The Upper Arlington High School Athletic Hall of Fame, in its fourth year, will welcome six former student-athletes, three retired coaches and its first Friend of the Program for their outstanding contributions to the impressive history of the school’s athletic program.
The fourth class of inductees was announced during the home football game on Friday, October 11 at Marv Moorehead Memorial Stadium. These individuals will be recognized in January at the high school.
The 2020 inductees are:
- Jeff Backes (Class of 2001). A varsity athlete in football, basketball and track, Backes was a crucial member of the undefeated 2000 Upper Arlington High School football team that went on to win the state championship. He was honored as the 2000 Ohio Division I Player of the Year.
- Gus Crim (Class of 1966). Crim was a triple threat in football, basketball and baseball for the Golden Bears. He was named All-Ohio in football,1965; all-conference in basketball, 1965-1966; and all-conference in baseball, 1966.
- Kirsten Flower (Class of 2006). Flower was a state champion tennis player, in both doubles and singles, for Upper Arlington High School. She was named first-team All-Ohio as a freshman and sophomore and All-American as a sophomore. She won the state doubles championship in 2002 and singles championship in 2003.
- Jim Hamilton, retired coach and athletic director. Hamilton served 25 years as a coach and athletic director at Upper Arlington High School. He coached basketball and golf from 1968 to 1986 and went on to serve as athletic director until 1993
- Blake Haxton (Class of 2009). Haxton was team captain of the Upper Arlington High School crew team from 2007 to 2009. He set a program record with a 2000-meter erg time of 6:23 in 2009 — which today stands as second all-time in UAHS history.
- Tim McClellan (Class of 1987). McClellan was a premier athlete in wrestling, cross country and track at Upper Arlington High School. He was state runner-up in his weight class for wrestling in 1987, and qualified to compete at the state level four times in wrestling, three times in cross country and twice in track during his time at UAHS. He was team MVP in wrestling in 1987 and in cross country in 1985 and 1986.
- Audrey Plant (Class of 2010). Plant was an MVP in Upper Arlington High School for three consecutive years, 2008-2010. She was first team All-OCC from 2007-2010 and first team All-State Division I from 2009-2010.
- Bill Ruoff, Friend of the Program. Ruoff is the first “Friend of the Program” to be inducted into the Upper Arlington High School Athletic Hall of Fame. Ruoff has served the program for more than 45 years, providing invaluable support to student-athletes, fans and the administrative team.
- Dave Shelby, retired coach and former Upper Arlington High School principal. Shelby was a coach of lacrosse and tennis from 1953 to 1984. He led the 1962 and 1963 varsity tennis teams to the state championship and coached Tom Mansfield to two consecutive boys singles state championships — a first for the Upper Arlington High School tennis program.
- Lee Spitzer, retired coach. Spitzer served Upper Arlington High School as a coach of wrestling, lacrosse and cross country from 1973 to 2006. He led the wrestling program to seven conference championships and the top 10 in the state six times. During his time at UAHS, he coached three wrestlers who went on to win individual state championships and six who were state runners-up. He was named AAA State Coach of the Year in 1986.
Based on nominations submitted by community members, alumni and staff, the inductees were selected by a committee of former student athletes, community members, coaches and high-school and district administrators.
The inductees will be introduced at approximately 7 p.m. on January 3, 2020, before the varsity basketball game against Marysville. A reception open to the public in the first floor of the learning center at Upper Arlington High School will precede the game at 5:30 pm.
The Upper Arlington High School Athletic Hall of Fame is continuing to honor achievements of the 143 state championship teams, all automatically entered into the Hall of Champions within the Hall of Fame. The reception in January will recognize the state championship teams from 1980 through 1989.
To learn more about the Upper Arlington High School Athletic Hall of Fame, please visit www.uaschools.org/uahsathletics.