career goals (45), sixth in assists (31) and sixth in scoring (121 points).

In the classroom, Haussener’s resume is equally impressive. She was Ohio State’s female recipient of the 2008 Big Ten Medal of Honor, which is the conference’s most exclusive award. Haussener was a three-time NFHCA National Scholar-Athlete, four time Ohio State Scholar-Athlete and graduated with degrees in political science and economics.

Ray Hupp, Men’s Track and Field (1969-71)

First Team All-American Ray Hupp won the 1971 NCAA decathlon title, improving upon his seventh place finish in 1970. Hupp, who lettered for the Buckeyes from 1969-71, competed at the 1972 Olympic Trials and was selected as part of the Ohio Association of Track and Cross Country Coaches Hall of Fame in 1974.

Hupp’s Ohio Stadium decathlon record (7,456 points) set in 1971 has been retired. He held on to the overall school record for more than 40 years and remains No. 2 all-time at Ohio State in the event. He also held indoor and outdoor school high jump records when he graduated, and was the first American to jump 7’ in a decathlon event. Hupp, whose competitive career was ended because of injuries, has spent much of his post-collegiate career volunteering in youth athletics, primarily with USA Swimming and Track and Field.

Bryan Koniecko, Men’s Tennis (2006-09)

Bryan Koniecko is one of Ohio State tennis’ all-time greats. A five-time All-American, Koniecko finished his career second in school history with 254 combined victories. The Long Island, N.Y., native led his team to four Big Ten regular season and tournament titles. He earned consecutive Big Ten Athlete of the Year accolades in 2008 and 2009, and after playing No. 1 singles as a freshman, he was named the league's freshman of the year in 2006. Koniecko was so dominant that he never lost a match at home in his four years.

As a captain in his senior year, Koniecko won the ITA National Intercollegiate Indoor Singles title and was ranked No. 1 in the country individually. Ohio State also was ranked No. 1 in the country during his final campaign and he helped lead the team to the program’s first appearance in the national championship match.

After graduating with a bachelor of arts degree in 2009, Koniecko continued to play at the professional level where he reached an ATP career high ranking of 651 and was ranked in the Top 45 of American tennis players. He earned his first professional title in 2007, winning the ITF professional futures event in Ecuador. He also had the opportunity to compete in 2007 and 2008 U.S. Open qualifying.

Koniecko then jumped into collegiate coaching and has built a strong resume. He started as an assistant coach at Brown University before returning to Ohio State as the associate head coach for the women’s program from 2012-14. He helped recruit every member of the team that made a run to the 2017 NCAA Final Four and won two Big Ten Championships. After two years as head coach at Brown in 2015 and 2016, Koniecko was named the women’s head coach at UCF in 2016 and he has transformed the team into a Top 25 program.

James Laurinaitis, Football (2005-08)

James Laurinaitis is the most decorated linebacker in Ohio State history, a three-time consensus All-American – one of only eight three-time All-Americans in school history – who played on four Big Ten Conference championship teams. Twice he helped the Buckeyes to the BCS championship game and set a championship game record with 18 tackles in the 2008 title game vs. LSU.

Laurinaitis is one of only three players in the history of the Big Ten Conference to be named Big Ten Defensive Player of the Year and he is the only Buckeye to be so named. He won the Bronko Nagurski Award as the nation’s most outstanding defensive player as a sophomore, took home the Butkus Award as America’s top linebacker as a junior and became Ohio State’s first winner of both the Lott IMPACT Trophy and the Lowe’s Senior CLASS Award as a senior. He was a finalist 12 times for national awards during that three-year period. Leading Ohio State in tackles as a sophomore, junior and senior, Laurinaitis finished his career with 375 total tackles, seventh-best in Buckeye history. He was a two-time team captain for a defensive unit that led the nation in total defense in 2007 and was among the Top 15 defenses nationally every year he played. He was unbeaten in games vs. Michigan (4-0) and an Academic All-Big Ten selection.

Laurinaitis, a 2009 Ohio State graduate with a degree in communications, was drafted by the NFL’s St. Louis Rams in the second round of the 2009 NFL Draft. He spent seven seasons with the Rams and was the organization’s all-time leading tackler after seven seasons with the club. He also played one season with the New Orleans Saints.

Mike Pucillo, Wrestling (2007-10)

Mike Pucillo reached the pinnacle of collegiate wrestling in 2008, capturing the 184-pound national championship. His title run was one of three All-American seasons and the first of back-to-back trips to the NCAA Finals. Pucillo’s postseason push in ‘08 began with a Big Ten crown and concluded atop the NCAA podium in St. Louis with an overall record of 34-1. He kept the victories coming the next year, stringing together a 43-match winning streak. The three-time team captain compiled a career mark of 107-16 (.870), still ranking inside the Top 10 best winning percentages in Ohio State history.

Pucillo, a four-year letterwinner for the Buckeyes, was successful in his academic endeavors as well. He was twice named to the National Wrestling Coaches Association All-Academic Team.

Jerry Welsh, Men’s Hockey 1970-73 (player), 1976-95 (head coach)

Jerry Welsh was a leader for the Ohio State men’s hockey team both as a player and as a coach. Voted the team’s Most Valuable Player each of his last three years, he skated for the Buckeyes from 1970-73 and posted 143 points, with 81 goals and 62 assists, in 100 games. He was deemed the squad’s 1970 Rookie of the Year. Welsh ranks seventh (tied) in program history in career goals and is currently 21st in career points.

Welsh was part of the Buckeyes’ run to Central Collegiate Hockey Association regular season and tournament titles in 1972 and earned a spot on the CCHA All-Tournament Team that year. Welsh, who led the 1972 team with 28 goals, served as the squad’s captain in 1973.

Following graduation, Welsh played two years professionally before returning to his alma mater as the program’s head coach when he was just 25. He coached the Buckeyes from 1976-95 and notched a program-record 328 wins. He led the Buckeyes to the first No. 1 ranking in program history in 1983-84, with a squad that was 30-10-1 overall (setting the program record for single-season wins) and tied for second in the CCHA. In 1983 Welsh was tabbed CCHA Coach of the Year and was runner-up for national coach of the year after the Buckeyes notched a 26-9-5 ledger. A native of Oshawa, Ontario, Welsh was inducted into his hometown Sports Hall of Fame in 2008.

Brandon Wynn, Men’s Gymnastics (2008-11)

A two-time NCAA champion and six-time All-American, Brandon Wynn earned numerous honors during his time with the Buckeyes. He earned First Team All-Big Ten accolades in 2008 and followed that up with his first All-America accolade at the 2009 NCAA Championships, placing eighth in the all-around. In 2010 he earned First Team All-Big Ten honors again after notching Top 3 finishes on rings, vault and all-around.

He went on to win NCAA and Big Ten championships on the still rings in 2010 and repeated the feat in 2011. The “Lord of the Rings” also excelled in the classroom, earning Academic All-Big Ten honors and College Gymnastics Association Academic All-America honors all three years he was eligible and Ohio State Scholar-Athlete status all four of his years in Columbus.

Wynn competed with the U.S. Men’s Senior National team and the U.S. World team, claiming the U.S. national title in rings and finishing third in the all-around in 2010. He competed in the 2010 World Championships, helping the Americans to a third place team finish. In 2011, Wynn repeated at the U.S. national champion on the still rings and brought home the gold in the Pan Am Games. He went on to compete in the Olympic trials in both 2012 and 2016, and continued to display dominance on the still rings with multiple gold and silver medals in the U.S. Championships.

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