Art & Sport

All in Bronze
University of Akron in Akron, Ohio

Situated right outside the entrance to the InfoCision football stadium at the University of Akron in Ohio is a special new addition—a John W. Heisman Custom Bronze Statue.

The statue, which stands at 8 feet tall and weighs 750 pounds, was donated by THOMARIOS of Akron. Randolph Rose Collection, a Yonkers, N.Y.-based company that specializes in bronze statues and sculptures, designed and created the Heisman statue.

Zips Athletics, the university's intercollegiate athletic teams, unveiled the statue in a ceremony in September 2015 outside of InfoCision Stadium—Summa Field.


"In regards to the design, we were provided images of Mr. Heisman, which included poses, dress, etc.," said Austin Rose, who is part owner and vice president of sales and marketing of Randolph Rose Collection.

"Our design of the sculpture was based off those images. We constructed a life-size clay mold, which took many months. The design had to include very specific details, such as the lettering on the shirt, socks, pants, facial features, mannerisms and more. The base was designed to support the weight of the sculpture," Rose said.

Heisman—inventor of the modern-day shotgun offense—was an American player and coach of football, basketball and baseball. He played football at Brown and Penn, and graduated from the University of Pennsylvania Law School in 1892.

Born in Cleveland, Heisman grew up in Northwestern Pennsylvania. He served as the head football coach at Oberlin College (1892, 1894), Buchtel College—which is now known as the University of Akron (1893-1894), Auburn University (1895-1899), Clemson University (1900-1903), Georgia Tech (1904-1919), the University of Pennsylvania (1920-1922), Washington & Jefferson College (1923), and Rice University (1924-1927), compiling a career college football record of 186-70-18.

After retiring from coaching, Heisman served as the New York City Downtown Athletic Club's first athletic director, beginning in 1930. The club awarded its first trophy to the nation's top college football player in 1935 and renamed the trophy in memory of Heisman when he died a year later at age 66 of pneumonia.

Today, the Heisman Memorial Trophy Award continues to be presented every year to the most outstanding player in U.S. college football. The trophy, awarded by the Downtown Athletic Club in New York, is a bronze statue of a player running with the football with one arm extended.

When it comes to the University of Akron's athletic history, it dates back almost 130 years. Today, with 19 intercollegiate sports and more than 350 student-athletes, the Akron Zips are into their second decade of Mid-American Conference membership and poised for academic and competitive growth.

The Zips' intercollegiate athletics program includes basketball, cross country, soccer, softball, swimming and diving, tennis, indoor and outdoor track and field and volleyball for women; and baseball, basketball, cross country, football, golf, soccer, and indoor and outdoor track and field for men. Rifle is offered as a co-ed sport.

What's more, the University of Akron (UA) is Ohio's Polytechnic university. Polytechnic universities combine active classroom learning with in-the-field experiences and current technologies that better develop student competencies.

The university has more than 80 buildings on 218 acres. And since 2000, the university has added 22 buildings, completed 18 major additions, acquisitions and renovations, and created 34 acres of green space.

UA, which offers more than 300 undergraduate and graduate programs, including many that are recognized nationally for their excellence, has about 25,000 students representing 44 U.S. states and 88 foreign countries, according to information from the university website.

University of Akron:
Randolph Rose Collection: