|Sport:||Football, Basketball, Tennis|
Mike Gregory was one of Denison’s great athletes and most enthusiastic sports boosters. He starred in both Doane Academy and Denison athletics. While a student at Doane Academy, Gregory captained the football and track teams twice, headed the basketball team once, and played tennis, while working his way through school. Graduating from Doane Academy in 1925, he entered Denison.
He played football for four years, heading the team three times, and was named to All-Ohio, All-Buckeye and Little American teams. During that time, he kicked a 55-yard field goal which still stands as the school mark. Gregory was also on the Denison track team for four years, heading the team in his senior season, in addition to being on the wrestling squad. He broke every state and Denison college shot put record during his track career.
After graduating from Denison in 1929, Gregory played professional football with the Akron Awning team in the old Naitonal League. He also played seven games as an offensive guard for the Cleveland Indians of the American Professional Football Association in 1931. Mike returned to Granville in 1931 and opened a hardware store. He later was also president of Horner’s Newark Paint Co.
Named life president of the Denison Class of 1929, Gregory was an active supporter of Denison throughout his life, serving as president of the Denison Society of the Alumni and the “D” Alumni Association. He started the Mike Gregory Trophy in 1935, given annually to the most valuable Denison football player. He established several other awards for Denison athletes, in addition to prizes for Granville High School and other Licking County athletes. He was also instrumental in the building of the field house, and the swimming pool in the college physical education center is named in his honor.
In 1957, the Ohio Athletic Conference named their Outstanding Men’s Basketball Player of the Year award the Mike Gregory Award, even though he did not play basketball at Denison. The OAC dubbed Mike “one of the most outstanding multi-sport athletes in OAC history”. From 1956-2007, the Mike Gregory Football Awards were given to the Outstanding Offensive Back and Offensive Lineman. One hundred and eight OAC Mike Gregory awards were passed out in its 52-year existence. In 1984, the North Coast Athletic Conference named its Offensive Player of the Year award after Gregory.