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Ron Blackledge Print E-mail
A two-sport star for the Falcons, Ron Blackledge earned most of his individual recognition on the baseball diamond, while achieving the ultimate team goal on the gridiron.

He earned a total of six varsity letters in football and baseball, and was named to the All-MAC team in each sport, with a first team selection as a third baseman in 1960, finishing the year with a school record .898 slugging percentage, that still stands today. He also earned first team honors as an end on the football team his senior season, as the team finished the year undefeated and claimed the 1959 College Division National Championship.

Even though he was recruited by a few schools in the Big Ten as well as Syracuse, Blackledge feels he made the right decision coming to Bowling Green.

?I had the benefit of playing for great coaches throughout growing up,? Blackledge said. ?I had a couple of other options, but I wasn?t much of a student. I worked hard, and I tried hard. (Bowling Green) turned out to be a great move.?

After graduation, Blackledge returned home to Canton to coach under his former teammate Don Nehlen at Timken High School. From there, his coaching career took off, landing several assistant jobs in the college ranks, before being named Kent State's head coach in 1978. Following his time in Kent, Blackledge spent 15 years as an assistant in the NFL, nine with the Pittsburgh Steelers and the last six in Indianapolis.

His son, Todd, played for seven years as an NFL quarterback, but when he comes home, the focus is still on his father.

?When I talk to people, there are a lot of people who say, ?You were good, but dad was better,? ? Todd said. ?I?ve seen clippings and talked to people. He played with tremendous passion. He wasn?t the fastest guy. He wasn?t the biggest guy. Yet he achieved some tremendous things by wanting it more.

?He played it the way it was supposed to be played.?

Ron Blackledge was inducted to the BG Athletic Hall of Fame in 1972.

(Quotes and information taken from a Canton Repository article posted on January 18, 2002.)
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