Big Ten Medal of Honor Mondays: Ohio State

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During the Big Ten's celebration of the 100th Anniversary of the Big Ten Medal of Honor, the conference will be featuring "Medal of Honor Mondays" for 12 consecutive weeks, which will highlight a number of Medal of Honor winners from each school. This week, we feature Ohio State.

Aaron Craft (2014, basketball)
Craft will leave Ohio State as one of the most successful student-athletes of all-time in men's basketball. The Findlay, Ohio, native completed a decorated career with 119 wins, an average of nearly 30 victories per year. He led the Buckeyes to four NCAA tournaments, three "Sweet 16s," two "Elite Eights" and the 2012 Final Four. Individually, Craft is the all-time steals leader in Ohio State and Big Ten history with 337. Craft was equally, if not more accomplished, in the classroom. A three-time academic All-American, Ohio State's first three-time honoree and just the fourth in Big Ten history, Craft also was named the academic All-American of the year in Division I Men's Basketball, twice, one of just three to be so honored all-time. At the 2014 Final Four in Dallas, Craft was honored by the National Association of Basketball Coaches as the 2014 Defensive Player of the Year and is a 2014 Senior CLASS Award First Team All-American.

Allison Elber (2014, rowing)
A native of Brunswick, Ohio, Elber is a four-time Ohio State Scholar-Athlete, three-time Academic All-Big Ten and Big Ten Distinguished Scholar. A team captain, Elber set program history as part of the first women's team at Ohio State to win an NCAA Championship. As a member of the first varsity eight, Elber won a bronze medal at the 2013 NCAA Championships and a gold medal at the 2013 Big Ten Championships, earning CRCA First Team All-Central Region, Pocock First Team All-America and First Team All-Big Ten honors. Throughout her four-year collegiate career, Elber was a member of the 2013 and 2011 Big Ten Championship winning teams, guiding the Buckeyes to their third and fourth conference titles, respectively.  A psychology major, Elber will be attending graduate school at the University of Denver to study sport and performance psychology.

Laura Murray (2000, pistol)
Murray was a two-time national champion and led the Buckeyes to their first women's and open national championships in pistol. She was a U.S. Navy Nurse Corps Officer and worked at the Naval Hospital in Pensacola, Fla., before becoming a staff nurse in the medical surgical unit at Onslow Memorial Hospital, Jacksonville, N.C.

Gina Pietras (1997, synchronized swimming)
A synchronized swimming standout at Ohio State, Gina Pietras won the Big Ten Medal of Honor in 1997. She was a three-time U.S. Collegiate Synchronized Swimming Champion, a three-time U.S. Collegiate All-American and three-time Academic All-Big Ten selection. She was named the U.S. Collegiate Athlete of the Year in 1997 and was a letterwinner in each of her four years.

Katie Smith (1996, basketball)
Smith finished her Ohio State career as the Big Ten's all-time leading scorer and won the Big Ten Medal of Honor in 1996. She was Big Ten Player of the Year as a senior and led the conference in scoring in 1995 and 1996. A three-time All-Big Ten honoree, Smith guided Ohio State to the 1993 NCAA final as a freshman, scoring 28 points in the game. She was a three-time Academic All-Big Ten selection before beginning her professional basketball career. Smith recently completed her 15-year WNBA career as one of the league's all-time leading scorers, a seven-time All-Star, a two-time champion and was named one of the top-15 players in WNBA history.

Cheryl Perozek (1991, basketball)
Ohio State's all-time leader in three-point field goal percentage, Cheryl Perozek earned the Big Ten Medal Honor in 1991. She led the Buckeyes to three NCAA Tournament appearances and a share of the Big Ten title in 1989. Perozek was a four-time Ohio State scholar-athlete and three-time academic All-Big Ten selection. She led the conference in three-point field goal percentage in 1991 and ranks 10th on the Buckeyes' career assist list (341). She was tabbed Ohio State's team MVP in her senior season.

Mike Lanese (1986, football)
Lanese was a Rhodes Scholar who graduated from Oxford with a degree in English and political science. He became a Surface Warfare Officer on the guided missile cruiser USS Sterett. He eventually started an advertising marketing technology company.

John Frank (1984, football)
Winner of the 1984 Medal of Honor, Frank set school records for receptions and yards by a tight end during his career. Finishing with 121 receptions and 1,481 yards, he was a two-time All-Big Ten honoree, earning the distinction as a junior in 1982 and a senior in 1983, and was named team MVP his final season. Frank's success extended beyond the field as he was named an Academic All-Big
Ten selection and an Academic All-American his junior and senior seasons and was a Rhodes Scholar finalist. After two Super Bowl titles with the San Francisco 49ers, Frank returned to Ohio State and received his doctorate in June, 1992.

David Hoyles (1973, hockey)
Hoyles, who earned the Big Ten Medal of Honor in 1973, tallied 131 points (64 goals, 67 assists) in 115 career games at Ohio State. The Tupperville, Ontario native led the Buckeyes with 19 goals as a freshman during the 1969-70 season, a mark which still ranks among the top 10 in freshman scoring in school history. Hoyles served as a captain of the 1971-72 squad, which posted a 24-5-0 overall record. Forty years after concluding his career, Hoyles still ranks 29th in points in school history.

Jerry Lucas (1963, basketball)
Lucas, who received the Big Ten Medal of Honor in 1963, was the leading scorer and rebounder on Ohio State's 1960 NCAA Championship team. He was a two-time National Player of the Year, three-time first-team consensus All-American and three-time Big Ten MVP. During his college career, the Buckeyes posted a 78-6 record and won three Big Ten titles. Lucas led the nation in field goal shooting for three consecutive years and still holds Ohio State's career records in field goal percentage (.624), free throws made (438) and rebounds (1,411). The Middletown, Ohio, native was also the youngest player on the USA Basketball team that won the gold medal at the 1960 Olympics. During his 11 seasons in the NBA, Lucas was a seven-time All-Star and five-time All-NBA selection. He was inducted into the Basketball Hall of Fame in 1980 and was named one of the 50 Greatest Players in NBA History. Lucas was the first men's basketball player to have his number retired at Ohio State.

Harry Steel (1924, football and wrestling)
Steel became the first Buckeye athlete to win an Olympic medal. He took gold as a heavyweight wrestler at the 1924 Paris Olympics, the same year he won the Big Ten Championship and captained the Ohio State squad. He was a part of the 1923 Buckeye team that won its first Big Ten Championship and was inducted into the Ohio State Hall of Fame in 1980.

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