Upper St. Clair football coach Jim Render among 12 selected for Pa. Sports Hall of Fame

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Thursday, April 23, 2020 | 9:50 AM


Former Upper St. Clair football coach Jim Render, who retired last summer with the most wins in WPIAL history, was among 12 individuals chosen for induction into the Pennsylvania Sports Hall of Fame this fall.

The 2020 class also includes professional hockey player R.J. Umberger of Plum, Steelers assistant coach Tom Bradley, former Uniontown boys basketball coach James “Lash” Nesser and wrestler Joe Solomon of Canonsburg. Nesser and Solomon will be inducted posthumously.

The 12-person class will be honored Nov. 14 at the Sheraton at Station Square.

Another inductee, Mary Ellen Boylan Jutca, also has Western Pennsylvania roots. A graduate of Immaculate Conception in Washington County, she was the first female inducted into the Villanova Wildcats Varsity Club Sports Hall of Fame in 1985. Along with starring for the Wildcats women’s basketball team, she also captained Villanova’s tennis team in 1975 and ’76.

Render won more than 400 games in 49 seasons including 40 years at Upper St. Clair, where he won five WPIAL titles and two state titles.

Umberger starred at Ohio State before becoming an NHL first-round draft pick in 2001. He played 11 seasons in the NHL with the Columbus Blue Jackets and Philadelphia Flyers.

Bradley coached college football for 36 seasons, including time as Penn State’s defensive coordinator, and earned the Associated Press Collegiate Defensive Coordinator of the Year in 2005. He currently coaches defensive backs for the Steelers.

Nesser’s teams won 680 high school games combined at St. John’s and Uniontown from 1948 -87. He won WPIAL and PIAA titles in 1981.

Solomon was a three-time WPIAL wrestling champion and one-time state champion (1950) who won an NCAA title at Pitt and compete in the 1956 Olympics. He later became an official and worked five NCAA championship tournaments.

Also selected for induction were:

Meredith Alexis (basketball) — The Bishop Hoban graduate became the first James Madison player to accumulate 1,000 points and 1,000 rebounds in a career. She later played for the WNBA’s Washington Mystics and Connecticut Sun.

Marques Colston (football) — The Susquehanna Township graduate retired from the NFL as the New Orleans Saints’ all-time leader in catches, receiving yards and touchdown receptions.

Brian Milne (football/track and field) — A graduate of Fort LeBoeuf in Erie County, Milne played football at Penn State and in the NFL. He also was a five-time PIAA track champion who won and NCAA discus title at Penn State.

John Reinstra (football/wrestling/power lifting) — The Academy of New Church (Bryn Athyn) graduate played football at Temple and later in the NFL, where he was a first-round pick of the Steelers in 1986. He also was an NCAA power lifting champion in 1981.

Tim Ruddy (football) — The Dunmore graduate played offensive line at Notre Dame and in the NFL for the Miami Dolphins. He made the Pro Bowl in 2001.

Betty Mullen Brey (swimming) — Brey was a medalist at the Pan Am Games, winning two golds and two silvers, and competed in the 1956 Olympic Games in Melbourne. She will be inducted posthumously.

Chris Harlan is a Tribune-Review Staff Writer. You can contact Chris by email at charlan@tribweb.com or via Twitter .

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