By Preston Byers
The Youngstown State University athletics department welcomed eight new members into the YSU Athletics Hall of Fame on Feb. 8 as a part of the class of 2019 induction ceremony.
All eight inductees were present at the ceremony, and they delivered speeches to a crowd of about 170, which included many of the inductees’ friends, families and members of the YSU athletics department.
Ron Strollo, the executive director of intercollegiate athletics, awarded the inductees with plaques, and the new YSU head football coach, Doug Phillips, who gave a brief speech near the beginning of the event.
One of the event’s most notable absences was YSU President Jim Tressel, who recorded a speech that was shown during the ceremony. In his speech, Tressel mentioned one of the inductees, Pauline Saternow, who held various coaching and administrative positions over 26 years, some of which aligned with Tressel’s time as head football coach.
In addition to Saternow, the inductees included Ruth Boscaljon (volleyball), Erich Diedrich (baseball), Phil Gaston (basketball), Yandeh Joh (track and field), Jason Perry (football), Brad Samsa (football) and Mychal Savage (football).
The three football inductees were teammates on the 2006 team that reached the Football Championship Subdivision playoff semifinals, where they lost to the eventual champions, Appalachian State University. That season, Perry was named second-team All-American by the Associated Press and first-team by the All-Gateway Football Conference.
For former student-athletes to be eligible for the Athletics Hall of Fame, they must be at least 10 years removed from their last season of competition and a varsity letter winner in at least two years at YSU. They must also have had “outstanding accomplishments,” according to the membership and criteria and nomination process document.
Outstanding accomplishments include being named All-American, All-Conference, a conference specialty award winner, an NCAA statistical leader, YSU all-time statistical career leader or an Olympic qualifier.
Contributors, the category under which Saternow was inducted, includes former coaches, athletic department staff, friends and alumni. The requirements for these members are that they aren’t currently employed by YSU and have “rendered extraordinary service and leadership to the YSU athletics department.”
The inductees are selected by a committee of approximately 20 people, most of which are either former or current staff members in the athletics department.
The ceremony was sandwiched between a YSU basketball home doubleheader, with the women’s game against Northern Kentucky University at 1 p.m. preceding it and the men’s game against Cleveland State University at 6 p.m. following it.