Year-in-Review 2018-2019 Ohio State Athletics

Buckeye Family,

Thanks to you, Ohio State student-athletes were able to excel this year. Through your time, effort, and support, the Department of Athletics is able to provide unparalleled experiences to all of those who don the Scarlet and Gray.

As we conclude another academic year, I want to take a moment to look back and share some of our proudest achievements. Throughout the year, we won championships, broke school records and built new facilities. Most importantly though, we helped our student-athletes achieve excellence in the classroom and their life pursuits.

We have continued our tradition of excellence. As leaders of the Buckeye community, you enable our student-athletes to succeed in all aspects of life, and for that, I am forever grateful!

Go Bucks!

Eugene Smith, Senior Vice President and Wolfe Foundation Endowed Athletics Director

2018-2019 Points of Pride

• 3 new facilities opened and funded completely through donor support

• $15 Million+ from donors allocated to support student-athlete scholarships

• 674 Ohio State Scholar-Athletes who achieved at least a 3.0 GPA

• 4 Ohio State teams – football, women’s golf, women’s soccer and men’s tennis – recognized nationally for their outstanding Academic Progress Rates (APR)

• 449 student-athletes earned Academic All-Big Ten honors this year, a new Big Ten record

• 86% of all graduating student-athletes are either continuing their education, secured full-time employment or pursuing professional sports

National Championships

Men's Tennis

2019 National Indoor Champions

Perfect 13-0 indoor season record and the program's second Indoor National Championship in 5 years (2014, 2019).

Synchronized Swimming

2019 National Champions

Third straight National Championship and 32nd overall championship in program history.

Spirit Program

2019 National Champions

The Buckeye dance team defended their national title by winning the pom category once again while Brutus picked up the Division 1A Mascot National Championship.

Individual National Champions Include:

  • Synchronized Swimming-Nikki Dzurko-U.S. Collegiate Solo National Champion
  • Synchronized Swimming-Nikki Dzurko & Laila Huric-U.S. Collegiate Duet National Champions
  • Synchronized Swimming-Wenjing Deng, Rachel Jager & Stephanie Thielemann-U.S. Collegiate Trio National Champions
  • Synchronized Swimming-Nikki Dzurko, Wenjing Deng, Laila Huric, Rachel Jager, Alex Meredith Le-Roux, Cassie Neeley, Stephanie Thielemann, Camryn Carrasco-U.S. Collegiate Team Routine National Champions
  • Julia Rizk-NCAA Women’s Indoor Track & Field National Champion-Mile Run
  • Sade Olatoye-NCAA Women’s Indoor Track & Field National Champion-Weight Throw
  • Alec Yoder-NCAA Men’s Gymnastics-Pommel Horse
  • Open Air Pistol Team-(Samuel Gens, Shrenik Jain, Con Marrinan, Anthony McCollum)-National Champions
  • Oliver Shindler-NCAA Fencing Men’s Epee National Champion

Conference Championships


2018 Big Ten Champions

In his final campaign, Urban Meyer lead the Buckeyes to a Rose Bowl victory and their second straight Big Ten title.

Not to mention, the Buckeyes finished the regular season with an electric 62-39 victory over TTUN and Urban Meyer finished his tenure 7-0 against our rival.


2019 Big Ten Tournament Champions

The Ohio State baseball team went on an unbelievable run, claiming the 2019 Big Ten Tournament title and becoming the lowest seed to ever win the tournament.

Women's Golf

2019 Big Ten Champions

This Big Ten Championship is the 11th for the Buckeyes under the direction of head coach and director of golf Therese Hession, and 18th title in program history.

Men's Tennis

2019 Big Ten Champions

Graduating seniors Martin Joyce and Hunter Tubert finish their career 57-0 against Big Ten opponents and 4-time Big Ten Tournament Champions.

Women's Track and Field

2019 Big Ten Indoor and Outdoor Champions

The Women's Track and Field team went back-to-back this season, winning both the indoor and outdoor Big Ten Championships. This was the second indoor-outdoor sweep in program history.

2019 Midwest Conference Champions

The Buckeyes won their sixth consecutive Midwest Fencing Conference Championship title.

Men's Ice Hockey

2019 Big Ten Champions

First Big Ten regular season title in program history.

Ohio State Athletes of the Year

Sade Olatoye

Olatoye, from Dublin, Ohio is a women’s track and field student-athlete whose events include discus, hammer throw, shot put, and weight throw. Among her most notable accomplishments, Sade was named both the 2017 and 2019 Big Ten Indoor Field Athlete of the Year and the 2019 U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association First-Team All American.

She is also a five-time Big Ten Champion, holding four Ohio State school records in the weight throw and indoor and outdoor shot put. Off the field, Sade is a Health Sciences major who has earned distinction as a two-time Ohio State Scholar-Athlete and an Academic All-Big Ten selection.

Dwayne Haskins

Haskins from Pomotac, Maryland came to the Ohio State University as a consensus 4-star prospect. After red-shirting his freshman year and playing only sparingly in his second year, Haskins proved himself to be one of the greatest Ohio State quarterbacks of all time in the 2018 season. He set 28 Ohio State records and seven Big Ten Conference records, including single season passing yards (4,831), touchdown passes (50), and total offensive yards (4,939). Haskins was also named a Heisman Trophy finalist.

Off the field, Haskins was a journalism major earning recognition in the classroom as a two-time OSU Scholar-Athlete and a two-time Academic All-Big Ten Conference honoree.

Dwayne Haskins elected to enter the 2019 NFL Draft where he was drafted by the Washington Redskins in the first round.

Coach of the Year Awards

Aleksandr Smerdin

The Midwest Fencing Conference announced that Ohio State associate head coach Aleksandr Smerdin was voted Varsity Coach of the Year.

Jarred Martin

Ohio State field hockey head coach Jarred Martin was named the 2018 Big Ten Coach of the Year.

Ty Tucker

Ohio State Director of Tennis Ty Tucker was named the ITA Midwest Region Coach of the Year and the Big Ten coach of the year.

Ohio State Associate head coach Justin Kronauge also picked up his fourth ITA Midwest Region Assistant Coach of the Year.

Steve Rohlik

Head Coach Steve Rohlik was unanimously voted the 2018-19 Big Ten Coach of the Year after leading the men's ice hockey program to their first Big Ten title.

Karen Dennis

Ohio State Director of Track & Field and Cross Country Karen Dennis was named the Big Ten Women's Indoor and Outdoor Track & Field Coach of the Year. Dennis was also named the USTFCCCA Great Lakes Region Coach of the Year.

Assistant coach Ashley Kovacs was named the USTFCCCA Great Lakes Region Assistant Coach of the Year.

Holly Vargo-Brown

Head coach Holly Vargo-Brown was named the Synchronized Swimming U.S. Collegiate Coach of the Year for the 5th time in her career after leading the Buckeyes to their third straight National Championship.

The Eugene D. Smith Leadership Institute

This year the Department of Athletics introduced The Eugene D. Smith Leadership Institute. The institute provides leadership, character and career development for all Ohio State student-athletes in order to best prepare them for life after graduation.

Some programs within the institute include....

Huntington Bucks Go Pro

This paid internship program provides student-athletes with the opportunity to gain real-life professional experience in various units within the university, in companies throughout Columbus and across the United States.

Ohio State Athletics covers all expenses, including wages, for these internships.

Zulal Zeren, women's swimming, at her internship with Ohio State Sport Nutrition
A group of interns visiting L Brands, Inc. world headquarters
The Huntington Bucks Go Pro internship program provided me with the professional experiences needed to succeed in life after sport. Having these internships to learn from and put on your resume are so important for student-athletes who don't have time during the year to have jobs."

– Tommy Parran, Men's Ice Hockey

Lead Like a Buckeye

Lead Like a Buckeye is an intensive leadership development program specifically for student-athlete team captains at Ohio State. This elite group meets once a month, led by Urban Meyer, to discuss strategies on handling all that comes with being in a leadership role.

Being able to collaborate with other team captains has allowed me to reevaluate my leadership style and to develop new qualities that can help my team. I feel extremely blessed to have Urban Meyer as a mentor of the program, as his motivation and experience is unparalleled.”

– Rachel Warren, Synchronized Swimming

Complete Athlete Program

The Complete Athlete Program prepares elite student-athletes who aspire to play their sport at the professional level. Experts in the field, including former Buckeyes such as Malcolm Jenkins and James Laurinaitis, provide education to assist players with managing family relationships, personal brand management, as well as asset and financial planning.

Malcolm Jenkins speaking with members of the football team
The Complete Athlete Program was very beneficial to me. I was able to learn many things that will help me in my personal and professional development.”

– Keita Bates-Diop, Men's Basketball, Minnesota Timberwolves

Wolstein Leadership Academy

The Wolstein Leadership Academy is designed to enhance student-athlete leadership skills so that they can apply it to their sport and their future careers. This program includes a year of programming followed by a three-day retreat, used to implement all the leadership skills gained throughout the year.

The Wolstein Leadership Academy provided me with the resources to develop and enhance the skills and knowledge necessary to excel in today’s world. I would not be who or where I am today if it had not for efforts of those involved with this great organization.”

– Macie McNichols, Women’s Swimming

The Eugene D. Smith Leadership Institute is the best comprehensive personal and professional development program in the country. Columbus provides access to Fortune 500 companies within five miles, we recruit and build the best student-athletes, and we have coaches that have bought into the idea that a student-athlete goes from recruitment to career. Graduating is an expectation.”

– Urban Meyer, Assistant Athletics Director, Athletics Initiatives and Relations

Athletics District Update

This year we opened three new athletics facilities; the Schumaker Complex, the Covelli Center and the Jennings Wrestling Facility. These three projects totaled $92 million and were funded completely through donor support.

Schumaker Complex

Central hub of the Athletics District, affording 900+ student-athletes a place to lift, train, rehabilitate injuries, eat meals, study, learn and collaborate for decades to come.

• 108,000 total sq. ft. – which is over three times the size of the former Biggs Training Facility that was previously located on this footprint

• 75+ coaches and support staff call this home

• There are 13 locker rooms in the Complex

Covelli Center

Competition arena for wrestling, men's and women's volleyball, men's and women's gymnastics and the occasional women's basketball game.

• 10 locker rooms in the facility including those for men's and women's volleyball and wrestling

• 4,000+ seat capacity for a wresting match with standing room capabilities

• Home to new offices for men's and women's volleyball coaches and staff

• Home of a new video production control room that serves as the video and network fiber hub for the Athletics District

Jennings Wrestling Facility

• New offices, training and practice facility for the wrestling program.

• Alumni of the wrestling program can also use this facility to train for professional or Olympic competitions

• 5 double-sided practice mats

• With the Covelli Center attached to the facility, the wrestling competition space, locker rooms and practice area are all seamlessly connected

Buckeyes Go International


Buckeye student-athletes performed maintenance and upkeep at local schools, facilitated sports lessons and assisted at a veterinary clinic in the Playa del Carmen area. In addition to service, the Buckeyes participated in a variety of cultural immersion activities and educational opportunities.

Costa Rica

Student-athletes facilitated sports activities with local youth, supported a food bank and participated in a beach clean-up among other service projects. The Buckeyes learned about global citizenship and the humility of paying it forward.

2019 Spring Commencement

The 169 Spring graduates join 40 other student-athletes who earned their Ohio State degree at the winter commencement.

Here's what some of our Buckeye graduates are planning for next...

Alyssa Hoying

Full-time Intern with the College Football Playoff

Synchronized Swimming

Alyssa Hoying from Indianapolis, Indiana was a Big Ten Medal of Honor Finalist and graduated from Ohio State this past December. Since graduation she has been working at the Ohio High School Athletic Association with their officiating department. However, she recently was offered a nine-month internship position with the College Football Playoff and will be moving down to Texas in late July! Alyssa will be the Hospitality and Fan Services intern for the CFP organization along with five other interns from across the country. She plans to work in the sport and hospitality industry for the rest of her life, creating events for athletes and fans that were as memorable as some of the competitions she has been lucky to compete in as a Buckeye.

Will Grimmer

Going Pro

Men's Golf

Will Grimmer from Cincinnati, Ohio has had an illustrious amateur golf career, qualifying for two U.S. Opens including last year at Shinnecock Hills where he fired rounds of 73-72 to qualify for the weekend. He competed in every event over his four years as a Buckeye, notching two victories and helping the golf team reach the NCAA Championships in May. Grimmer kick-started his post-collegiate golf career by competing in this year's PGA Tour Memorial Tournament at Muirfield Village Golf Club. He now plans on playing professionally and will soon travel the world to begin his career.

J. Reed McGraw

Medical School

Men's Swimming

Reed from Dublin, Ohio is an accomplished four-year letter-winner and a distinguished scholar. During both his Junior and Senior year, he was awarded as the most outstanding student in biomedical engineering at Ohio State, the top academic achievement in the Biomedical Engineering Program. He is going to pursue an MD degree at the University of Pennsylvania Perelman School of Medicine to become an interventional oncologist who can leverage engineering knowledge with clinical skills to pioneer new targeted, minimally-invasive procedures to help patients become cancer-free while avoiding open surgery and chemotherapy.

I am confident that without my experiences and skills gained through athletics at Ohio State, I would not have been accepted into a top-tier medical school, such as Penn, that will provide me with the opportunities to live out my dream and become a physician-leader in the future."

Buckeye Nation, thank you for providing unparalleled opportunities to our remarkable student-athletes

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