OVAC Hall of Fame: Five athletes set to be added
Three former Martins Ferry High School standouts who earned fame on the college level join two selections from Moundsville and Barnesville as the first five athletes announced to be honored at the 10th annual Ohio Valley Athletic Conference Hall of Fame banquet on August 17 at WesBanco Arena in Wheeling.
Selected from the 1940’s Decade will be Moundsville’s Harry (Moo) Moore. The honorees from the 1950’s Decade will be the Martins Ferry duo of Ron (Cy) Godfrey and Ken Vargo. The 1960’s Decade inductees will be Jim Brown from Martins Ferry and Larry Marmie of Barnesville. All plan to attend the public fete. Honored athletes from four other decades will be announced the next two weeks.
Previously announced honorees includes coaches Jim Thomas and Nick Aloi; officials John Howell and Don Zinni; contributors Tim McCoy and Tom Rataiczak; and media member Richard (Hoot) Gibson. Recognized in the Legends category will be John (Zip) Behen of Cambridge, Ken Cunningham of East Liverpool, Russell (Tuss) Edwards of Martins Ferry, Bob Hugh of Scio, and Joel Jones of Weirton Dunbar.
The OVAC Hall of Fame, sponsored by the Robinson Auto Group in Wheeling, and the OVAC Sports Museum are located inside WesBanco Arena.
Capsule summaries of the latest announced honorees:
HARRY (MOO) MOORE (Moundsville, 1948 Class) – The 6-foot-2 forward set school career scoring records which lasted 18 years until broke in 1966 by OVAC Hall of Famer Bob Hummell. He scored 1,700 career points in four seasons. He also set the all-time Trojan single game record of 54 points, including 25 goals, in a 101-17 rout of Cameron.
He earned first team, one-class All-State as a senior and was twice a first team All-OVAC largest Class AA honoree. He also was the first state High School Player of the Year honoree in selections made from 1948-60 by the Tri-State Independent Tournament held in Sistersville.
Moore led the Trojans to records of 15-2 in 1948 and 19=3 in 1946 when the team advanced to the W.Va. region finals.
He earned a scholarship to West Virginia U. where he played on three varsity teams with a combined 60-20 record including a Southern Conference regular season and tournament championship. Moore’s 84% career free throw percentage ranks No. 2 all-time at WVU. He averaged 12.8 points a game as a senior and was selected honorable mention All-America.
He also was chosen in the sixth round of the 1952 NBA Draft by the Syracuse Nationals. He served in the Army infantry from 1953-55 and was selected to play in the 1954 armed forces Pan-American Games n Mexico and International Games in Germany. In 2007, he was inducted into the West Virginia U. Sports Hall of Fame.
Moore resides in Moundsville.
RON (CY) GODFREY (Martins Ferry, 1956) – The 6-foot-5 stringbean set school scoring records which remain on the books for over 50 years. He shattered Purple Rider career, season and single game marks set in 1944 by legendary OVAC Hall of Famer Alex Groza. His records include current standards of 1,300 career points, a 32.4 point per game norm as a senior, and twice scoring 51 points in a game against Wheeling and Benwood Union. The single game mark has been tied, the others unbroken. He earned All-Ohio and All-OVAC honors in 1956 at the Purple Riders went 18-6 with sectional and district titles before bowing to Canton McKinley, 57-54 in regional play.
He earned a scholarship to the University of Miami, where he score 1,384 career points as the Hurricanes went 61-18 in his three varsity seasons. The 1960 NCAA Tournament team went 23-4 and the 1961 NIT Tournament squad ended 20-7 as Godfrey earned honorable mention All-America.
He later would serve as head coach for four seasons of the Hurricanes before resigning in 1971. His prize protege was future Basketball Hall of Famer Rick Barry. He has been inducted into the University of Miami Sports Hall of Fame and the Atlantic Coast Conference Legends Class of 2012 although he never played an ACC game. Miami is currently a member of the ACC.
Godfrey resides in Coral Springs, Fla.
KEN VARGO (Martins Ferry, 1952) – A three-sport, four-year Purple Rider athlete who was team captain in football and basketball as a senior and a track team member. A 6-foot, 184-pound center-linebacker in football, he earned first team Associated Press All-Ohio defense as a senior and was selected captain of the All-OVAC and All-Valley “Big School” honor rolls. The 1951 All-Valley selections were the first ones selecting Big and Small School teams. Vargo, a 48-minute player, also was a two-time All-Eastern Ohio selection at center.
He earned a scholarship to Ohio State University where he became a three-year regular at center and Buckeye co-captain as a senior when he earned first team All-Big Ten Conference with two teammates in the College Football Hall of Fame-Heisman Trophy winner Howard (Hopalong) Cassaday and Outland Trophy winner Jim Parker. Vargo played in the 1956 Hula Bowl.
As a junior, he was a regular on a 10-0 record team which won the Rose Bowl, 20-7 over USC and was named the AP national champions.
Vargo was drafted in the ninth round by the Chicago Bears of the National Football League but opted to play in Canada with the Ottawa Rough Riders where he was Canadian Football League All-Star linebacker in his 1956 rookie season.
After his playing career, he remained in Canada and resides in Ottawa.
JIM BROWN (Martins Ferry, 1961) – A two-sport Purple Rider standout, he is the first OVAC athlete honored primarily for golf. In the OVAC all-class tournament, he improved each year to place fourth, third, second and first his four years. He also won three OVAC Ohio-side titles. He won three Ohio district crowns after placing second as a freshman. In the Ohio state tournament, he improved each season-11th, 8th, 6th and fourth as a senior. His career match record was 43-4 including 13-1 as a senior after marks of 9-2, 11-0 and 10-1. He was medalist in 39 of 47 career matches.
In basketball, the 5-foot-11 guard was a two-time All-OVAC Class AAA choice, twice All-Eastern Ohio (co=captain as senior) and All-Ohio second and third team in two wire service selections. He was co-captain in the Ohio Norrth-South All-Star Game.
He earned a scholarship to play golf and basketball at Ohio State and became OSU’s No.1 golfer, and senior team captain, and a three-year varsity basketball letterman.
After six years coaching at Rollins College in Florida and Kent State, he returned in 1973 to become Ohio State’s ninth golf course. He remained for 36 seasons as the longest tenured coach in any sport at OSU. His teams won 17 Big Ten titles and the 1979 NCAA championship among 11 NCAA Top 10 finishes and 31 appearances/ A three-time Big Ten Coach of the Year, he won national honors in 1979 and 1986.
He has been inducted into the Golf Coaches of America Hall of Fame and the Ohio State Athletics Hall.
Brown splits retirement time between Columbus and Florida.
LARRY MARMIE (Barnesville, 1960) – An All-Ohio quarterback for the Shamrocks, he also earned All-OVAC honors in football and All-Eastern Ohio honors in basketball and football as a senior. He also was selected All-Valley “Small School” first team quarterback.
Playing for coach Bob (Smokey) Wion on a 7-2 record team as a senior in 1959, he was selected to the UPI All-Ohio Class AA team and played in the 1960 Ohio-West Virginia All-Star game. The 1959 Shamrocks averaged 30.4 points a game with Marmie rushing for 626 yards and passing for 566 yards in a balanced attack.
In 1960, he walked onto the Ohio State team and was a member of the freshman team before transferring for his final three years at Eastern Kentucky University. A four-year starter at quarterback, he was team captain and MVP as a senior and set seven school records.
After five college assistant coaching jobs, he joined Arizona State as defensive coordinator in 1985 and became head coach for four years from 1988-91. After stops at Tennessee and UCLA, he joined the professional coaching ranks from 1996-2003 with the Arizona Cardinals. He then joined the St. Louis Rams (2004-05) and Seattle Seahawks (2006-09). Last season was his 47th year in coaching.
He currently resides in California.