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Owens holds inaugural athletic Hall of Fame ceremony

Leroy+%22Cot%22+Marquette%27s+p%3Baque+lays+on+a+table+after+being+given+to+family+members+during+the+2016+Owens+athletics+Hall+of+Fame+class.+
Leroy

Leroy "Cot" Marquette's p;aque lays on a table after being given to family members during the 2016 Owens athletics Hall of Fame class.

Photo by Kyle Brown

Photo by Kyle Brown

Leroy "Cot" Marquette's p;aque lays on a table after being given to family members during the 2016 Owens athletics Hall of Fame class.

By Kyle Brown, Sports editor

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This past weekend Owens Community College held their first ever Athletic Hall of Fame induction ceremony in the Audio and Visual Center.

Leroy “Cot” Marquette went down in the Owens record books as the first person inducted into the Hall of Fame. He was Owens’ first athletic director and head coach of Owens’ men’s basketball, leading the Express to a 15-7 record in the teams first season. He later coached the basketball team to the programs first league title during the 1967-68 season. He also helped get the baseball team started and the first draft pick, Ronald Allen, went on to be drafted by the Cleveland Indians. After being an athletic director, he stayed on at Owens as Director of Admissions and Public Relations. Marquette’s family was in attendance to receive the induction plaque.

Members of the 91-92 championship team pose for pictures after being inducted into the Owens Athletics Hall of Fame.

Photo by Kyle Brown
Members of the 91-92 championship team pose for pictures after being inducted into the Owens Athletics Hall of Fame.

Michael Rickard was inducted next. According to the plaque that was read off to the crowd, Rickard was a student in the late 70’s who was hired to join the men’s basketball staff. He was a key factor in the expansion of Owens athletics, as he helped start women’s basketball, baseball, softball, volleyball, men’s and women’s soccer, and men’s golf. Rickard became Owens’ athletic director from 2000-2010. Rickard passed away in December of 2010. Rickard’s family accepted his induction in his honor.

The third person inducted goes in as the first female in the Owens Hall of Fame. Stephanie Champine, a four-time collegiate All-American who began her career at Owens, played volleyball in 2006 and 2007. In two seasons, Champine racked up Owens records in kills (1,129), attempts (2,560), hitting efficiency (.330) and kills per game (4.18) among many more accomplishments. Champine led her team to two straight Ohio Community College Athletic Conference (OCCAC) championships. Champine is also the only female athlete to have her jersey retired. After Owens, Champine went to NCAA Division I college, Austin Peay State University. Champine was also inducted at that college. Champine was in attendance for the induction.

Jeff Massey was inducted next. Massey played men’s basketball from 1991-1993. In his two seasons, Massey scored a school record of 1,894 points. Of those, 1,047 were during his freshman year, which is another school record. Massey won each of the following not once, but twice – First Team All OCCAC, OCCAC Player of the Year, First Team All Region XII, Region XII Player of the Year, and NJCAA First Team All-American. In his two seasons, Owens held a record of 72-3 winning back to back conference championships. Massey is the only student athlete to be inducted into the NJCAA Hall of Fame from Owens. After being at Owens in 2004 and 2005 as the Director of Basketball Operations, Massey when to the NCAA to be an assistant coach. He is currently at the University of Toledo.

The family of Michael Rickard receive Michael's Hall of Fame plaque. Michael was the first Owens athletics Hall of Fame member.

Photo by Kyle Brown
The family of Michael Rickard receive Michael’s Hall of Fame plaque. Michael was the first Owens athletics Hall of Fame member.

Jim Penix was a men’s basketball guard from 1966-1968. He was part of the inaugural team, and scored no less than 20 points per game. Penix set the colleges single game scoring record at 51 points in a game. Without a single three point shot, Penix totaled 620 points in just 20 games. In his career, Penix scored 1,256 points in 44 games, averaging 28.5 points per game. After Owens, Penix played at Bowling Green State University and was drafted in the fourth round of the NBA draft by the Portland Trailblazers. He is currently the only basketball player from Owens to be drafted. Penix now lives in Florida with his wife, Sandy. His son, Joshua, accepted his induction plaque for him.

The last induction did not go to a person, but a team. The men’s 1991-1992 basketball team was represented in the first class of the Hall of Fame. The team became the college’s first NJCAA national champion, and also the first in the state of Ohio. The team recorded a 37-2 record winning 13 of the 14 conference games played. The team averaged 101 points per game during the season, reaching 100 points or more in 17 games. The team’s 133 points in a game still stands as a college record, as well as the 37 win season.

The Owens Hall of fame is located just outside the Student Health and Activities Center (SHAC), in the hallway between the basketball/volleyball court and the library. A banner hangs in the hallway just outside the Hall of Fame. There, you can view and read the plaques of those inducted.

To nominate a team, coach, or student athlete as well as read the guidelines for the nominations, click here.

Photo by Kyle Brown

J.D. Ettore, Owens Athletic Director, speaks during the Hall of Fame induction ceremony on Oct. 15.

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