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Mr. Chuck Bryant
Chuck is considered one of the most versatile athletes in Zanesville High School history and went on to enjoy a long career as a coach, athletics administrator and sports official.
Chuck was a first-team all-Ohio football player for ZHS. He was a two-year captain and was also selected to play in the prestigious North/South All-Star Game. Chuck was All-Central Ohio League at linebacker his junior year, and was a unanimous selection at linebacker and running back after his senior year, when he scored 17 touchdowns and one extra-point.
He was also a three-year starter on the basketball team and once held the school record for most points in a single game (40). His senior year, the Blue Devils finished 24-1 and went to the state tournament, and Chuck was second-team All-Tournament and second-team All-COL.
In just one season of baseball – his junior year – he was a starter and the team’s leading hitter as the Blue Devils won the COL title.
Chuck starred for Ohio State as a three-year football starter. He was offensive co-captain for Woody Hayes’ 1961 National Championship team, and was the first Buckeye to lead the team in receiving three years in a row. He is still listed as second at OSU for most touchdown catches by a tight end (9). Chuck was also voted to play in the Blue-Gray Game, Senior Bowl, All-America East-West Game and the College All-Star game against the Green Bay Packers. An injury limited Chuck to just one year in the National Football League with the St. Louis Cardinals.
He was the first football coach and director of athletics at West Muskingum and also coached at Fostoria Wendelin, Massillon Washington, Lorain Senior and Lorain Southview high schools. As an official, he worked 10 high school state tournaments in 24 years and also called NCAA and NAIA games over a 12-year period.
Chuck is also a member of the Lorain City Sports Hall of Fame and the Northern Ohio Officials Hall of Fame, and is the only official inducted into the Lorain County Basketball Coaches Hall of Fame.
Mr. Mark Dantonio
Mark was a football star at Zanesville High School and later at the University of South Carolina, but has since risen to the game’s top level as a collegiate head football coach.
His coaching career began in 1980 as a graduate assistant at Ohio University and along the way Mark has worked with some of college football’s elite coaches, including Jim Tressel, Nick Saban and Earle Bruce.
After guiding Ohio State’s defense in the Buckeyes’ 2002 National Championship season, Mark was named head coach at the University of Cincinnati just as that school was beginning its membership in the Big East. He became just the second coach in UC history to take a Bearcats team to a bowl game in his first season.
After three years of rebuilding the Bearcats’ program, he was on Nov. 27, 2006, named the 24th head football coach at Michigan State, where he had worked as associate head coach and defensive coordinator from 1995-2000 prior to joining Tressel’s staff at Ohio State. His Spartans teams have won 22 games, the second-most ever by an MSU coach in his first three seasons. Mark has also led the Spartans to three straight bowl-game appearances, the first time that has happened at Michigan State in more than a decade. What’s more, 30 Spartans have been named Academic All-Big Ten during his brief tenure as head coach.
Mark earned three letters as a player at South Carolina, where he earned a bachelor’s degree in education. His master’s degree in education is from Ohio University.
As a Blue Devil, Mark was a three-year starter and was defensive captain of a Central Ohio League championship team that also posted the first win over Upper Arlington after five years of that school’s membership in the league. He was All-COL and All-Ohio, and was also chosen to play in the North/South All-Star Game.
Mr. Forest Farmer
Forest was a top athlete at Zanesville High School and later at Purdue University, but an injury that cut short his professional football career eventually launched him into a highly successful business career.
After working as a teacher in the Indianapolis area for a few years, Forest joined the Chrysler Corporation in its foreman training program, and steadily climbed through the managerial ranks from industrial engineer to foreman to labor supervisor. When he was named in 1988 to lead the company’s Acustar electronic parts division, Forest became the first African American to hold the title of president for one of the Big Three automakers. He oversaw all three of Acustar’s main units: Diversified Products, Electronic Products and Engineered Products.
Forest was an All-Central Ohio League football and basketball star for ZHS – All-Central Ohio League twice in football and once in basketball, and All-Ohio once in football – and he went on to become an All-America linebacker at Purdue. He played briefly with the Denver Broncos of the old American Football League before he was injured.
Forest has been president of the Purdue University President’s Council and the school’s Alumni Foundation as well as a member of the Big Ten Advisory Council. As a member of the Purdue University 21st Century Campaign, he helped raise $1.7 billion for his alma mater.
He is also a recipient of Sagamore of the Wabash, the highest award given to a citizen by the State of Indiana. Forest has also been presented the keys to the cities of Indianapolis; St. Petersburg, Fla.; Zanesville; Dayton; and Huntsville, Ala.
Forest and his wife of 44 years, Rosalyn, have two sons, Christopher and Forest Jr.
Dr. Harley Flack
Dr. Flack’s highly successful career as an education administrator culminated when he was inaugurated as president of Wright State University in February 1994 – becoming the first African American president of a major metropolitan university in Ohio. His tenure, however, was short-lived as he died of pancreatic cancer in March 1998 at age 55. Upon his death, hundreds of mourners, led by his loving wife, Mignon, traveled from Wright State University to his burial place in Zanesville.
Under his brief leadership, WSU was reaccredited for 10 years, the longest term possible. He helped establish the school’s first Faculty Senate, and championed several cultural and racial diversity initiatives on campus, including the WSU African American Male Mentoring Program for first-year students. By the time of his death, Wright State had reversed a six-year enrollment decline. The school also improved the academic quality of incoming students and lowered the dropout rate of first-year students.
Dr. Flack was a noted leader in the field of ethics and bioethics, and a published author on those subjects. He was also an accomplished musician and composer, and one of his works, “A Nation: All Famillies” was premiered at his presidential inauguration.
Prior to his WSU presidency, Dr. Flack was founding dean and professor of the College of Allied Sciences at Howard University in Washington, D.C.; vice president for academic affairs and dean of the faculty for the State University of New York at Old Westbury; provost and executive vice president of Rowan University in New Jersey; and assistant dean and assistant professor at what is now known as the University of Buffalo. In 1992, he was credited with playing a lead role for securing a $100 million donation to Rowan.
Dr. Flack earned his bachelor’s degree from Ohio State University, his master’s degree from Kent State University, and his doctorate from SUNY-Buffalo.
Dr. Gottlieb "Bud" Friesinger
Dr. Friesinger is recognized as a leading researcher, writer and instructor in cardiology at two of the country’s most prestigious medical schools, Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore and Vanderbilt University in Nashville.
“Bud,” who was president of his class, graduated from Lash High School in 1947 and summa cum laude from Muskingum College in 1951. He then attended Johns Hopkins to earn his medical degree, graduating in 1955 as Phi Beta Kappa and Alpha Omega Alpha. He then spent the next quarter-century at JHU – except for two years as a regimental surgeon for the Fifth Marines – and eventually rose to become associate professor and director of the Coronary Care Unit. In 1971, he moved to Nashville to become professor of medicine and the first director of Vanderbilt’s Division of Cardiology. He held that position for 20 years.
At both Vanderbilt and Johns Hopkins, he held endowed chairs and was active in cardiovascular research as well as patient care and teaching.
Dr. Friesinger has written more than 100 publications in peer-reviewed journals, written more than 25 chapters in textbooks and has served as editor for two books. Even though he retired from Vanderbilt in 2002, he still volunteer teaches at the school as professor of medicine (cardiology) emeritus, and delivers lectures all around the world.
He has also been a consultant for a number of national organizations, including the National Institutes of Health, the Rand Corporation and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, and has served leadership roles at the regional and national level in professional organizations such as the American College of Physicians and the American College of Cardiology. He has been a member of the Board of Trustees and Presidential Councilor at Johns Hopkins. He was also presented a Distinguished Alumni Award by Muskingum College.
He and his wife of 57 years, the former Jan Moorehead, have four children and six grandchildren. Dr. Friesinger’s son, G. Christian Friesinger III, is now an assistant professor at Vanderbilt’s Heart & Vascular Institute.
Ms. Erika Goines
Erika was the first – and still the only – female Zanesville High School athlete to become a state track-and-field champion. She also went on to become a highly decorated All-Big Ten and All-America track-and-field performer at Ohio State University.
Erika, who also starred in volleyball and basketball at ZHS, won back-to-back state shot put titles in 1993 and 1994, and also earned All-Ohio honors both of those years in discus. She was also All-Ohio in shot put as a sophomore in 1992. Erika was also selected to compete on the Ohio team at the Midwest Meet of Champions. Those credentials earned her a full scholarship to OSU.
As a Lady Buckeye, Erika twice set the school record for indoor shot put and did it once in the outdoor shot put. She was All-Big Ten eight times and also an All-America in the shot put.
Following graduation with a degree in sociology – she was mentioned by name by OSU President Dr. E. Gordon Gee at her commencement – Erika returned to Zanesville to be near her parents. She has been a vital caseworker for Muskingum Count Children’s Services, the first person hired to a unit specializing in providing services to troubled, court-involved teens. She has also “paid forward” by coaching basketball and track athletes for Zanesville City Schools.
The Hon. Perry Jackson
Judge Jackson was the first African American sworn in as judge in the State of Ohio, in 1942. He served Cleveland and Cuyahoga County for 44 years before his death in 1986.
After graduating from Zanesville High School, Judge Jackson worked his way through Western Reserve University (now Case Western Reserve University) and eventually graduated magna cum laude. He began practicing law in the Cleveland area while also working as an editor for of the city’s black newspapers, the Cleveland Call.
Judge Jackson was elected to the Ohio Legislature in 1928, again as a ground-breaker – he was the first African American to win a county-wide election in Cuyahoga County – and he also served on Cleveland City Council. He was later appointed assistant police prosecutor and chief prosecutor for the City of Cleveland before being sworn in as judge.
Among his many accomplishments was the adoption of permanent voter registration forms eliminating reference to color or race, and fathering legislation pinning down the function of notaries public.
Judge Jackson was very active in his community, serving in many organizations across Northeast Ohio, including the NAACP, the Cleveland Area Church Federation, Goodwill Industries and the Boy Scouts of America. A scholarship in his name continues to assist Zanesville High School graduates with their college expenses.
Mr. Mark Mees
Mark was a two-time state boys tennis champion at Zanesville High School who went on to a standout collegiate career at the University of Michigan, where he later coached his alma mater to three NCAA Tournament appearances.
A National Honor Society student at ZHS, Mark’s tennis success started well before he became a Blue Devil. He won the Orange Bowl and Sugar Bowl junior tournaments at age 12. Mark had a career record of 37-1 at ZHS. He won his state singles titles in 1978 and 1979, and was named a high school All-American in his junior and senior seasons.
Mark was first-team All-Big Ten all four years at Michigan, and earned All-American honors his senior year. He won the Big Ten No. 3 singles championships as a freshman and sophomore, the No. 2 singles title as junior, and was No. 1 doubles champion as a junior and senior. The Wolverines were Big Ten champions all four seasons, and Mark served as team captain in 1983, his senior year.
Until an injury ended his playing career, Mark played on the ATP Satellite Tour, eventually earning a Top 500 world ranking.
Mark embarked on his coaching career, which included stints as assistant men’s coach at Michigan and director of tennis at the Cleveland Racquet Club before being named head coach at his alma mater in 1999. He resigned from the Wolverines’ program in 2004 to spend more time with his family. Mark currently resides in Ann Arbor with his wife, Amy, and children David and Emma.
Since 2007, Mark has been a social studies teacher at Jefferson High School in Monroe, Mich..
Mr. Jim Sayre
Jim was the first completely blind student to graduate from Zanesville High School, but that is merely a footnote to a career working as an advocate for the disabled and as an entertainer.
He earned his bachelor’s degree in education from Ohio State University and later a master’s degree in vocational rehabilitation counseling from the University of Tennessee. He has won numerous awards and commendations for his work as a vocational rehabilitation counselor in both Wisconsin and Ohio.
Jim’s tremendous singing voice has allowed him to win many talent shows as well, and he has never allowed his loss of sight to get in the way of participating in many outdoor activities, including hiking, canoeing and swimming. All along, he has followed his mother’s admonition that he learn to live in a sighted world.
Jim retired from his job with the State of Ohio’s Rehabilitation Services Commission in 2004, but has continued to entertain and help raise funds for local charities, such as Christ’s Table and the Carr Center. He is also the only two-time winner of the Charles W. Medick Award, presented by the Blind Association of Central Ohio, “for noteworthy achievement in his chosen vocation and his example of courage, faith and triumphs over many obstacles.” He earned the award in 1967 and 2005.
Among the many songs he has written, Jim composed the song”My Heaven on Earth, which was proclaimed the official song of the City of Zanesville at the 1976 Zane Trace Commemoration.
Dr. Charles Thomas
Dr. Thomas was an outstanding athlete at Zanesville High School and at Ohio Wesleyan University at the turn of the last century. It was his experiences as a rare African American college athlete during that time that eventually led to a seminal moment in American history – the breaking of the color line in Major League Baseball in 1947.
A native of Weston, W.Va., Dr. Thomas came to Zanesville with his family at age 3. He was a three-sport star at ZHS, graduating in 1902, and went on to OWU to play football. But he was eventually recruited to play baseball for the Battling Bishops by a young Branch Rickey – the same man who, as general manager of the Brooklyn Dodgers four decades later, signed Jackie Robinson and eventually brought him to the Major Leagues.
Rickey always acknowledged that it was his memories of witnessing the racism toward Dr. Thomas – the lone African American athlete on the OWU football and baseball teams – that inspired him to eventually integrate Major League Baseball. Like the legendary Robinson, Rickey remembered how Dr. Thomas handled himself publicly with great grace, even though behind the scenes he showed his frustration for not being accepted due to the color of his skin. And it was Robinson’s very similar temperament that led Rickey to make him the barrier-breaking pioneer.
After leaving Ohio Wesleyan, Dr. Thomas began studying dentistry at Ohio State while also playing baseball professionally in the Negro Leagues and running track and playing football at OSU. He opened his first dentistry practice in St. Louis before moving to Albuquerque, N.M., where he became one of the first African American dentists in the state, practicing for 40 years. He died in 1971 at age 90.
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