Former Ohio State University Coaches Speak Out On Jim Jordan

Columbus, OH – Following is a joint statement by former Ohio State University wrestling coaches who worked with Rep. Jim Jordan (R-Ohio), while he served as assistant coach (1987-1995):

“What has been said about Jim Jordan is absolutely wrong. We all worked on the wrestling coaching staff during Jim’s tenure at The Ohio State University. None of us saw or heard of abuse of OSU wrestlers. The well-being of student-athletes was all of our concern. If we had heard of any abuse, we would have spoken up.”

Russ Hellickson, former head coach
Dave Ruckman, former assistant coach
Rex Holman, former assistant coach
Ken Chertow, former assistant coach
Myron Kharchilava, former assistant coach
Kenny Ramsey Jr., former assistant coach

Following are individual statements by the coaches of Rep. Jordan’s work and character:
“Jim Jordan is a man of high integrity and courage. I wrestled for and coached with Jim. I fully believe that Jim did not know of any allegations of sexual abuse by Dr. Richard Strauss at the Ohio State University. Jim is a leader that was very protective of his athletes. He would ask how you were doing in an effort to understand your mental state. It wasn’t a formality, but a genuine request to communicate. He wanted to make sure you were ok and help problem solve.” – Rex Holman, former OSU assistant coach

“I served as a volunteer assistant wrestling coach for two years from 1986 to 1988 with Russ Hellickson, the head coach, and Jim Jordan, the assistant coach. During my tenure with the program, I was never approached by any wrestler of the Ohio State Team indicating that they had been sexually abused. In addition, during my time with the team, Russ Helickson and Jim Jordan never mentioned to me that they had been approached by a team member alleging sexual abuse. In fact, I found that both coaches were available seven days a week, twenty-four hours a day, for their wrestlers regarding any wrestling, academic, or personal matter that may have occurred. To this day I believe I am a better man having worked with both Russ and Jim as well as my fellow volunteer assistants.” – John Dougherty, Volunteer Assistant Wrestling Coach 1986-1988

“I recruited Jim Jordan out of Ohio to come to the University of Wisconsin in 1983 and it is hard for me to think of another person who embodies the character qualities of honesty, fairness, good judgment and wisdom like Jim Jordan. Jim also never took shortcuts or ducked challenges, that’s not how he became a champion, so the idea that Jim would know of abuse of his wrestlers and do nothing is utterly absurd. I first saw Jim Jordan’s tenacity in wrestling, America has seen how tenacious Jim Jordan is in Congress, and that same tenacity is exactly what Jim would have brought to abuse of wrestlers in his charge if he had known about it.” – Lee Kemp, former University of Wisconsin assistant coach, 3x National Champion, 3x World Champion

“From the first day I met Jim Jordan as a student-athlete, he has been the most honorable man I have ever known and my respect and admiration for all he has done and accomplished is at the very highest level. We dealt with many challenges together when he was one of my assistant coaches, and it’s important to know that neither Jim nor I would sidestep or avoid challenges for our wrestlers just because the circumstances were painful or uncomfortable – in fact, those are the kind of circumstances that motivated Jim the most. At no time while Jim Jordan was a coach with me at Ohio State did either of us ignore abuse of our wrestlers. That is not the kind of man Jim is, and it is not the kind of coach that I was.” – Russ Hellickson, University of Wisconsin head Wrestling coach, The Ohio State head Wresting coach retired