Inside Athletics

The 15 Best Nicknames in the HU Athletics Hall of Fame

The 15 Best Nicknames in the HU Athletics Hall of Fame

In September, Heidelberg University will officially open Hoernemann Stadium and The Fox Den Alumni Center, named in honor of Paul Hoernemann '38.  The Fox Den takes its name from Hoernemann's nickname, The Fox.  Enshrined in Heidelberg's Hall of Fame in 1985 and in the College Football Hall of Fame in 1997, Hoernemann compiled a record of 102-18-4 and earned five conference titles in 14 seasons as the leader of the Student Princes. 

The Fox isn't the only superb nickname in the Heidelberg Hall of Fame, however.  Let's learn more about Hoernemann and 15 others with unusual monikers. 




The Fox - Paul Hoernemann '38

While most of today's generation of students know the name "Hoernemann" as the dining hall, previous generations hailed Paul Hoernemann (pronounced HERN-ih-minn, not HORN-ih-minn) as a gifted football coach.  After stepping down as coach in 1959, The Fox worked in the Development Office until his untimely passing in 1965. 


Butch - Edwin Butcher '17

In and of itself, Butch isn't the most creative nickname for a man whose surname is Butcher.   Butch makes this list because he is directly responsible for another nickname, The Student Princes.  After graduating from Heidelberg and serving in World War I, Butcher eventually came back to Tiffin to work for his alma mater. 

It was during his duties as Heidelberg's news and sports publicity director that he came up with the idea of calling the Heidelberg athletic teams the Student Princes, instead of the Cardinals in 1926.  The idea occurred when he saw a banner at the Ritz Theater in Tiffin promoting the film, "Student Prince of Heidelberg." 


Cadiddy - J. Earl Adams '29

Earl Adams was a part of football's conference title team in 1928 and was a catcher on Heidelberg's first varsity baseball team.  After graduating, Cadiddy spent time teaching at Barberton High School, where famous Michigan coach Bo Schembechler was one of his students. 


Jug - Gerald Zimmerman '57

Jerry Zimmerman lost three games in four years as a member of the football team.  Talk about great nicknames -- Jug played for The Fox in college after playing for Fuzzy Faust at Dayton Chaminade in high school. 


Zip - Edward Zipfel '33 & Karl Zalar '41

Zip -- the nickname so nice, it's on here twice.  Edward Zipfel was described as a "bone crusher who was hard to stop," and scored the only touchdown in a 1932 win over John Carroll at Cleveland Municipal Stadium.  Karl Zalar served in World War II before a 45-year coaching career at nearby Calvert High School.  


Stick - Dwight Haley '31

Dwight Haley served as the quarterback for Heidelberg's dominant teams in the late 1920s.  In his final game for the Tricolor, Stick guided Heidelberg to 41 second half points in a 41-0 win over John Carroll. 


Sparkler - Paul Yackey '53

For more than 60 years, Paul Yackey held the Heidelberg record for career rushing touchdowns.  Sparkler's mark, 40 touchdowns, was broken in 2013 by Cartel Brooks.  Sparkler ignited the 'Berg offense during Heidelberg's dominant era under the direction of Hoernemann.  


Wishy - Aloysius Kramer '30

Though not quite as fabled as Knute Rockne's Four Horsemen of Notre Dame, Aloysius Kramer was part of Heidelberg's version of the talented backfield quartet in the late '20s.   Wishy, who also served as the team's punter, is also enshrined in Calvert High School's Hall of Fame.   

Daz - Donald Vance '39

In addition to his many accolades received for excellence on the gridiron and the hardwood, Don Vance earned the Bronze Star Medal for his courageousness in the Armed Services.  Daz also helped recruit Walt Livingston, Heidelberg's career touchdown leader, to Tiffin.  


Lefty & The Sugar Creek Flash - Kenneth Mast '38

Two nicknames?  That's what happens when you are as talented as Kenny Mast.  The Sugar Creek Flash was an All-Ohio guard for the Student Princes basketball team.  And well before Phil Mickelson was born, Heidelberg's Lefty was excelling on the links -- earning the Lefthanded Golfer's Association trophy in 1949.  


Suz - Herman Sayger '20

Herman Sayger, who once scored 113 points in a high school basketball game, is the namesake for the basketball court in Seiberling Gymnasium.  Often credited with being one of the early proponents of the three-point shot in basketball, Suz was friends with Knute Rockne, Jim Thorpe and Red Grange.  In 1917, Sayger was the captain and quarterback for Heidelberg's squad which went 5-1-1.  And because the team didn't have a coach, Suz filled that role, as well. 


Mac - Norman McElheny '50

It was always sunny in Tiffin for Norman McElheny.  After earning a varsity letter on the Ohio State football team in 1944, Mac served two years with the United States Navy.  After he was discharged, the Tiffin native enrolled at Heidelberg and used up the rest of his eligibility.  Mac was an offensive lineman and kicker at the beginning of the Hoernemann era.  


Churdy - Charles Prugh '28

Charles Prugh, who didn't play varsity sports in high school, excelled in basketball and tennis for Heidelberg.  Following his graduation in 1928, Churdy graduated from the Princeton Theological Seminary in 1931.  A stint as U.S. Army Chaplain followed, before Prugh returned to Heidelberg in 1946 as Dean of Men. He stayed until his retirement in 1976, during which time he served as Head of the German Department and founded Heidelberg's Junior Year Abroad Program.


Nubs - John McKenna '51

A two-time first team all-conference performer, John McKenna was a key part of Paul Hoernemann's stout defense.  On the hardwood, Nubs was noted for his preference of the  underhand shot.  He earned eight varsity letters for the Tricolor before devoting his professional career to public education. 


Salty - Bruce Miller '56

Bruce Miller, a two-time Little All-American, is yet another Hall of Famer from Paul Hoernemann's tenure.  Salty earned four varsity letters in football and three in basketball.  On the gridiron, Miller only lost three games in the Tricolor -- finishing 33-3-1 with two conference titles.