Ohio Northern University inducts four into Athletic Hall of Fame
The Ohio Northern University Athletic Hall of Fame inducted four new members on Friday, Oct. 18, as part of ONU’s Home coming weekend.
The four inducted were Dr. DeBow Freed, the ninth president of the University who served from 1979-99; Alisa Agozzino, a 2001 communication arts graduate and volleyball and track athlete from Attica, Ohio; Jesse Marlow, a 1983 e conomics major and track and basketball athlete from Mahomet, Ill., and Terri Krach, a 1988 management and marketing major and softball athlete from Rocky River, Ohio.
To be inducted into the ONU Athletic Hall of Fame, one must have made great contributions to the field of athletics through their athletic performance at the University or meritorious efforts made on behalf of athletics. Nominees do not necessarily have to be former ONU students unless they are nominated as an athlete; however, they do have to have served the University for at least 12 years.
Athletes must have attended Northern at least 10 years ago and must have earned two letters in one sport or one letter in three or more sports. All nominees must have demonstrated good citizenship both at ONU and beyond and served the athletics program in any capacity that contributed to the overall program.
Agozzino excelled at two sports during her ONU career: volleyball and track and field. In volleyball, she was a starting player on ONU’s 1997 Elite 8 team, which also won the OAC tournament and OAC regular season that year. She currently is ranked No. 8 on the all-time career list for attacks in volleyball. Agozzino’s outstanding athleticism also was apparent in track and field. A two-time national NCAA qualifier in the heptathlon, she finished No. 16 nationally in the NCAA in 2000. She also made first team All-OAC two times. In ONU’s record books, she remains on six superlatives lists: No. 1 in heptathlon, No. 2 in javelin, No. 6 in high jump, No. 6 in 55-meter hurdles, No. 7 in 100-meter hurdles, and No. 9 in long jump.
Agozzino was a bright and motivated learner who excelled in the classroom. She was named OAC Scholar-Athlete of the Month in February 2001 and, that same year, was awarded the OAC’s prestigious Clyde Lamb Award. After graduating from ONU in 2001 with a Bachelor of Arts in public relations, Agozzino continued her education at Bowling Green State University, receiving a master’s degree and a Ph.D. in communication. She earned her accreditation in Public Relations (APR) in 2013. She currently is an assistant professor of public relations at Ohio Northern. Agozzino volunteers as a coach for ONU’s track and field team and serves as an official for both high school and college volleyball and track meets.
During his presidency, Freed gave unwavering support to ONU’s athletic programs. He personally knew many of the student-athletes, celebrating their victories and standing by them in defeat. He upheld high academic standards for all ONU student-athletes, ensuring they received the support they needed to be successful in the classroom and in their sports. He also championed improvements to ONU’s athletic facilities, including the expansion and improvement of King Horn Center, construction of the outdoor track, and the preparation for the construction of Dial-Roberson Stadium. He encouraged expansion of the west-campus athletic complex with several playing fields and the 2.5-mile paved path for walking, jogging and rollerblading that surrounds the western part of ONU’s campus.
Freed graduated from West Point and later earned master’s and doctoral degrees in nuclear science and nuclear engineering from the universities of Kansas and New Mexico respectively. His distinguished 23-year military service included seven years overseas and assignments as chief of the plans branch, U.S. Army Vietnam, and director of the nuclear branch of the Defense Atomic Support Agency.
After his military career, Freed continued to devote his life to public service, serving five years as dean of Mount Union College and 32 years as president of Monmouth College, Ohio Northern and the University of Findlay. He was honored last year with the dedication of a room in the historic Thayer Hotel on the campus of the United States Military Academy at West Point. He also was recently featured in the book West Point Leadership: Profiles of Courage, which lauded his lifetime of service to others.
Freed’s wife, Catherine, a former college faculty member and church leader, brought exceptional abilities and grace to many areas of University life. She holds a Bachelor of Arts and a Bachelor of Fine Arts from the University of Texas, a master’s degree from the University of Kansas, and an honorary doctorate from ONU.
Krach, who was a team captain her junior and senior year, did not sit out a single inning during her illustrious softball career at ONU in the mid-80s. She led the Polar Bears to an OAC championship and an overall record of 87 wins and just 25 losses during her four seasons on the team. Krach’s softball accomplishments stand out in ONU’s record books. She is an all-time career leader for ERA, wins, walks and runs scored. She also managed to steal a then-record 47 bases during her ONU career; this tally now ranks No. 4. She still maintains the position of No. 1 in the record book for ERA in a single season. Her athleticism on the diamond resulted in her being named First Team All-Central Region in 1986 and First Team All-OAC in 1985 and 1986. She’s the only player in ONU history to be selected as first team in two positions – pitcher and third base – in a single year. She also was selected to Outstanding College Students of America in 1988.
Krach’s passion for softball hasn’t subsided since graduation. She plays in a softball league, and her team has won numerous ASA and USSSA tournaments. She also coached softball for Rocky River High School in Cleveland. One of her star pitchers followed in her footsteps and now plays for the Polar Bears. She works for the city of Rocky River’s Recreation Department as a supervisor and tennis instructor and currently holds a 4.5 USTA ranking. In her spare time, she encourages high school students to tutor younger students in a program called S.O.S. She enjoys boating and spending time with her two golden retrievers.
Marlow played junior varsity basketball and was an outstanding track and field athlete at ONU in the early ’80s. He received varsity letters in track in 1980, 1981, 1982 and 1983. He was All-Conference in indoor and outdoor track and participated in the state championship for the high jump in 1980 and for the decathlon in 1983. Thirty years later, he still holds the No. 1 spot in the school record books for the decathlon and the No. 4 spot for the high jump. He was named an All-American in the decathlon in 1982 and in track and field in 1983. Marlow also was a member of the economics honorary Omicron Delta Epsilon.
A well-rounded athlete who played several sports in high school, Marlow shares his passion for sports with the next generation. He’s a volunteer YMCA basketball and soccer coach, and he coaches the Mount Vernon Middle School girls’ basketball team. Since then, he has enjoyed a successful career in the banking industry, currently working as a vice president at Fort Knox National Bank in Mount Vernon, Ohio. Active in his community, he’s a past distinguished president of the Kiwanis, board president of the YMCA, and past board chairman of the Community Mental Health and Recovery Board. He also serves on the Knox County Board of Development Disabilities. Marlow and his wife, Jane, have two adult children, Jenell and Sarah.