Four inducted to Bomber Hall of Fame
More than 40 years of athletic excellence landed in the St. Xavier Hall of Fame. Four new members – Jim Ross (’56), Tom Olson (’74), Lemar Marshal (’95) and Rocky Boiman – accepted their respective spots in the Hall during the 24th annual induction dinner Feb. 19.
NFL Hall of Fame quarterback Roger Staubach was the featured speaker and Channel 9’s John Popovich was emcee for the evening.
“I’m glad to be asked beck to do this,” Popovich said. “I’m not a Cincinnati guy, not a St. X guy, so to be asked back to this school for this night is an honor for me. Another year older, a little bit grayer, a few pounds heavier. But enough about Tom Ballaban, let’s get on with the evening.”
In addition to the Hall of Fame inductees, St. X President Fr. Walter C. Deye S.J. (’66) and Board of Trustees Chairman Dr. Rob Heidt (’69) officially announced a board of trustees resolution to name the building at the entrance to St. Xavier Stadium the Rasso Team Center in honor of former coach Steve Rasso, who gratefully accepted the honor with his family in attendance.
“When I talked to (current parent) Jack Cassady he said ‘You’re a man who served in the Navy, who believes in our rights, our right to free speech, so we’d like you to do a free speech, so here I am,” said Staubach, a 1960 Purcell High School graduate. “It’s always good to come back to my home town.”
Staubach told stories of his day with the Dallas Cowboys, including some humorous anecdotes about legendary tough guy Mike Ditka, who was a Cowboys teammate before going on to coach the Bears to a Super Bowl title.
Speaking of Super Bowls, Staubach’s Cowboys were 2-2 in the big game; the two losses coming against the Pittsburgh Steelers. “I was a little surprised to find some Pittsburgh Steelers fans here tonight,” Staubach said. “Same people, I think, who support the Taliban.”
“It’s a great night for us, for our community,” said John Sullivan, St. X athletic director. “These athletes represent the best of what athletics can be. It’s right for us to honor them for their accomplishments on the field, but you can see they’ve done a lot more than just be good athletes with their lives since leaving here. That’s the foundation athletics can give.
“It’s a big night for the boosters, too, because this is their biggest fundraiser. I think we had a great crowd and everyone had a good time tonight.”