A nonprofit publication of the Kentucky Center for Public Service Journalism

Retired Bengal’s trainer Sparling to speak at NKY Sports Hall of Fame program for five new inductees

By Andy Furman
NKyTribune reporter

Paul Sparling, who served as Athletic Trainer for the Cincinnati Bengals will be the guest speaker at the Northern Kentucky Sports Hall of Fame December induction today.

Joe Brennan, President of the non-profit organization said five new members will be inducted as well.

The meeting is set for the Garden of Park Hills, 1622 Dixie Highway, Park Hills, – and is free and open to the public at 1 p.m.

Paul Sparling

Sparling, a Northern Kentucky resident and member of the Northern Kentucky Sports Hall of Fame, served as Athletic Trainer for the Bengals 43 years – and was Head Trainer 30 years.

Sparling worked with former Head Trainer Marv Pollins for 12 years after coming to the team from Wilmington College.

He was inducted into the Ohio Athletic Trainers Association Hall of Fame, May 6, 2022, in Cleveland, Ohio. In February 2020 he was awarded the Fain-Cain Memorial Award for Outstanding NFL Trainer of the Year in Indianapolis, Indiana.

The 63-year-old Sparling said that he is most proud of the program he started 15 years ago – The Annual Student Athletic Internship Program that has trained over 100 students to become Athletic Trainers.

The December Inductees:

• Glenn Meyers – A two-sports athlete – football and baseball – at Newport Central Catholic High School, his specialty was baseball. He had a 7-1 won-loss record in 1988 with two saves and 69 strikeouts – plus an earned-run-average of 1.67.

He also led the team in batting with a .403 average, four home runs, two doubles and seven stolen bases.

He went 6-2 the following season, with one save and 123 strikeouts to go along with a 1.32 ERA. He again led the team in batting with a .472 average, seven home runs, eight doubles, one triple and eight stolen bases.

He attended the University of Louisville where he lettered all four years as a pitcher, outfielder and designated hitter. At the time of his graduation, he was Louisville’s all-time strikeout leader and second in career wins.

In 1993 he hit .358 with eight home runs – he was an All-Conference selection in 1991, ’92 and ’93.

He played three years of Independent minor league baseball with Ohio Valley in 1993, and led the league in saves. He was a member of the Sioux Fall Canaries in 1994 and ’95.

• Mark Wehry – A graduate of Holy Cross High School, Wehry got his broadcasting start as Public Address announcer for Thomas More basketball (1994-2004).

He was a part-time play-by-play announcer and color analyst for Cable 1 Basketball and Football.

He founded – and served as play-by-play voice – for Covington Catholic Internet Radio Broadcasting Network in 2004 handling over 750 contests including the basketball state championship: two football title games as well as baseball, soccer, swimming and team interviews.

He doubled as the play-by-play announcer for Notre Dame Academy Internet Radio for basketball, volleyball and soccer from 2006-2010.

In 2018 he developed and founded (859) Sports Radio Internet Broadcasting which covered football and basketball – along with that, a podcast with local and area sports legends and personalities.

• Dennis Wright – The connection was wonderful – Herman Newman – the husband of the legendary Ruth Lyons — suggested that Wright try Radio and TV as a student at the University of Cincinnati.

In 1966-67 he worked for an affiliate of WLWT TV and in 1968 was named Sports Director at WKKY-FM, Erlanger and did football and Northern Kentucky basketball with play-by-play man Dale McMillan.

Paul Sparling

He moved to racing in 1972 and served as track announcer for Latonia Race Course – his father-in-law then hired him as the Public Address Announcer for Elder High School and did that for 40 years.

He worked for Cable One in 1980 covering high school football and Thomas More football. He was named lead announcer for Northern Kentucky University in 2000 – and was joined by fellow Northern Kentucky Hall of Famer Mike Tussey handling both men’s and women’s basketball.

They both later moved to Thomas More and called football. Wright has worked for NKU 34 years and been with Thomas More, 32 years.

• Mick Abner – A four-year football performer at Highlands High School (1984-87) he was awarded the Jerry Sizemore Award by his coaches as a senior.

He coached in the Fort Thomas Junior League Football Program after high school – and returned to the program later in life for a total of 18 years of service. He along with former NFL star Merrill Hoge coached a team of 13–15-year-olds to the 2011 USA All American Game.

Abner currently serves as Assistant Football Coach at Highlands High School.

• Victor B. Brown — A five-year football performer at Dayton (Ky.) High School, he was named NKAC All Conference and Class-A All-State as a two-way starter his senior year.
He was a four-year starter at Offensive Guard at Anderson College.

His coaching career started in Elwood, Indiana as a varsity assistant for three years – and in year three, Elwood had their first winning season in 10 years. In fact, they had but one losing season the next 10 years.

Brown also served as wrestling coach and assistant track coach.

He served as assistant football coach at Highlands High School from 1978-1987.

The Northern Kentucky Sports Hall of Fame started October, 1982 for the purpose to recognize and honor individuals for outstanding athletic achievements and overall contributions to the sports scene in Northern Kentucky.

Categories to include team sports, managers, coaches, umpires, sponsors, league or tournament managers, park owners, sports writers, and sporting goods owners.

Effective January 1, 2015, the Northern Kentucky Sports Hall of Fame, and the Behringer-Crawford Museum (BCM) reached an agreement that the museum will become the curatorial arm of the Hall of Fame and collect and preserve sports memorabilia and related artifacts for posterity.

Related Posts

Leave a Comment