Summit County, Ohio has been blessed with numerous athletic heroes as well as many others who excelled in other fields. The likes of Jesse Owens, Nate Thurmun, Hal Naragon, Dante Lavelli, LeBron James, etc. hailed from Summit County Ohio.
Glenn "Jeep" Davis was also one of those special athletes who made his home in Summit County, Ohio.
Glenn "Jeep" Davis made his impact on our community in several ways. He was best known for his achievements in track and field at The Ohio State University as well as the 1956 and 1960 Olympics. But "Jeep" Davis also played professional football for the Detroit Lions (2 seasons) and was and educator and coach at Barberton High School (Barberton, Ohio).
Glenn "Jeep" Davis passed away this morning (January 28, 2009) and will be long remembered by those who's lives he impacted during his long and "special" life.
Below are some of his accomplishments:
- Known to a generation as the greatest hurdler in the world after winning gold medals in the 1956 and 1960 Summer Olympics
- In 2006, the Summit County Sports Hall of Fame acknowledged Davis as the greatest athlete in county history.
- A youth basketball coach once told him, ‘‘You'll never be a good athlete.''
- He became the first freshman to play varsity basketball at Follensbee High School in West Virginia.
- He single-handedly won the high school state track and field championship for Barberton High in 1954.
- Won his first Olympic gold medal in Australia
- While at The Ohio State University he set the world record in the 440-yard dash at the 1958 Big Ten Championships. He also won the 440 at the NCAA Track and Field Championships
- Davis was a key figure on the U.S. track team that toured Europe in the summer of 1958. He set the world record in the 400-yard hurdles and won nine of the 10 races he competed in over a 14-day span.
- Davis was honored as the top amateur athlete in the United States when he was voted the James E. Sullivan Award winner in 1958
Bill Lilly, a staff writer for the Akron Beacon Journal, wrote an outstanding article on "Jeep" Davis. You can read his article reporting the death of Glenn "Jeep" Davis by reading the following article in the Akron Beacon Journal: