OAC dedicates award to late-Chris Wenzler

Sports+Information+Director+Chris+Wenzler+gives+his+Hall+of+Fame+induction+speech+in+the+Tony+DeCarlo+Varsity+Center+on+Oct.+4%2C+2019.

John Reid

Sports Information Director Chris Wenzler gives his Hall of Fame induction speech in the Tony DeCarlo Varsity Center on Oct. 4, 2019.

Anna Meyer, Staff Reporter

Five months following the passing of John Carroll University’s long-time Sports Information Director Chris Wenzler, the Ohio Athletic Conference has unveiled a new annual award as a tribute to a man who helped so many students. 

On Monday, Nov. 30, the OAC revealed the Wenzler Award, which will honor an outstanding student Sports Information assistant in the OAC. 

The new yearly award is in honor of the legacy Wenzler left with those he influenced, mentored and taught throughout his life.

Wenzler was an integral member of John Carroll’s athletic department for over 30 years. On June 23, he passed away after a 26-month-long fight against cancer. 

Throughout Wenzler’s time on campus, he had a positive impact on many groups beyond the Sports Information Department, including student athletes and coaches. Most importantly, he influenced thousands of students who worked with him in the JCU SID Office. Wenzler adopted a new class of students into his family every year.

“Chris was not just a boss, he was a mentor and a friend to the hundreds of students who worked for him over the years,” said former student worker and current Sports Information Director Joe Ginley. 

Wenzler taught students a diverse range of skills needed to succeed in the sports industry after graduation. Most importantly, he taught students how to be leaders through his life lessons and advice. 

“Every day he showed us how to treat others with kindness and how to lead with love,” said Ginley. “Whether or not you wanted to work in sports information, he moved heaven and earth to help you succeed at JCU and beyond. He was a one-of-kind human being.” 

Some of Wenzler’s accolades include the OAC Bill Nicholas Media Award in 2018 and his membership in the 2019 JCU Athletics Hall of Fame Class.