HALL OF FAME 2017
On Sept. 29, 2017 Tiffin University celebrated its history with the induction of the 23rd class of the Tiffin University Athletic Hall of Fame, in conjunction with Homecoming Weekend. As is normally the case at the Hall of Fame ceremonies, a wide variety of sports and accomplishments were celebrated.
- Nate Cole, Head Football Coach 2003-07
- Kristina Schweikert, softball 2003-06
- Chelsea (Shelnick) Hoskinson, track and field 2004-07
- Jessica (Schult) Phillips, volleyball 2003-06
- Dan Grincewicz, men’s golf and women’s golf coach 2002-07
- Graham Ryan (Honorary Inductee)
- Special recognition of 2007 football team
Graham has seen a lot during his time with Tiffin University Athletics.
He first began assisting with Dragons Athletics in 1971, working as equipment manager for Hall of Fame Coach George Janson and the men’s basketball team. It was the start of a 46-year relationship with the University, and specifically with Athletics, that is unmatched in the school’s history.
After serving for 10 years as equipment manager for the men’s basketball team, Ryan continued to support TU Athletics as a devoted fan. In 1985 another opportunity presented itself.
“I read an ad in the newspaper that said TU was starting football,” Ryan recalled. “I knew (Head Coach) Buzz Kirkhart when he had coached at Tiffin Calvert, so I talked to him about being equipment manager for the football team. I worked with them in 1985 and 1986, traveling with them and taking care of their equipment needs.”
Following that, Ryan moved to the Tiffin University Maintenance Department, working there from 1986-2016, spending many of those hours working athletic events.
He actively worked with various athletic teams in game-day setup operations, all the while remaining a recognized fixture at Tiffin University athletic events, usually leading the crowd in supporting the Dragons.
“I was a big fan of football and men’s basketball, along with volleyball,” said Ryan. “Everyone seemed to like me when I cheered at the game because I showed them respect and treated them well. I tried to always pick a player each year and really support them.”
Ryan had a number of players that he recalled as good friends.
“I remember the early football players like Mick Thallman, Greg Richards, Greg Freeman and others,” said Ryan. “I was close with head basketball coaches Keith Dambrot and David Greer, and also have enjoyed associating with Jim Hammond and Jerry Buccilla. Bonnie Tiell was also one of my favorite coaches with volleyball.”
“I also enjoyed being around the good basketball teams we had in the 1970s. We had two teams that won National Championships in 1971 and 1973, and another team that won the conference in 1976. I really enjoyed being a part of those football and basketball teams. It is nice to know that I did my part to help them and make them successful.”