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Ohio State announces 8 new members of athletics hall of fame

Former Ohio State guard Mike Conley Jr. drives to the basket as Georgetown center Roy Hibbert defends during their NCAA Final Four game in Atlanta, Georgia, on Saturday, March 31, 2007. Credit: Courtesy of TNS

The Ohio State Athletics Hall of Fame will add eight people — seven former athletes and one current coach — to the 418-person hall in the fall, Ohio State announced announced Wednesday morning.

The eight-person class of 2017 will be inducted at a dinner on Oct. 6, and will be recognized at halftime of the Ohio State-Maryland football game the next day on Homecoming weekend.

The seven former players who will be inducted include LeCharles Bentley (football), Mike Conley (men’s basketball), Tom Byers (men’s track and field), Chelsea Davis (women’s diving), Bryce Keough (wrestling), Christina Manning (women’s track and field) and Nancy Pearson (women’s swimming).

Pete Hanson, Ohio State’s men’s volleyball coach since 1985, is the first coach to be inducted into the hall of fame since former Buckeyes football coach Jim Tressel in 2015. Hanson’s teams have won back-to-back NCAA championships. Last season, Ohio State had its 42-match win streak snapped, the third-longest streak in in NCAA men’s volleyball history.

Bentley, the first Ohio State player to ever win the Rimington Award – given to the nation’s best center – is the 122nd member from the football program in the hall. The three-year starter was a consensus All-American as a senior in 2001.

Conley, a point guard who played for Ohio State for one season before heading to the NBA, helped lead the Buckeyes to the 2007 NCAA Championship. He averaged 11.3 points per game and holds the record for most assists (238) and steals (87) by a freshman in Ohio State men’s basketball history.

Byers, a mid-distance runner from 1973-1976, holds multiple school and meet records. The three-time indoor All-American in the 1,000-yard run owns the school record in the 1,500 meter run (3:37.50).

Davis won the national championship in 2008 and was named the NCAA Tri-Diver of the Year. In 2010, Davis was awarded the Big Ten Medal of Honor. Only one other member of Ohio State’s women’s swimming and diving program has been awarded the award before.

As a senior in 1951, Keough was the captain of Ohio State’s Big Ten championship-winning wrestling team. He won individual conference titles at 155 pounds in 1949 and 147 pounds in 1951.

Manning, who ran for Ohio State from 2008-2012, in an 11-time All-American, 10-time Big Ten champion and two-time national champion. She holds school records in the 60-meter dash (7.23), 60-meter hurdles (7.91), 100-meter hurdles (12.68) and 400-meter relay (43.70).

Pearson was an All-American swimmer in 1982 and twice was a Big Ten champion as a member of the 800-meter freestyle relay team.

The hall of fame, which was created in 1977, includes 305 men and 121 women. Women weren’t inducted into the the hall until 1993.

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