TIFFIN – The group of three Heidelberg graduates and a coach comprise the 29th induction class of the Heidelberg University Athletic Hall of Fame. Baseball player Aaron Fischer '00, wrestler John Verdes '88, football player Brian Wright '90 and football coach Dick West will join the other 152 individuals enshrined since 1985.
Fischer's name appears often in the Heidelberg baseball record book. Notably, he was the program's first OAC Player of the Year, an honor received in 2000. That year, Fischer was also an all-region second team selection and a first team CoSIDA Academic All-American. A two-time All-OAC first team selection, Fischer's .452 batting average in 1998 is still the highest in school history.
In 1987, Verdes became the first All-American in the history of the Heidelberg wrestling program. At the Division III tournament in Buffalo, Verdes finished in eighth place at 150 pounds. He won the OAC Tournament in both 1986 and 1987, just the fourth Student Prince at that time to have won multiple conference titles.
Wright was a two-time All-OAC first team selection, earning the honor in 1988 and 1989. In 1989, Wright was selected as an honorable mention on the Football News All-American list. As a defensive end, he helped lead the 1989 squad hold opponents to seven points or fewer in six games, including a pair of shutouts.
West was named OAC Coach of the Year in 1988 and 1993. He led the Student Princes to 64 wins, second only to Paul Hoernemann's 102 victories. During his tenure, West's athletes received five special OAC awards and 27 first team All-OAC honors. Including Wright, 15 of West's football players were named All-Americans.
For two seasons, West was also the head coach for the Heidelberg wrestling program. His squads picked up 19 dual match wins and four OAC individual titles.
The inductees will be recognized at halftime of the Heidelberg vs. Muskingum football game on October 11. The quartet will be formally inducted into the Hall of Fame at a banquet that evening in the Wickham Great Hall in Campus Center.