SPRINGFIELD, Ohio - Eight Wittenberg University greats will be inducted into the school’s Athletic Hall of Honor during Homecoming weekend ceremonies, Oct. 24-26. Bill Beach ’82 (football), Ann Burns Tolliver ’89 (swimming and diving), Jeff Connelly ’70 (wrestling), Steve Iannarino ’87 (basketball), Fred Musone ’66 (football), Tim Rummins ’67 (football), Scott Sloman ’84 (soccer) and Joyce Weiser Leichman ’49 (basketball, softball, field hockey, volleyball) join 131 other athletes who have been inducted over the last 18 years.
The announcement was made Saturday, June 14 during the annual All-Alumni Champagne Brunch and Awards Presentation, which is part of Wittenberg’s annual Alumni Weekend festivities. The inductees will be honored at halftime of the Wittenberg-Ohio Wesleyan football game, which kicks off at Edwards-Maurer Field at 1 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 25, and they will be formally inducted into the Athletic Hall of Honor at a banquet later that evening.
Bill Beach is one of the finest defensive backs in Wittenberg history and an individual who took the student in student-athlete seriously. Beach was a four-year football letterwinner at Wittenberg and an All-Ohio Athletic Conference selection following both his junior and senior seasons. He earned many awards, including the Hank Critchfield Award as the OAC’s top defensive back (1978), Kodak College Division All-America (1978), Associated Press Little All-America honorable mention (1978) and CoSIDA College Division Academic All-America first-team (1977 and 1978). He still ranks fourth in school history with 336 career tackles, including 152 solos. Upon graduating from Wittenberg magna cum laude in 1979, Beach attended medical school at Ohio State. An orthopaedic surgeon at Tuckahoe Orthopaedics Associates in Richmond, Va., he and wife, Betsy, have four children.
Ann Burns Tolliver is one of a select few Tiger athletes to advance to national competition four straight years. As a first-year swimmer, Tolliver set one pool record and seven school records as she advanced to the NCAA Division III Championships and competed in four events. The next three years, she earned eight Honorable Mention All-America designations and one All-America honor. Wittenberg claimed 17th place in the 1989 NCAA Division III Championships, the best finish in school history. Upon graduation, she held five school records in the butterfly and distance freestyle events, and two more in relay events. An elementary education major at Wittenberg, Tolliver teaches at Berry Middle School in Lebanon, Ohio, and in 1997 she was one of 150 educators in the nation to receive the Milken Family Foundation National Educator Award. She and husband, Ty, reside in Eaton with their three children.
Jeff Connelly is one of Wittenberg’s most decorated wrestlers. A four-year letterwinner in wrestling, Connelly also played two seasons of football at Wittenberg. After competing one season at 160 pounds, he moved up to the 190-pound weight class in 1967-68 and went unbeaten in OAC dual competition the next three seasons. In compiling a 32-10-2 record in the Red & White, Connelly placed third in the OAC in 1968, second in 1969 and first in 1970, a finish that helped the Tigers to the only conference team championship in school history. He worked as an assistant wrestling coach at Wittenberg for the 1970-71 season, and he placed third in the 198-pound weight class in the U.S. National Freestyle Wrestling Championships and first at the National AAU Freestyle Wrestling Championship in 1971. Connelly holds a bachelor’s degree in English from Wittenberg, a law degree from Nova Southeastern School of Law and a master’s degree from the University of Miami School of Law. He currently practices law and resides in Erie, Pa., with wife, Kim, and son, Taylor.
In the storied history of the Wittenberg men’s basketball program, Steve Iannarino is among the all-time greats. Still the program’s leader in career scoring with 1,973 points in 117 games from 1983-87, Iannarino is everywhere in the men’s basketball annals. He averaged 16.9 points per game, topped 500 points in a season three times in his four seasons and his HPER Center-record 40 points in a 1987 game against Denison ranks sixth on the school record list for points in a game. Iannarino was a three-time All-OAC honoree, and he still ranks 12th in conference history for points in a career. He was also a two-time second-team All-America selection. Wittenberg compiled a four-year record of 93-27 during Iannarino’s career, won one OAC championship and advanced to three NCAA Division III Tournaments, winning two regional titles and finishing third in 1987. Iannarino graduated from Wittenberg in 1987, and he later coached boy’s basketball for two years at Bishop McGuinness High School in Winston-Salem, N.C. His teams went to the state Final Four in 1996 and the state tournament quarterfinals in 1997, and Iannarino was named conference coach of the year in 197l. He now owns Stadium Clean, which is based in Charlotte, and resides in Huntersville, N.C., with his wife, Darla.
Conventional football wisdom says that games are won and lost in the trenches. With Fred Musone on the job during the Wittenberg football Glory Years of the 1960s, small wonder the Tigers were consistent winners. Musone started every game between 1962 and 1965, at which time Wittenberg posted a sparkling four-year record of 31-2-1 and went undefeated in winning OAC championships in 1962, 1963 and 1964. In addition, Wittenberg earned national championships in 1962 and 1964. Amazingly, Musone was a starter at offensive guard for his first two years, started at linebacker as a junior on the 1964 national championship team, and then moved back to the offensive line as a tackle in 1965. He was named team most valuable player following that season, earned first-team All-OAC honors and was a free agent invitee by several professional football organizations. After graduating from Wittenberg with a degree in history, Musone spent 24 years with the Federal Mogul Corp. He later became president and chief executive officer of Morton’s Air Bag Corp. and then president and CEO of Breed Industries. He is now retired and resides in Tiverton, R.I.
In 40 years of men’s soccer, no player stands out from the crowd more than Mark Sloman, who raised the standards for all Tiger men’s soccer players who followed. He earned Honorable Mention All-OAC honors in 1981 and first-team All-OAC in his breakout 1982 season, which remains the finest offensive season posted by a Wittenberg player to date. Sloman set school records for points (49), goals (20) and assists (9) in a season, two of which still stand. All three totals also led the OAC that year. Sloman was also named first-team All-Ohio, first-team All-Mideast Region and second-team All-America, becoming the first player in school history to garner national recognition. The team’s Offensive MVP in 1981, 1982 and 1983 after leading the team in scoring in all three seasons, Sloman remains the school record-holder for career points (108) and goals (44), and he ranks third in assists (20). After graduating from Wittenberg with a degree in political science in 1984, Sloman built a career as a human rights advocate, and he earned a master’s degree from American University in Washington, D.C. Sloman and wife, Lori, live in Washington with their five children.
Joyce Weiser Leichman is a Wittenberg women’s sports pioneer, excelling in numerous athletic endeavors long before the advent of Title IX. Leichman was a top scorer in basketball as she participated in intramurals, played college exhibition games and helped conduct local high school clinics. In field hockey, Leichman was an offensive-minded center halfback who went on to play for a Miami Valley team and participate in a tournament at Ohio State that included 35 colleges and universities. In 1948, she was selected to play in the Great Lakes Field Hockey Tournament. Also a fine softball player, Leichman played first base in intramurals during the school year and also played on state champion ASA teams from Springfield and Dayton. In addition, Leichman was vice president of the Women’s Athletic Association and the WAA representative to Student Council while at Wittenberg. After graduating from Wittenberg with a degree in education, she continued to be active in sports, participating in basketball and softball leagues and tournaments. She has worked as a teacher and as a physical therapist. Leichman currently resides in Hamilton, Ohio, with her husband, Richard. They have four children.
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