2023 Hall of Fame Inductees Announced
University of Findlay has announced its 2023 Athletic Hall of Fame class. This year’s inductees will be former women’s track and field standouts Raven Clay, ’12, and Stephanie Charnigo, ’10, along with wrestling star Michael Lybarger, ’12. Ron Ammons, ’81, will enter the Hall of Fame as the 2023 recipient of the Lifetime Achievement Award.
The Hall of Fame induction ceremony will be Saturday, February 25 at Winebrenner Theological Seminary. Doors for the event will open at 10:15 a.m. and the induction luncheon begins at 11 a.m. The registration fee is $25 for adults, $15 for minors (7 to 17), and free for children ages 6 and younger. To secure a ticket to the event, register online by clicking HERE or calling 419-434-4516. The inductees also will be recognized during the Oilers men’s basketball game against Hillsdale College on February 25 as well. The contest begins at 3 p.m. in Niekamp Arena.
The Lifetime Achievement Award is a part of the Oilers Athletic Hall of Fame and was established in 2013 to honor outstanding Oilers who have attained an extremely high level of success in their industry, sport, or profession. The award serves as humble appreciation for the recipient who has brought positive recognition and distinction to UF athletics and the University as an institution.
Ron Ammons has long been a fixture in the city of Findlay and especially at the University where he served as head softball coach from 2003-15, compiling a school record 233 wins. Ammons also was the chair of the Oilers Athletic Hall of Fame committee (2008-16) and an assistant sports information director.
A 1981 UF graduate with a degree in sociology and psychology, Ammons earned three letters as a pitcher and infielder for the Oilers baseball team. Upon graduation, he worked for 18 years as a professional director in youth and sports with the Findlay YMCA and was the head softball coach at Findlay High School from 1989-90 and head boys golf coach at FHS from 2019-20.
Ammons, who earned his master’s degree in 1991 from Bowling Green State University, currently serves as the head baseball coach at Findlay High School and since 2004 has authored or co-authored several books on local military history.
Raven Clay is one of the most decorated track athletes to ever wear the Orange and Black. During her career, Clay earned NCAA Division II All-American honors during the indoor season four times in the 60-meter hurdles (2009, 2010, 2011, 2012) and was tabbed All-American during the outdoor season four times in the 100-meter hurdles (2009, 2010, 2011, 2012) and once in the 4×400-meter relay (2011). During her senior season, Clay won a National Championship during the indoor season in the 60-meter hurdles. In her final season, she finished as the runner-up in the 100-meter hurdles during the outdoor campaign.
At the conference level, Clay showed off her dominance by winning eight Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (GLIAC) championships. She won outdoor titles in the 100-meter hurdles in 2009, 2011, and 2012 while also claiming victories in the 100-meter dash (2011), and 200-meter dash (2011). During the indoor season, Clay claimed championships in the 60-meter hurdles twice (2011, 2012) and added a victory in the 200-meter dash during the 2011 campaign. Her efforts netted her GLIAC Outdoor Track and Field MVP honors in 2011 and 2012 while also securing the award during the indoor season in 2011.
The 2009 GLIAC Indoor and Outdoor Freshman of the Year, Clay still holds four university records for the Oilers – for indoor competition in the 60-meter dash (7.33), 60-meter hurdles (8.18), and 300-meter dash (40.01). She also holds the outdoor school record in the 100-meter hurdles (13.05). Her time of 13.05 in the 100-meter hurdles is the fifth-fastest time in NCAA Division II history while her mark of 8.18 in the indoor 60-meter hurdles is the fifth-best as well.
Stephanie (Charnigo) Gentile
Stephanie (Charnigo) Gentile had an incredible run with the Oilers during her tenure with the track and field program and was named an NCAA Division II All-American six times. She earned indoor All-American honors twice in the 800-meter run (2009, 2010) and twice in the 4×400-meter relay (2007, 2008). She also captured All-American honors during the outdoor season in the 800-meter run (2010) and 4×400-meter relay (2007, 2008).
During her career, Gentile also won six Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (GLIAC) championships. She took home the top honor in the 1,500-meter run during the 2010 campaign and added titles in the 4×100-meter relay (2008) and 4×400-meter relay (2007). During the indoor season, Gentile won gold in the 4×400-meter relay twice in 2007 and 2008.
Gentile has stood the test of time as she currently holds five university records for the Oilers. She is the indoor school record holder in the 500-meter dash (1:13.70), 4×400-meter relay (3:45.93), and 4×800-meter relay (9:14.68). She also holds school records for outdoor competition in the 1,500-meter run (4:30.58) and 4×800-meter relay (9:03.04).
Michael Lybarger had an outstanding career for Findlay’s wrestling program and won an NCAA Division II National Championship during the 2011 campaign in the 165-pound weight class. He won his national title in Kearney, Nebraska, with a 5-1 victory in overtime against Gannon University’s Zack McKendree and finished the year with a 39-4 record.
An All-American during the 2011 and 2012 seasons, Lybarger was tabbed the 2012 Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (GLIAC) Wrestler of the Year. He won a pair of regional titles (2011, 2012) during his career and was voted first-team All-GLIAC in 2012.
Lybarger currently ranks third all-time at Findlay with 116 career wins and his 39 victories during the 2011 campaign are the third-best in program history.