Last weekend, RJ Umberger, a standout on the Ohio State men’s hockey team from 2001-03, became the seventh member of the program to be inducted into the Ohio State Athletics Hall of Fame.
Read on to learn about the Buckeye men’s hockey standouts enshrined in the Hall.
During his career, Paul Pooley set school records for single-season and career points and assists. His point total topped the nation in 1984, earning him All-America honors and both the CCHA and Bauer National Player of the Year awards. That same season, the Buckeyes’ 13-0 start vaulted them to the top of the national polls. Pooley returned to Ohio State to serve as an assistant coach from 1988-91. His sweater was retired in 2006, the first Buckeye hockey player to be so honored.
Bill McKenzie was a three-year starter in goal for the Buckeyes and helped lead the 1972 squad to their first Central Collegiate Hockey Association championship. During his three years in net, Ohio State posted a combined record of 63-21-1, including a 24-5 record in 1972. McKenzie still ranks in the Top 3 in program history for season shutouts (four in both 1970 and 1972) and career shutouts (10). He was the school’s career wins leader until 2004 with 54 and still has Top 10 marks for single-season (2.25 in 1972) and career (2.74) goals against average. After his career at Ohio State, he played eight years in the NHL (most of that with Detroit) Following his playing career, McKenzie returned to Ohio State as an assistant coach, spending 18 seasons in that capacity.
A three-year letterwinner (1981-83), Jamie Macoun played in 83 career games as a defenseman, scoring 17 goals and tallying 58 assists for the Buckeyes. He went on to play 18 seasons in the National Hockey League for the Calgary Flames, Toronto Maple Leafs and Detroit Red Wings. Macoun was a member of two Stanley Cup-winning squads, with Calgary in 1988-89 and Detroit for the 1997-98 campaign.
Hugo Boisvert, a three-year letterwinner for the Ohio State men’s hockey team (1997-99), was the first two-time All-American in program history. A two-time First Team All-CCHA selection, he was a First Team All-American in 1998, earning Second Team All-America accolades in 1999 when he was a finalist for the Hobey Baker Memorial Award. Boisvert was the Ohio State Male Athlete of the Year in 1998 after leading the CCHA in scoring with 47 points. A member of the 1997 CCHA All-Rookie Team, Boisvert ended his three-year Buckeye career with 147 points, with 58 goals and 89 assists.
Boisvert helped Ohio State reach both the NCAA tournament and NCAA Frozen Four for the first time in 1998 and was a part of the squad that returned to the national tournament the next year. The 1998 team, which won 18 of its last 21 games, advanced to the CCHA championship game before falling to No. 1-ranked Michigan State in double overtime, but then beat the Spartans in overtime in the NCAA West Regional to earn a spot in the Frozen Four. He was a two-time Ohio State Scholar-Athlete and an Academic All-Big Ten selection. Boisvert left Ohio State after his junior year to sign a contract with the NHL Atlanta Thrashers. He spent the 1999-00 season with the Canadian National Team before competing in the IHL and AHL the next three campaigns. Boisvert then moved to Germany and skated for the Dresden Ice Lions among other teams.
Paul Tilley was a three-time All-CCHA honoree for Ohio State, earning first team honors in 1979 and second team accolades in 1977 and ‘80. The Buckeyes’ 1977 Rookie of the Year and the team MVP in both ‘78 and ‘79, he was voted to the All-Buckeye Team as part of the program’s 50th anniversary celebration in 2014. Tilley, who had 81 goals, 131 assists and 212 career points in 148 games, led the squad in scoring twice, including 76 points in 1979, one of the top campaigns in program history.
Men’s Hockey 1970-73 (player), 1976-95 (head coach)
Jerry Welsh was a leader for the Ohio State men’s hockey team both as a player and as a coach. Voted the team’s Most Valuable Player each of his last three years, he skated for the Buckeyes from 1970-73 and posted 143 points, with 81 goals and 62 assists, in 100 games. He was deemed the squad’s 1970 Rookie of the Year. Welsh ranks seventh (tied) in program history in career goals and is currently in the Top 25 in career points. Welsh was part of the Buckeyes’ run to Central Collegiate Hockey Association regular season and tournament titles in 1972 and earned a spot on the CCHA All-Tournament Team that year. Welsh, who led the 1972 team with 28 goals, served as the squad’s captain in 1973.
Following graduation, Welsh played two years professionally before returning to his alma mater as the program’s head coach when he was just 25. He coached the Buckeyes from 1976-95 and notched a program-record 328 wins. He led the Buckeyes to the first No. 1 ranking in program history in 1983-84, with a squad that was 30-10-1 overall (setting the program record for single-season wins) and tied for second in the CCHA. In 1983 Welsh was tabbed CCHA Coach of the Year and was runner-up for national coach of the year after the Buckeyes notched a 26-9-5 ledger. A native of Oshawa, Ontario, Welsh was inducted into his hometown Sports Hall of Fame in 2008.
RJ Umberger was a standout for the Ohio State men’s hockey team from 2001-03. He was a JOFA West Second Team All-American and Hobey Baker Award finalist while also earning First Team All-Central Collegiate Hockey Association honors in 2003. That season, he posted a career-high 26 goals, 27 assists and 53 points as the Buckeyes reached the NCAA Tournament.
In his three-year Ohio State career, Umberger recorded 129 points, with 58 goals and 71 assists in 112 games, and his 1.15 points per game average is second among all Buckeyes with 50-plus games played since 1990. He led the squad in assists and points each of his three years and was the team goal leader twice. The 2001 CCHA Rookie of the Year, Umberger won the Perani Cup, given to the player with the most three star of the game honors, three times for the Buckeyes.
Umberger is the highest NHL draft pick in program history, as he was selected 16th overall by the Vancouver Canucks in 2001. The Pittsburgh, Pa., native played in 779 NHL games between the Philadelphia Flyers and Columbus Blue Jackets, with 392 points on 180 goals and 212 assists. A product of the U.S. National Team Development Program, Umberger represented the United States at the IIHF World Junior Championship in both 2001 and 2002, as well as at the 2006 IIHF World Championship.
A two-time Ohio State Scholar-Athlete and a two-time Academic All-Big Ten honoree, Umberger completed his Ohio State business marketing degree during his professional career, graduating in June 2011. He received the Big Ten Sportsmanship Award for Ohio State in 2003.