MIDLAND - Before the start of Wednesday's Lou Holtz/Upper Ohio Valley Hall of Fame Induction ceremony, Holtz came out of the dining area at one point and asked, "Where's the speaker?"
Holtz' ESPN colleague Mark May, who was standing right there, spoke up and said: "Right here."
"I mean the main speaker," Holtz said.
Lou Holtz spoke at the 2012 Lou Holtz/Upper Ohio Valley Hall of Fame Induction ceremony Wednesday at Lincoln Park in Midland. (Photo by Patti Schaeffer)
"Right here!" May repeated.
Holtz then made it clear he was looking for the speaker-Speaker of the House John Boehner, winner of the Hall of Fame's 2011 Distinguished American award.
Although May was master of ceremonies Wednesday evening, Boehner's presence was anticipated because he had been unable to attend the 2011 induction ceremony. Holtz was looking for the speaker because the speaker was looking for Gerry Faust, who coached Boehner at Moeller High School in the 1960s and was at Wednesday's ceremony.
Later in the evening, Boehner praised both Faust and Holtz for not just winning football games but for "building men."
"I think the world of Lou," Boehner said. "I could tell you Lou Holtz stories until you're blue in the face."
In addition to playing golf together, Boehner and Holtz sometimes talk politics, and sometimes they agree. Boehner said Holtz will call or text him at odd hours. "He's usually ranting and raving about something political," Boehner said.
It's the kind of easy interaction between the worlds of sports, politics and business that was on display throughout the night at the Lincoln Park Performing Arts Center. The Hall of Fame celebrated the best of those worlds with its induction of the Class of 2012:
* Recycling entrepreneur and East Liverpool native James E. Pastore, of West Point, the Hall of Fame inductee. Pastore operates the JPI Group, which has a number of recycling-related business interests in Ohio and several other states.
The father of five children, Pastore has created youth athletic camps and helped young athletes obtain scholarships, according to the Hall of Fame. On Wednesday, Pastore said, "My family and I are honored to be the recipients of this prestigious award."
* Pittsburgh homebuilder and real estate developer J. Roger Glunt, winner of the Distinguished American award. Glunt, an alumnus of the University of Pittsburgh, is president of Glunt Development Co. and has long been active in local, state and national housing issues, according to the Hall of Fame.
On Wednesday, Glunt said he's known Holtz for 20 years. "He really is a man who gives of his time, his talent and his treasure," he said.
* The Nutting family, winner of the Family Heritage Award. Robert Nutting, chief executive officer of Ogden Newspapers Inc. and principal owner of the Pittsburgh Pirates, accepted the Family Heritage Award on behalf of the family.
Wheeling-based Ogden Newspapers owns and operates three newspapers in Columbiana County - The Review, the Morning Journal and the Salem News - and 37 others in 11 states. Of the Pirates, which he bought in 2007, Nutting said, "We should be playing great baseball in October." Nutting also said center fielder Andrew McCutchen deserves to be this year's Most Valuable Player for the National League.
* Salem couple Rob and Karrin Campf, winners of the "Do Right" Award. Of the Campfs, Hall of Fame Director Robin Webster said, "These are just good people doing good work."
The Campfs run Forever Safe Farm, a non-profit animal sanctuary in Salem. The couple hopes, with the raising of $1.3 million, to have the 11th accredited chimpanzee sanctuary in the United States. "We enjoy animals very much - and children alike," Karrin Campf said. The couple has four adopted daughters.
The Hall of Fame holds an induction ceremony every year to name a new class of inductees and to recognize donors, volunteers, past inductees and board members. Proceeds from the fundraising event go to the operation of the Hall of Fame, Webster said.
"We appreciate the support we've received over our 14 years of existence, and we hope to keep it going," Hall of Fame President Frank "Digger" Dawson said.
Founded in 1998, the Hall of Fame also awards scholarships to area students and grants to teachers. This year, 24 graduating seniors from the tri-state area received the 2012 Holtz Life Improvement Scholarships for trade schools. Thirty-two teachers received the 2012 "I Believe in YOUth" grants, in the amount of $250, $500 or $1,000.
The scholarships are funded by Holtz, and the grants are funded by Holtz and other benefactors, Webster said.
In addition to the Class of 2012, Holtz announced the first recipients of the Lifetime Achievement award - ESPN'S Mark May and Larry Kehres, longtime football coach at the University of Mount Union (formerly Mount Union College), in Alliance, Ohio.
Both men will have space dedicated to them in the Hall of Fame, Webster said.
May appears regularly with Holtz on ESPN's "College Football Live," including its "Final Verdict" segment. A three-time Super Bowl participant with the Washington Redskins, May is a 2005 College Football Hall of Fame inductee.
Kehres is considered the winningest coach in college football, amassing a record with the Purple Raiders of 317-24-3. The Raiders have a record 10 NCAA Division III national championships in Kehres' 27 years as coach.
Also Wednesday, Dawson recognized three Hall of Fame inductees who have died since last year's induction ceremony: Anthony "Tony" Gentile (2000), Delmas A. Sanford (2003), and Joan Witt (2005).