Ohio Association of Track and Cross Country Coaches

OATCCC Hall of Fame

Ed Barker Award Recipiants

Kenneth Beard (Ed Barker Award - 2005)
Kenneth Beard

Ken Beard began his teaching and coaching at Lincoinview, moved to Franklin Monroe High School, andcompleted his career at Milton Union High School, where he guided his teams for 34 seasons. Ken was the guidingforce in building Franklin Monroe's first track and Milton Union's first all-weather surface track and stadiumcomplex. Ken has been an active official, encouraging many others to enter this field. Ken instituted and managedmajor invitationals in track and cross country, as well as being an OHSAA District Track Meet manager since 1968.Ken has been the official meet photographer for the State Track and Cross Country Meets since the early 1980's. Hehas also served as the head photographer for the MidWest Meet of Champions and the MidEast Cross Country Meet. Ken Beard's service as teacher, coach, meet manager, official, and role model has inspired many others to follow in his footsteps.

Tonja Buford-Bailey (2005)
Tonja Buford-Bailey

Tonja Buford-Bailey was a Hurdler specialist. She began her career at Trotwood-Madison High School and finished up at Meadowdale High School. During her career, Tonja posted a time of 13.93 in the High Hurdles and 42.60 in the 300 Low Hurdles. She was the State Champion in the Highs in ‘88 and ‘89 and in the Lows in ’89. Ms. Buford-Bailey set 3 state records in the 300 Hurdles, the indoor 200 Hurdles and the 100 High Hurdles. Her records also include the Dayton Relays, the Roosevelt Relays, and the Trotwood Relays. Tonja attended the University of Illinois. She posted a time of 54.13 in the 400 Hurdles, 13.05 in the High Hurdles, and 7.6 in the indoor 55 Hurdles. She won a record 25 Big 10 events. She scored in many relays including the Penn, the Drake, the Kansas, and the Tennessee. Ms. Buford-Bailey competed in 3 Olympic Games in the 400 Hurdles placing third in 1996. Although she didn’t win, her time bettered the world record. She still holds the world’s third fastest time ever run. This deserving young lady also competed in 5 World Outdoor meets, the Pan-American Games, and the Goodwill Games.

Mark Cannon (2005)
Mark Cannon

Mark Cannon attended Elyria High School from 1984 – 1987, competing in track and field for three of those seasons-’85, ’86, and ’87. He was a proud member of the track team coached by Head Coach Daryl Nalle and Assistant Coach Tim Johnson. Mark’s specialty was the high jump where he lost only two meets in three years and was undefeated as a senior. During his career, he won many events/relays in addition to three District and Regional titles and was also the State Champion all 3 years. The 3 state records Mark set probably make him the proudest. Two of these were set indoors and in 1987, Mark leaped 7’ 2 1/4” to set an outdoor record which still stands today. Mark received High School All-American honor on two occasions.

Mr. Cannon attended Ohio State University where he was named Captain of the track team. He graduated with a BA in Economics in 1992. He won the Big Ten, the Penn Relays, the Dogwood Relays, and the Kansas Relays. His efforts won him All-Big Ten as well as NCAA All-American honors. He held both the indoor 7’ 3 1/4” and the outdoor 7’ 4 1/4” records at OSU. The indoor record still stands. Mr. Cannon also competed in both NCAA and TAC/USATF National meets.

Mr. Cannon is currently the Head Track Coach at Columbus State Community College. He lives in Reynoldsburg with his lovely wife Renee and twins (son and daughter) Kyle Alexander and Kara Nichole.

Tony Conkle (2005)
Tony Conkle

Tony Conkle attended East Palestine High School where he was coached by Hall of Fame Coach Bill Ward. As a decathlete, Tony excelled in many different events. He won the State Meet in the Shot Put both in 1952 and 1953 and the 1953 effort set a State Meet record with a toss of 54’ 9”. He also placed 2nd in the Discus, 2nd in the 100 and 3rd in the 220. This was all run on a cinder track. In the 1953 State Meet, Mr. Conkle scored 17 points at a time when first place only received 6 points. This placed East Palestine third in the A Division (big school) and earned Tony the Castleman Award as the Outstanding Athlete in the State. He was further twice named the outstanding meet athlete at both the NEO District Meet and at the Columbiana County Meet. Mr. Conkle’s best efforts include 9.8 in the 100, 21.7 in the 220, 55’9” in the shot put, 149”10” in the discus, and 22”4” in the long jump shot put. While in college in 1961, Mr. Conkle threw the Shot 58” 3 1/2” which was a NAIA Small College record. He further tossed the Discus 161’ 11” and Long Jumped 23” 2 1/2”. This all-around athlete also ran the 100 yd. Dash in 9.7 and the 120 Hurdles in 14.9. In club competition, he threw the 16 pound shot put 59’ 3”.In later years, Mr. Conkle coached football, track, and volleyball including two years on the National Men’s volleyball staff. As a 66 yr.old powerlifter, he set four National and four World records including a 501 pound squat.

Rod O'Donnell (2005)
Rod O'Donnell

Rod O’Donnell has served as the Head Cross Country Coach and Track Coach at both Caldwell and Hudson High Schools. Mr. O’Donnell has also led teams from Kent State, Marshall, and Rio Grande College. In 11 years of coaching high school cross country, Rod has coached 6 District Championship teams, and 4 Regional team Champions. He has had 7 State Meet appearances where his teams placed 14th, 8th, 2nd, and two first place finishes. In addition, one of his runners, Wesley Smith, was the 2002 State Champion. While at Hudson, Coach O’Donnell had 13 State Meet qualifiers as well as the Track State Champion in both the 3200 M. and the 1600 M.

While at Kent State, he was named MAC Coach of the Year twice. Rod had 27 NCAA qualifiers in Track and Cross Country and 11 All-Americans. At Marshall, Rod was again named Coach of the Year twice, this time in the Southern

Conference. His teams had 25 Conference Championships and 3 NCAA qualifiers. He started the cross country program at Caldwell High School in 1971. In 1973 his team was the State Champion and had a dual record in 3 years of 38-0. Overall, Coach O’Donnell had a high school dual record in track of 66-19 and in Cross Country his dual record was 74-6.

Coach O’Donnell is more than willing to help others in the field. He has written many articles and has spoken at many clinics in an attempt to give back to the sport.

Demosthenes "Don" Price (2005)
Demosthenes Price

Glenville High School runner Demosthenes “Don” Price was a speed specialist. From 1965 – 1967, Don led Glenville to 3 State Team Championships under coaches Jim Demo and Frank Zubovich. His impressive stats include times of 9.4 in the 100 yd. Dash, and 20.4 in the 220 yd. Dash. Mr. Price was State Champion 2 times in the 220 yd. Dash. In 1967, he was also a member of the 880 yd. Relay team that won the State Championship 2 years in a row and set both a State Meet and an Ohio record of 1:27.0.

Mr. Price continued his career at Purdue University where he was selected to be co-captain his senior year. In 1968, his time of 6.2 in the 60 yd. Dash set a freshman record. His 1970 Sprint Medley team set a Purdue school record of 3:23.0 and in 1971 Don set another Purdue school record running the 70 yd. Low Hurdles in 7.8.

Don continued to compete after college for the “Over the Hill” Track Club in Cleveland. He won National Sub Masters honors in the 100 M. dash and the 400 M. Relay. His team won the National Team Championship for Sub Masters.

James Ward (2005)
James Ward

James Ward attended Columbiana High School where he was coached by his father, “Waldo” Ward. James will be the third member of his family to be inducted into the Hall of Fame. His father and his uncle are also members. In his track efforts, several of James’ performances still stand as school records today. His specialties were the 100 yd. Dash in 9.55, the 220 yd. Dash in 21.1, the 440 yd. Dash in 48.3, and the Long Jump at 23’ 6”. Mr. Ward’s efforts in the 440 won him the State title Class AA in 1964. James qualified for the State 4 times in the 100 and 3 times in the 220.

James attended Stanford University. His Freshman Record in the 440 / 400M. Dash still stands. He also placed in the PAC – 8 Meet Championship 3 years in the 440. As a Junior, he was undefeated in Pac 8 duel meets for two years in the 440. In 1969 and 1970, Mr. Ward was ranked on the World List for the 400 M. by T&F News. He was an AAU All-American in 1970 in the Mile Relay and was a member of the 1970 World-Best in the Mile Relay with a time of 3:05.6.

Mr. Ward recently co-authored a book on his Stanford Coach, Payton Jordan, entitled “Champions for Life”. He is very proud of his Coach’s efforts.

Listing of HoF
Members by Name