On Saturday, October 7, as part of the Homecoming festivities, we inducted four members of the Athletics Hall of Fame – Dave Bielak, Taylor Jackson '07, Bob Spicer and Eric Tupta '05 - during a special reception in the Athletic Center. The four were also recognized on the field at halftime of the football game that afternoon. Take a look at photos from the ceremony.
Dave Bielak was a teacher and coach at Gilmour from 1985-1995. He taught religious studies, physical education and health at the Lower, Middle and Upper Schools and coached basketball, baseball and volleyball during his career at Gilmour.
He coached the varsity boys basketball team from 1990-1995 and averaged 17 wins per year. His overall record at Gilmour was 87-33. He led his team to the state championship game in the 1991-1992 season where they finished as state runner-up.
Bielak amassed many honors during his coaching tenure at Gilmour, including Division IV Ohio Coach of the Year in 1992, Lake County News-Herald Coach of the Year in 1992 and 1994 and Independent Schools Coach of the Year in 1992 and 1993.
Dave and his wife of 30 years, Cindy, live in North Royalton and have four children.
Taylor Jackson '07
Taylor Jackson was a standout on both the track and cross country teams at Gilmour. She ran varsity track and cross country all four years and racked up a slew of honors in the process, including 12 track and field state medals. She holds the school record in the 100m, 200m and 400m and helped lead her team to track and field state championships in 2005, 2006 and 2007.
Taylor’s favorite memory from those years was during her first trip to the state meet her freshman year. Before the 100m prelims, she cried because she was so nervous. After a pep talk from teammate Hannah LaBerteaux '05, Taylor ran the fastest qualifying time.
After graduating from Gilmour, Taylor ran track at Vanderbilt University, where she was a three-year team captain and named to the SEC honor roll. She earned a spot on Vanderbilt’s All-Time Top Performer List in the 100m, 200m, the 4x100m, 4x200m and the 4x400m events.
Today, Taylor is a banking and regulations attorney in Atlanta.
During Bob Spicer’s seven years at Gilmour from 2002-2008, his teams qualified for six Division V postseason appearances (2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2007 and 2008). He also led the team to back-to-back undefeated seasons in 2003 and 2004 on his way to amassing a 63-17 record. He was selected by the Greater Cleveland Football Coaches Association as the Head Coach of the Year in 2004. Bob is the second winningest Gilmour football coach behind Coach Vern Weber and has the highest winning percentage of any Gilmour football coach. He retired with 23 years of coaching experience under his belt, having spent time at JCU, Hawken, St. Ignatius, Chanel and a high school in Tampa as well as Gilmour.
Bob and his wife of 51 years, Pamela, live in Lakewood and have four children and 16 grandchildren.
Eric Tupta '05
Eric Tupta ran track and played varsity football at Gilmour. And he certainly made his mark on both programs. He played on the 2003 and 2004 football teams, which both went 10-0 in the regular season, and his 4x100m relay team placed fifth in the state his junior year and seventh in the state his senior year. Eric earned First Team All-State Linebacker twice and First Team All-State for Track and Field twice. He was named the Mac-8 MVP for football and the Division V Ohio Defensive MVP. He also made The Plain Dealer’s Super 30 team and the News-Herald’s All-Decade team.
His favorite memory of his days on the field at Gilmour was beating Warren JFK at home in the 2004 Division V playoffs.
After leaving GA, Eric played four years of football at Colgate followed by one season in Europe after college.
Today, he works at Bellwether Enterprise, a national commercial real estate finance firm headquartered in Cleveland. He and his fiancée, Laura Smykowski, will be getting married this October in Ellicottville, N.Y.