Athletics Hall of Fame

Established in 2014, The Athletics Hall of Fame recognizes select student-athletes, coaches, and contributors who have best represented the ideals and values we hold dear in Hawken Athletics.

The mission of the Hawken School Athletics Hall of Fame is to
recognize exemplary individuals who have made significant and honorable contributions to Hawken School Athletics; to honor those who have demonstrated the highest standards of character, leadership, sportsmanship, and Fair Play through engagement in Hawken Athletics and beyond; and to inspire others to aspire to the achievements, values, and ideals of Hawken School Athletics.  

Mission & Guidelines

The mission, structure, process, and by-laws that will guide the Hawken School Athletics Hall of Fame were formulated by a Hall of Fame Committee, and approved by our Head of School. 

Mission

  • To recognize those exemplary Student-Athletes, Coaches and Contributors who have made significant and honorable contributions to the history of Hawken School athletics.
  • To honor those who have demonstrated the highest standards of character, leadership, sportsmanship and Fair Play through engagement in Hawken athletics and beyond.
  • To encourage others to aspire to the achievements, values and ideals of Hawken School athletics.

Nomination Criteria
Athletes
Student-athletes who are nominated should have distinguished themselves in the field of athletics while at Hawken School; additional accomplishments of note may be considered. Evaluation will also be based on the student-athlete’s alignment with the mission and values of Hawken and its Athletic Hall of Fame. Student-athlete nominees must be 5 years removed from graduation in order to be considered.

Coaches & Contributors
Individuals nominated in the coach and contributor categories should exemplify Hawken School’s mission and that of the Hall of Fame. Consideration encompasses those who have shown extraordinary dedication to Hawken Athletics. Additional noteworthy accomplishments will be considered. Contributors may include faculty, staff, administrators, volunteers and other members of the Hawken community.

2017 Hall of Fame Inductees

List of 6 items.

  • Robert J. Anslow, Jr. '77

    Swimming
    Best known as Hawken School’s first ever OHSAA State Champion, Robert J. Anslow, Jr. was a force to be reckoned with in his four years of swimming with the Hawks. Leading the team to a four-year total of 42 wins and 4 losses, Anslow spearheaded the Hawks’ dominating run of three consecutive undefeated seasons beginning his sophomore year, culminating in the state runner-up trophy in 1977.
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  • Sarah Dorenkott Pearson '06

    Swimming, Track & Field
    Described by Coach Jerry Holtrey as “very focused,” Sarah Dorenkott was a leader from her first day on the swim team. Even as a freshman, Dorenkott always held her teammates to the highest standards, constantly expecting everyone to do their part in terms of supporting the team and working hard in practice. By the time she was a senior, Dorenkott was fully in control of the girls swimming team, and was relied on by Coach Holtrey to lead and motivate the swimmers.
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  • Timothy F. Hable '73

    Swimming
    Tim Hable was an impressively well-rounded swimmer. A four-year All-American in both butterfly and individual medley, Hable was able to swim all strokes equally strongly. His swimming career at Hawken resulted in school records in the 200 and 400 freestyle set in 1972, and he was a member of the 1973 100 freestyle relay team that posted an undefeated season. He placed 1st in the 200 individual medley, 2nd place in the 100 freestyle, and 1st place in the 100 freestyle relay at the ISSL Championships, being crowned ISSL champion that year.
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  • Alan L. MacCracken, Jr. Ph.D. '54

    Baseball coach, basketball and football announcer
    “The Voice of the Hawks.” Little else needs to be said about Al MacCracken, who has served as the iconic announcer for the Hawken football team for 30 years and for Hawken boys basketball for three decades.  The announcer’s booth at Walton Stadium is named in his honor.  MacCracken, who over the course of his long career has dedicated a great deal of time and passion to the School, has left a lasting impact on many students.
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  • Victor Schmelzer was chosen by the Selection Committee for the Class of 2017 but is unable to attend this year and will be inducted with the Class of 2018.

    Basketball
    Victor Schmelzer’s enduring legacy at Hawken School includes two records which have remained unbroken since he graduated in 1974. Team captain and student leader, Schmelzer was admired by teammates and classmates alike and was respected by his teachers and coach, Tom Bryan, who called Schmelzer “one of the two best basketball players that I coached.”
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  • Jeffrey T. Walton '99

    Football, Wrestling, Lacrosse
    Jeff Walton has had a lifelong interest in sports and athletics. As a young child, he would often visit the Upper School campus on Saturdays to watch football games and wrestling matches and would eventually turn this interest into a long and colorful career in both sports, along with Hawken’s budding lacrosse program.
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2016 Hall of Fame Inductees

List of 7 items.

  • Damon Butler ‘98

    Soccer, Track
    Many soccer forwards have worn the red and gray, but none like Damon Butler. He not only earned an impressive collection of awards and accolades, including Ohio Division II Player of the Year and All-American, he also served as a loyal and fierce captain. Aside from his impressive soccer career, he played a key role on the track team, excelling in events like the 400m, where he won a State Championship, as well as the 800m, and the 4x400m relay.
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  • Anthony Cowsette ‘93

    Football, Basketball, Track
    Anthony Cowsette is on the list of Hawken legends commonly known as triple-threat athletes. Although he was best known for his powerhouse roles on the football team, he was also a standout basketball player and track athlete.  In football, Cowsette ranks in the top ten of many statistical categories including career rushing yards, all-purpose yards, touchdowns, points scored, kick return average, and sacks.  He went on to be captain and standout running back at Villanova.
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  • Ginger Theis Daly ‘92

    Tennis, Basketball, Softball
    A three-sport athlete, Ginger Theis Daly dedicated her time, energy, and spirit to Hawken’s fields and courts as captain of the tennis, basketball, and softball teams.  Best known for her career as a softball player, which she continued at the University of Virginia, Daly is a three-time Old Board Award winner, has made her mark in the Hawken and state record books, and received local and state honors and accolades in all three sports she played at Hawken.
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  • Byron Davis ‘88

    Swimming
    Hawken attracts a plethora of excellent swimmers, but Byron Davis stands out amongst the very best.  Davis holds several Hawken swimming records to this day, won multiple State Championships, was a 4-time All-American.   He was an NCAA record-holder in his time at UCLA, and he competed in the 1996 US Olympic Trials, narrowly missing the US Team.
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  • Jane Esselstyn ‘83

    Swimming
    During her freshman year, the first year for the Hawken girls swim team, Jane Esselstyn became Hawken’s first female state champion setting the foundation for Hawken’s swimming excellence. She held several school records for a time, dominated the state finals in numerous events, and was a member of the first swimming relay State Championship in 1981. Esselstyn continued her swimming prowess at University of Michigan where she was a Big 10 Champion in the backstroke.
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  • Maurice E. Gray ’86

    Basketball
    Taking his permanent place in the Hawken Athletics Hall of Fame, Maurice E. Gray was the basketball king since he first joined the Hawks. A young leader and prolific scorer, Gray’s legacy and scoring records remain today.  He was named Ohio AA Player of the Year, the Plain Dealer Player of the Year, and was an Old Board Award recipient.  Gray continued his basketball career at Davidson College, where he continued to excel on the court.  
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  • J. Albert Klauss ‘66

    Football, Wrestling, Baseball, Track
    J. Albert Klauss goes down in the history books as an incredible four-sport athlete at Hawken, and as one who set the bar in the early days of Hawken Athletics. He co-captained the undefeated 1965 football team, the first unbeaten team in our history.  Klauss was Hawken’s first player selected for the Cleveland Press All-Scholastic Football Team, and was named to the Plain Dealer Dream Team.  Whether it was playing defensive end on the football field, taking down opponents on the wrestling mat, hitting baseballs or throwing shot put, Klauss is immortalized as a star athlete of the 60s.
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2015 Hall of Fame Inductees

List of 6 items.

  • Thomas B. Bryan

    Athletic Director (1963- 2001)
    Honorary Alumnus and Faculty Emeritus Thomas Bryan’s contributions to Hawken athletics include the foundation, development, and leadership of many of today’s outstanding programs. As the longest-serving Athletic Director in Hawken history, Bryan left his mark on virtually every athletic program, recruited legendary coaches such as Jerry Holtrey and Cliff Walton, and was a highly successful basketball coach in his own right. He was also a nationally known collegiate football official for many years and has received several Hall of Fame recognitions in addition to this one.
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  • John C. Lightbody '64

    Football, Basketball, and Baseball
    Nicknamed the “Shoeless Wonder of Hawken School” for removing his right shoe before punting the ball during football games, John Lightbody was among the first legendary multi-sport athletes at Hawken. He was All-League in both football and basketball, batted .486 one spring in baseball, went on to play for the Harvard Crimson football team, and above all was well-known for his display of sportsmanship and Fair Play.
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  • Murphy R. Reinschreiber '71

    Swimming
    Murphy Reinschreiber was Hawken’s first elite swimmer, setting the pace for the success the Hawks would see for the next five decades. He was a four-time All-American, and one of the top high school butterfly swimmers in the United States. After captaining the swim team at University of Wisconsin, Reinschreiber went on to become a driving force behind the development of triathlons and international endurance athletics.
     

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  • J. Robert Riser '72

    Football, Basketball, Track 
    A superior all-around athlete, Robert Riser was a triple threat for the Hawks. Best known as a highly decorated football player who would go on to captain the Cardinals at the University of Louisville, Riser also set records and earned numerous accolades for his time on Hawken’s basketball and track and field teams.
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  • Erica Rose Dancik '00

    Swimming
    A three-time State Champion and four-time State Runner-up, Erica Rose was crowned the 5K Open Water World Champion as a 15 year-old Hawken freshman. Rose was a member of seven US World Championship teams (captaining four), a 10-time Open Water National Champion, a Big Ten and NCAA Championships qualifier as a swimmer at Northwestern, and an Olympic Trials qualifier.
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  • Brook Turner '04

    Track and Cross Country
    Brook Turner is a seven-time State Champion in track and field who still holds many Hawken School and Chagrin Valley Conference records. The winner of numerous awards in the realms of both athletics and academics, Brook was a National Merit Scholar who received prestigious scholarships that enabled her to continue her academic and athletic careers at University of California at Berkeley where she captained the track and field team. 

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2014 Hall of Fame Inductees

List of 6 items.

  • Eric D. Hamilton '82

    Football, Basketball, Track
    Three-sport varsity Old Board Award winner and Hawken Lifer, Eric Hamilton broke records and won state championships before going onto a four-year football scholarship and two NCAA Championships with Penn State.
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  • Jerry Holtrey

    Boys and Girls Swimming Coach, 1969-2014
    A member of the Ohio High School Swimming Coaches Association Hall of Fame, the American Swimming Coaches Hall of Fame, and the Cleveland Sports Hall of Fame who has coached the Hawken girls and boys swim teams to 26 state titles, Jerry Holtrey steadfastly trained and supported scores of Hawken champions during his 45-year Hawken career.
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  • Alyssa Kiel '05

    Swimming
    An Olympic trial qualifier and US National Champion, Alyssa Kiel has garnered more state championships than any other Ohio high school swimmer and as a 500 meter freestyler, held the nation’s ninth fastest time and still holds the Hawken School, Holtrey Pool, and Ohio high school record.
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  • O.J. McDuffie '88

    Football, Basketball, Baseball, Track
    After dominating in four sports during the three athletic seasons each year, and setting numerous and still-unbroken records throughout his Hawken career, O.J. McDuffie went on to play football at Penn State and was a leading wide receiver with the Miami Dolphins for eight seasons.
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  • Melanie Valerio '87

    Swimming
    A 1996 Olympic gold medalist, Melanie Valerio was a two-time state champion in the 200 free, held numerous school and state records, and earned an impressive 15 NCAA All-American honors swimming for Virginia.
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  • Cliff Walton

    Football and Wrestling Coach, 1978-Present
    The long-time beloved football and wrestling coach at Hawken and the namesake of Walton Stadium, Cliff Walton has amassed over 200 Hawken football wins and continues to inspire truly exemplary sportsmanship and results both on and off the field.
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An independent, coeducational, college preparatory day school, preschool through grade 12

Lower & Middle Schools, 5000 Clubside Rd, Lyndhurst, OH 44124
Upper School, PO Box 8002 (12465 County Line Rd), Gates Mills, OH 44040
Gries Center, 10823 Magnolia Dr, Cleveland, OH 44106

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