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BW Announces its 2019 Alumni Athletic Association Hall of Fame Inductees

BW Announces its 2019 Alumni Athletic Association Hall of Fame Inductees

By:  Director of Athletic Communications and Public Relations Kevin Ruple

BEREA, Ohio -- The Baldwin Wallace University Brown and Gold Club will recognize nine former athletic greats and a dedicated faculty athletics representative on the weekend of October 25-26 when the ten will be inducted into the Alumni Athletic Association Hall of Fame on Hall of Fame Weekend.

Click Here if you are interested in attending the ceremoy and need tickets.  Click Here to view a live and archived webstream of the induction ceremony.

Joining the list of greats to be inducted include Todd Alexander '08 (soccer), Dr. Lou Barone (faculty rep), Geoff Helmlinger '99 (football and baseball), Laura Leach '05 (volleyball), Nicole Loudin '06 (softball), Matt Luck '90 (cross country and track), Gino Russo '08 (wrestling), Bob "Bullet" Scelza '85 (men's basketball), Jim Tillotson '77 (track) and Joe Velky '87 (baseball).

TODD ALEXANDER '08 (Men's Soccer): Todd Alexander was a four-year letterman in men's soccer and one of the best defenders to ever wear the Brown & Gold. He was a three-time All-Ohio Athletic Conference selection, including the OAC Defender of the Year in 2007, and two-time CoSIDA Academic All-District player. In addition to being a key defender, Todd still managed to score 14 goals and add six assists for 34 career points. He helped BW to a 50-20-7 record, including being ranked 10th nationally in Division III in 2006. He twice earned Division III All-Region honors, was a three-time team captain and two-time BW team Most Valuable Player. Since graduation, Todd has operated a successful greenhouse manufacturing company, Tunnel Vision Hoops LLC, since 2010.

DR. LOU BARONE (Honorary): Professor Emeritus Dr. Lou Lou served as the BW Faculty Athletics Representative to the Ohio Athletic Conference for 33 years (1973 through 2006) and attended 26 NCAA Conventions. He was a charter member of FAR (Faculty Athletics Representatives) in the NCAA and served as its President from 2000-2002. He twice was the President of the OAC (1985-87 and 1993-1995) and served on the Executive Committee for 14 years. In addition, Lou was an Assistant Softball Coach from 1985-1992, the Public Address Announcer at The George Finnie Stadium for 28 years, served as an official in the sport of track & field for 25 years, including numerous OAC Championship and three NCAA Division III Championship Meets. In the classroom, Lou was the Chair of the Humanities Division and History Department and a member of the Graduate Studies Committee. He received the Strosacker Award for Excellence in Teaching, the Gigax Award for Meritorious Service to the College and the Student Senate Award for Excellence in Teaching. He was a member of four National honorariums and was a member of the American Historical Association, the Organization of American Historians.

Todd Alexander

Dr. Lou Barone

Geoff Hemlinger

Laura Leach Lesniewski

Nicole Loudin

Matt Luck

Gino Russo

Bob Scelza

Jim Tillotson

Joe Velky

GEOFF HELMLINGER '99 (Football & Baseball): Geoff Helmlinger is one of the best dual sport athletes to ever play at BW and was the Kenneth Steingass Outstanding Male Athlete in 1999. He was a two-year starting quarterback (1997 and 1998) and the starting second baseman on the baseball team and was a key member of the infield for three seasons (1996-98). He earned six total varsity letters, including three in each sport. In football as a junior, Geoff finished fourth in the OAC and 20th in Division III in passing efficiency. As a senior, he was first in the OAC and fourth nationally in NCAA Division III passing efficiency. He has completed 171 of 268 passes for single-season school records of 2,518 passing yards with 27 touchdowns with just seven interceptions. Geoff had a streaks of 99 and 72 straight passes without an interception. The streak of 99 was the second longest in BW history. His 46 career TD passes and 4,938 career passing yards rank second all-time at BW. Geoff also played QB in the Aztec Bowl in Mexico City. He completed 10 of 15 passes for 170 yards with a TD. In baseball, Geoff saw action in 92 games, including 87 starts at 2B. He hit .293 (85-for-290) with 58 runs scored, 15 doubles, a triple, two homers, 59 RBI and two stolen bases. Since graduation, Geoff is employed at Graybar Electric as a Sales Representative.

LAURA (LEACH) LESNIEWSKI '05 (Volleyball): Laura Leach Lesniewski played four seasons of volleyball (2001-04), earned four letters, is still is listed in the Top-10 of numerous statistical categories, and ended her career as one of the best middle hitters to ever wear the Brown & Gold. The 2004 American Volleyball Coaches Association (AVCA) Division III All-American and first-team All-Great Lakes Region pick helped BW to compile a 96-42 record. Laura was BW's 2005 Female Clyde Lamb Award recipient. Her 1,350 career kills ranks fourth all-time and both her .315 hitting percentage and 145 career solo blocks each rank third. She also was a three-time All-OAC and two-time Academic All-OAC selection, including being a first-team pick as a senior. That season, Laura led the team in kills (629), hitting percentage (.337), solo blocks (63) and total blocks (87). She also was the "Rookie of the Year" as a freshman. Laura is currently employed as a Hospice Liaison with Compassionate Care Hospice of Amedisys out of Akron.

NICOLE LOUDIN "06 (Softball): Nicole Loudin is arguably the best hitter in softball in school history and helped BW compile an 82-68 record, including 25 wins as a freshman. She still owns BW school records for home runs (37) and runs batted-in (123). The four-time BW Most Valuable Player, two-time NFCA (National Fast-Pitch Coaches Association) Division III All-American and 2004 CoSIDA Academic All-American also was the BW "Rookie of the Year" as a freshman. She is still the only freshman in school history to earn All-America honors in softball. She also was a four-time NFCA Scholar-Athlete. For her career, Nicole batted .383 (161-for-420) with 119 runs scored, 27 doubles, six triples, 37 homers, 123 RBI and 24 stolen bases. The catcher turned shortstop as a senior was a three-time All-Central Region pick, a three-time Academic All-OAC choice and a numerous OAC Hitter of the Week honoree. On campus, Nicole was a four-year member of the SAAC (Student-Athlete Advisory Committee), a member of the Chi Alpha Sigma and Psi Chi honor societies and graduated magna cum laude.

MATT LUCK '90 (Cross Country & Track): Matt Luck was a four-year letterman in track and cross country and the captain of the 1989 cross country team. He was a NCAA Division III All-American in 1989 in the 3,000-meter steeplechase (fifth place) and a three-time NCAA Division III national qualifier, once in cross country (1988) and twice in track (1989 and 1990). He was a two-time All-OAC runner in XC, including being the 1989 BW Most Outstanding Runner. He was All-OAC in track six times, including being a two-time individual champion in the steeplechase (1988 and 1989) and a three-time BW Most Outstanding Distance Runner (1988 through 1990) and the 1989 BW Most Valuable Track Athlete. Matt also was the 1989 Jim Wuske Award Winner at the 1989 OAC Indoor Championships and received the OAC's Paul "Sparky" Adams Award at the 1989 OAC Outdoor Championships. Currently, Matt is a social studies teacher and the head boys track and field coach at Willoughby South High School.

GINO RUSSO '08 (Wrestling): Gino Russo was a four-year letterman and starter who compiled a 92-29 career record and is one of just two BW two-time All-American wrestlers. He placed sixth at the NCAA Division III National Tournament in both 2007 (24-7 record) and 2008 (27-4 record). Gino was a three-time All-OAC wrestler who won a pair of OAC titles (2007 and 2008), three additional tourney titles and placed 10 times at various tournaments. As a senior, Gino was ranked No.2 in Division III when he broke his hand. He came back for the OAC tourney to win a title and go on to place sixth at the NCAA Championships. Gino currently works for Quicken Loans and is its Presidents Club Mortgage Broker.

BOB SCELZA '85 (Men's Basketball): Bob Scelza was a four-year varsity player and letterman. The 1985 CoSIDA-GTE Academic All-American had a 3.6 grade average. He led the OAC in rebounding twice. As a senior, he led the OAC for the second straight year and was seventh in Division III. Bob was a first-team All-OAC selection in 1983-84 and 1984-85, twice was named first-team Academic All-OAC and was a two-time OAC Player of the Week. He also was BW's 1985 Clyde Lamb Award winner to the OAC. He scored 1,229 career points and grabbed 775 rebounds (which at the time ranked 12th in scoring and second in rebounding). As a senior, Bob averaged 19.8 points and an OAC- leading 11.8 rebounds. On campus, he was a member of the Dean's List, the Alpha Tau Omega fraternity and served as a Class Officer for the Class of 1985. Bob currently serves as the Managing Director and Grouphead of the Leveraged Finance Group for Key Bank.

JIM TILLOTSON '77 (Track): Jim Tillotson competed in track and field for four years, earned four letters and was a team captain in 1977 and a co-captain in '76. He was a member of four straight OAC Championship team. Three times Jim won the OAC outdoor shot put and at one time held a school record in the shot put for more than 30 years until it was surpassed in 2010. He also won an OAC outdoor title in the discus. In indoor track, Jim was the OAC champion in shot put three straight years. In 1976, Jim was the Most Outstanding Field Events Performer. Following graduation, Jim continued to compete in track and is a five-time winner in the discus in the Master's Division at the New York Empire State Games. Jim is a retired school teacher at Southwestern Central (N.Y.) High School where he taught physical education and alternative learning and coached football, wrestling and track.

JOE VELKY '87 (Baseball): Joe played just two seasons of baseball at BW (1986 and 1987) but made a lasting impression. The transfer batted a combined .385 (82-for-203) with 17 doubles, 17 home runs, 75 runs batted-in and had a .704 slugging and outstanding .557 on-base percentage. As a junior, Joe set BW school records in games played (39), homers (10), RBI (45), total bases (89) and bases on balls drawn (walks/49). His 10 homers led the OAC. Twice, Joe was BW's "Big Stick" award-winner. Joe was a two-time first-team All-OAC selection, two-time Academic All-OAC pick and earned CoSIDA Academic All-America honors in 1987. Joe still holds the BW records for the highest on-base average (.557) for a career and walks drawn in a season (49). Following graduation, Joe was signed by the Pittsburgh Pirates and played minor league baseball. Today, Joe is a SAP Specialist at Google Cloud.