Delaware to induct 6 into Distinguished Alumni HOF

By Ben Stroup

With six standouts set to be inducted into the Delaware City Schools Distinguished Alumni Hall of Fame today, the stable of Pacer greats is about to get a little more crowded.

This year’s inductees — Bill Rietz, Noah Cowan, John E. Dewey, Timothy Flahive, Linda Lukas and James Schlichting — will be recognized at halftime of the Hayes football team’s OCC-Capital Division opener against visiting Worthington Kilbourne. Their official welcome into the Hall of Fame will come during a dinner ceremony prior to kickoff.

Rietz (Class of 1976), set to enter his 28th season as head coach of the Hayes swimming teams later this year, was senior class president, a member of National Honor Society and an accomplished member of the Hayes swim team. He earned four varsity letters as a swimmer, was a four-time district qualifier and served as the team captain for the 1975-76 season.

Rietz attended the University of Tennessee and graduated with honors with a degree in education. He returned to the Delaware area, began teaching social studies at the Delaware Area Career Center and, in 1986, returned to his alma mater and taught social studies until he retired in 2009.

His coaching career has been an accomplished one to say the least. He’s mentored state qualifiers in 23 out of 27 seasons and had 35-plus athletes earn Academic All-American awards. His boys’ teams have amassed an overall record of 196-144-1 with undefeated seasons in 1989 and 2005. They’ve captured four OCC championships, with Rietz nabbing conference Coach of the Year honors in 2000, 2003, 2004 and 2005.

He was Central District Coach of the Year in 1990 and 1997.

As for his girls’ teams, they’ve compiled an overall mark of 203-151-2 and captured three league championships. Rietz was OCC Coach of the Year in 2002, 2003 and 2004 and Central District Coach of the Year in 1989 and 2012. He’s also been awarded the OHSAA Sportsmanship, Ethics and Integrity Award, Larry Lyons Service Award and the Lou Berliner Award.

At Hayes, Cowan (Class of 1990) led the Juggling Club to regional and national competition, and played First Board for the Chess Club, which won the Central Ohio Chess Tournament for two years in a row. His senior year, he joined and lettered in cross country and track.

Today, he’s an internationally recognized leader at the intersection of robotics and neuroscience as a professor of Mechanical Engineering at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, Md.

Dewey (Class of 1957) graduated from Delaware Willis High School after his pitching and hitting helped the baseball team win its first-ever Central Buckeye League championships in 1954 and 1955. He was also a member of the National Honor Society.

He went on to play baseball at Ohio State before making his mark as a surveyor, history teacher, military officer, Air Force JAG, Justice Department liaison, practicing attorney for over 40 years, city attorney and chairman of several non-profit corporations.

Flahive (Class of 1975) was awarded the Frank E. Shannon Award for outstanding achievements in academics and athletics during his senior year at Hayes.

While in high school, he earned three varsity letters in football, four more in swimming and played varsity doubles tennis for three years.

Flahive graduated from the University of Notre Dame in 1979 and entered law school at Ohio Northern. He earned his J.D. with honors and joined his father and brothers in their Delaware law practice in 1983. He served the Delaware community as an attorney until his retirement in 2012.

He also served on various boards including the Sarah Moore Home (past president), St. Mary School and the Delaware County Bar Association (past president).

After Lukas (Class of 1974) graduated from Hayes, she went on to receive a Bachelor of Music Education degree from Ohio University and a Master’s degree in Flute Performance from the University of Iowa. In 1980, she was awarded a United States Foundation Grant and spent a two-year residency studying and performing in Paris, France. While in Paris, she gave a special performance for Nancy Reagan at the Petit Palais during the Versailles Summit.

After spending time with the San Diego Symphony, California Ballet Orchestra, San Diego Opera Orchestra and San Diego Chamber Orchestra, Lukas won the position of Second Flute in the San Francisco Symphony in 1990 and is currently celebrating her 25th season with the orchestra.

Last but not least, Schlichting (Class of 1971) has played an instrumental role at the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) for the past three decades in crafting telecommunications policies for the benefit of American consumers. Currently the Senior Deputy Chief of the Wireless Telecommunications Bureau, Schlichting has direct responsibility for mobile wireless competition issues, the mobile wireless aspects of Open Internet policies and policies facilitating expansion of mobile broadband service into rural areas.

At Hayes, he was class Valedictorian and one of two high school students in the state of Ohio to be named a Presidential Scholar. He was a member of the Hayes swim team and served as team captain before continuing his swimming career while he attended Yale College, where he graduated summa cum laude. He received his J.D. from Harvard Law School magna cum laude in 1979, where he was a member of the Harvard Law Review.

Follow Ben Stroup on Twitter @delgazette_ben.