Banquet Speakers

From the 1930s to present day, several annual Tiger fan gatherings are held to enhance the Massillon football experience.  Foremost among these are the Spring Stagg (Spring Kickoff), the Sideliners Sportsmanship Award Banquet and the Tiger Team Banquet.  In order to enrich these events, organizers over the years have engaged many nationally known key speakers, a list of which reads like a variable “who’s who” of high school, college and NFL football.

The early Spring “Stagg” / “Smokers” were held from 1938 through 1956, following the conclusion of spring practice.  The event is now called the Spring Kickoff, although spring practice is no longer allowed.  The original format was a social occasion, whereby notable high school, college and professional coaches from throughout Ohio and beyond attended, in addition to many Cleveland and Ohio-area sports broadcasters.

The Sportsmanship Award Banquet is held at the end of each season in order to recognize the achievements of one player from each opponent.  An effort of the Massillon Junior Chamber of Commerce and the Tiger Sideliners, the players, their parents and their respective head coaches were invited for the trophy ceremony.  Collectively, the group of players comprises an “All-Opponent” Team.

The Tiger Team Banquet celebrates the successes of the immediately concluded season.

The list of speakers for these events included Elmer Layden and Massillon’s own Harry Stuhldreher as members of the famed “Four Horsemen of Notre Dame.  From Ohio State were Woody Hayes, Jim Tressel, Paul Brown, Glenn “Tiger” Ellison, Darrell Hazell, Glen Mason, Lee Owens, Greg Gillom, Tim Beckman, Francis Schmidt and Urban Meyer.  Several national collegiate championship coaches were engaged, including Paul Brown, Paul “Bear” Bryant, Larry Keheres, Nick Saban and Don James.  And former Cleveland Browns players Bill Glass, Bill Willis and Brian Brennan were also featured.

Below is the best compilation of speakers for the three Tiger Banquets noted above.  The list is surely not complete, but represents the best accumulation of speakers that research would permit.

 Spring Stagg (Spring Kickoff)Tiger Team BanquetSportsmanship Award Banquet
1938Lou Little – Columbia
1939Francis Schmidt – Ohio State
1940Bernie Bierman – Minnesota
1941Lynn Waldorf – Northwestern
1942Paul Brown – Ohio State
1943Elmer Layden – Notre Dame
1944Clark Shaughnessy – Pittsburgh
1945Carroll Widdoes – Ohio State
1946“Ox” Degroca – Holy Cross
1947Bert Inwersen – Illinois
1948Paul Brown – Cleveland Browns
1949William A. Alexander – Georgia Tech
1950Sid Gillman – Cincinnati
1951Paul Bear Bryant – Kentucky
1952H. O. “Fritz” Crisler – Michigan
1953Fay LeMeadows – Shilo Church DaytonKen Coleman – Cleveland TV
1954?Harry Stuhldreher – 4 Horsemen
1955??
1956Fred Smith – Business Executive – Cincinnati?
1957Ray Elliot – IllinoisHugh Duffy Daugherty – Michigan State
1958Ken McFarland – General Motors?
1959Jimmy Dudley – Indians Sportscaster?
1960Harry Stuhldreher – US SteelHarry Stuhldreher – US Steel
1961Jim Graner – Cleveland SportscasterJim Graner – Cleveland TV
1962Woody Hayes – Ohio StateWoody Hayes – Ohio State
1963Bill Hess – Ohio U.Hugh Duffy Daugherty – Michigan State
1964Ray Elliot – Illinois ADStewart Holcomb – Northwestern AD
1965Woody Hayes – Ohio StateKen Coleman – Cleveland TV
1966Glenn “Tiger” Ellison – OSU Frosh.William McClain – Air Force
1967Bill Willis – Cleveland Browns?
1968NoneBill Glass – Cleveland Browns
1969NoneNo Banquet
1970NoneGene Slaughter – Capital U.
1971Fritz Shurmur – Wyoming?
1972John Brown – Pittsburgh Steelers
1973?
1974?
1975?
1976Bob Commings – Iowa
1977Earle Bruce – Iowa State
1978Don James – Washington
1979Darryl Rogers – Michigan State
1980Jim for Lee Tressel – Baldwin Wallace
1981Brian Burke – Ohio U.
1982Don Nehlen – West Virginia
1983Dick Scesniak – Kent State
1984?
1985Brian Brennan – Cleveland BrownsGeorge Perless – Michigan State
1986Tony Mason – Arizona?
1987NoneFred Akers – Purdue
1988Mike Gottfried – PittsburghJim Tressel – Youngstown
1989Mike Kelly – DaytonBill Mallory – Indiana
1990Pete Cordelli – Kent StateGary Moeller – Michigan
1991Gary Blackney – Bowling GreenBill Curry – Kentucky
1992Jim Tressel – YoungstownGlen Mason – Kansas
1993Larry Kehres – Mount UnionNone Listed
1994Jim Dennison – WalshGary Blackney – Bowling Green
1995Nick Saban – Michigan State ???
1996Lloyd Carr – Michigan
1997Lee Owens – Akron
1998Walt Harris – Pittsburgh
1999Dean Pees – Kent State
2000Hal Mumme – Kentucky
2001?
2002Jim Tressel – Ohio State
2003Mike Stoops – Oklahoma AssistantRich Rodriguez – West Virginia
2004?
2005J. D. Brookhart
2006Greg Gillum – Ohio State Assistant
2007Jeff David – DREAM Project
2008?
2009?
2010Tim Beckman – Toledo
2011Darrell Hazell – Kent State
2012Brady Hoke – Michigan
2013Urban Meyer – Ohio State
2014Chris Spielman
2015None
2016Mark Dantonio – Michigan State
2017Nick Saben - Alabama