Chuck Machock (front row, second from right) on the 1955–56 freshman basketball team. (UC Libraries)
The 2016 James P. Kelly UC Athletics Hall of Fame Class was just announced by the university. As a UC history buff, this is always one of my favorite announcements each year, because some lesser-known figures in Bearcats history get honored. Athletes give a lot to the university, and it’s fun when the university pauses to recognize those contributions. The Kenyon Martin induction was phenomenal. If you’d like to read UC’s official release, that’s right here. Here’s your 2016 class:
Jack Laub (UC Libraries)
The Bearcats have pioneered a lot of things in the college athletics world, and they’ve set a few all-time records. (UC played the longest game in NCAA history!) Few people know that the Bearcats are home to the only NCAA athlete to play six varsity years.
Jack Laub was a basketball player at City College of New York before serving in the Merchant Marine from 1944–46. After he left the military, he received a scholarship to UC to play basketball. At the time, Bearcats hoops was bouncing back from WWII, they had just joined the MAC, and they were on an upswing. Laub was part of a class that won four consecutive MAC titles and built momentum that carried into the era where UC landed Oscar Robertson and later won back-t0-back national titles.
Perhaps his longest-lasting contribution is the recruitment of Jack Twyman. After being hired as UC basketball’s first assistant coach, Laub essentially told head coach John Wiethe, “Hey, we’ve got a scholarship left and this kid Twyman is going to Duquesne. We can’t let that happen. Get him in red and black.” Wiethe listened and the rest is history. Twyman went on to become one of the best players in Bearcats history and a Basketball Hall of Famer.
Machock getting ejected from a 2003 NCAA Tournament game. (via Heard It On Hoard)
Machock played at UC for two seasons before serving as a Bearcats student assistant for another two. During his coaching career, he was an assistant at Akron, Ball State, West Virginia, Ohio State, and Cincinnati (under Bob Huggins). He was also the head coach at Central Florida in 1984 & 1985.
However, he now leaves his mark on UC from behind the mic, broadcasting UC basketball games on WLW with Dan Hoard. In his most famous broadcasting moment, he was ejected from the Bearcats’ 2003 NCAA Tournament game against Gonzaga, an achievement that was lampooned on Letterman. Last season he celebrated his 400th game without an ejection. Congrats on the streak and the Hall of Fame nod, Chuck.
Slaise in a 1999 overtime victory over Xavier. (Craig Ruttle)
Slaise left Clifton as the Bearcats 3rd all-time leading scorer (behind Cheryl Cook and Valerie King) before being drafted in the 2000 WNBA draft and later playing overseas. Following 9/11, Slaise joined the Army and served as a trauma medic for three years. In 2010, she earned her second bachelor’s degree, this time in nursing science at Winston Salem State (graduating Summa Cum Laude). She also started competing in fitness competitions. In 2016, she earned a master’s degree as a nurse educator from Liberty University (graduating Magna Cum Laude). She’s now an active duty Captain in the Air Force. She’s basically a super hero, carrying on the legacy of Bearcats toughness and discipline, even off the court.
(via Sporting News)
Schneider is the most underrated athlete in Bearcats history. He’s UC’s most recent national champion, having won the 50-meter freestyle in 2010. Along with that, he was a five-time All-American, a seven-time Big East champion, and a two-time Big East Swimmer of the Year. He’s been a member of the US National Team since his graduation from UC in 2010, although he just announced his retirement from international swimming after narrowly missing an appearance at the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio. (He also swam in the Olympic Trials in 2008 and 2012.) He has five school records. He’s a freak.
Schneider is currently an assistant coach at UC, where he pours into the next generation of legendary Bearcat swimmers like Jackie Keire.