Famous falcons find their wings at University

Sports Editor and Sports Editor

To truly be good in one’s sport, one must be competitive and have the drive to be the best and the University has had many athletes and coaches who fit that category, some more than others.

The most recent BG alum to make an impact professionally was Chris Jones, who was drafted by Houston Texans in the sixth round. After jumping around teams in the off season he landed with the New England Patriots where he recorded 5.0 sacks, which was second amongst all rookies.

Another famous BG alumnus that is not so recent is Nate Thurmond. Thurmond is a member of the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame and was named one of the 50 Greatest Players in NBA History. Known as “Nate the Great” to fans, he passed on a scholarship to Ohio State to avoid being Jerry Lucas’ backup. He was named first-team All-American in 1963 as a Falcon and was drafted by the San Francisco Warriors. He played for them, the Cleveland Cavaliers and the Chicago Bulls. He has had his number retired by both the Warriors and the Cavaliers.

Oral Hershiser is the alum who has had the most success after leaving the University, but had a difficult time while in college. He did not pitch enough innings to earn a varsity letter in his freshman and sophomore year as a Falcon. During his sophomore year he became academically ineligible and was forced to enroll in summer classes to bring his grades up. In his junior year, he pitched a no-hitter in the all-MAC All-Star game. He was drafted by the LA Dodgers and won multiple awards including the NL CY Young Award and the World Series MVP in 1988.

Next on the list is kicker Shaun Suisham, who played with coach Urban Meyer from 2001-2002. Suisham left the University as the all-time leading scorer of the football team with 361 points and broke school records with 45 career field goals and 31 touchbacks. In 2004 he was named Second-Team All-MAC. He competed in Super Bowl XLV with the Steelers but missed a 52 yard field goal in a 31-25 loss to the Green Bay Packers. He is currently still a part of the Pittsburgh Steelers roster.

Coaches, like players, show their competitiveness on the field but in a different way. Previous Falcon football head coach Doyt Perry meant so much to the football program, they named the football stadium after him. He finished his coaching career at BG with a 77-11-5 record. He coached the Falcons to five Mid-American Conference Championships and one small college national championship in 1959. He was also the backfield coach at Ohio State where he was on the same coaching staff as Woody Hayes and Bo Schembechler.

Competitiveness can come from on the field or from the sidelines like Doyt Perry but the University has many connections to competitive people in sports. These are only the names of five people who show how far being a competitive Falcon can get you, but there are plenty of others that could be named on any other list.