New Hall Of Famers Have Binding OSU Ties

A mark of any good university is that its graduates continue to stay tied to the school after commencement. A unique example of that at Ohio State is shown in its Athletics Hall of Fame, as three members of the class of 2008 still coach at the university.

When Ohio State announced its Athletics Hall of Fame class of 2008 Wednesday, it wasn't hard to find some of the inductees.

Three of them in former golfer Amy Langhals, lacrosse player Megan Mirick and football player Jeff Uhlenhake are members of the coaching staffs for the respective programs in which they played.

For those former student-athletes, it's clear that the ties to the university don't disappear with age.

"I think with us coming back it tells everyone exactly how we feel about this place," Langhals said.

All three took different routes to get to where they are today. Uhlenhake had by far the most circuitous, embarking on a 10-year NFL career before hitting the coaching ranks. He spent time in two high school programs and has worked at the college level and in the NFL. Currently a member of the Buckeyes' strength and conditioning staff, Uhlenhake is in his second stint as a coach at OSU after spending a year in 2003 as an intern.

Langhals also hit the professional trail after an Ohio State career in which she was the 1994 Big Ten Freshman of the Year, the 1997 league player of the year and a three-time All-Big Ten selection. She twice played in U.S. Women's Open Championships and was a member of the LPGA in 2001 and '02 before returning as Therese Hession's assistant. 2007-08 was her third campaign.

Mirick, on the other hand, slid right into a coaching career after finishing her career at Ohio State in 2002 as the program's all-time leader in goals with 143. Still with a year of college to go after exhausting her eligibility, a spot opened on the coaching staff and she quickly accepted. 2008 was her sixth year as an assistant.

All said they have enjoyed the transition from Buckeye student-athlete to Buckeye coach.

"Coaching was something I had always toyed with a little bit, and being able to come here and stay has been amazing," Mirick said. "It's been great."

As the coordinator of strength and conditioning rather than an on-field coach, Uhlenhake has a little bit of a different role but still is able to show his Buckeye pride on a daily basis, especially during summer workouts when coaches are not around.

"I'm very much enjoying it," he said. "I have contact with our players every day. Our coaches talk about it often, we're around the players and impact them as much or more than they do most of the year. We feel good about what we do and I very much enjoy what I do and the impact I have here at Ohio State."

Mirick is someone who has to be out on the road recruiting, and that allows her to sell the university, something she said she enjoys. Though she hails from northern Virginia, both of her parents are from the Columbus area, so there is plenty of Buckeye blood that comes out enthusiastically on the road.

"I always jokingly say when people say, ‘Are you looking for coaching jobs elsewhere?' I go ‘I can't recruit anywhere else.'" Mirick said. "I would have trouble. This is the best place to be. It's very easy to sell something you're passionate about."

Both Langhals and Uhlenhake were amused by the effect the status of being an athletics hall of famer would have on their current jobs.

When asked if football head coach Jim Tressel would have a promotion in the offing after the honor came down, Uhlenhake laughed and said, "We'll talk to him about that. That's an exciting thought. Let me give you his phone number."

It also was suggested to Langhals that she could have a little more authority when coaching by reminding her players she's a hall of fame member, to which she laughed and replied, "I don't know, I'm more of a humble person."

Come September, when the class is inducted and honored during an Ohio State football game, she along with Uhlenhake and Mirick will have plenty of reason to brag.

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