Ballenger, Dwight “Smokey”


It was once written that Smokey Ballenger “never ran out of ways to contribute to Otterbein athletics – when he’d done everything, he simply created new ways to help.” This statement could not be more true of Smokey, who, from 1935 to 1939, lettered in basketball, football, baseball, and track while at Otterbein. After winning all-conference honors his senior year in basketball, “Mr. Otterbein”, as he was affectionately called, began his 51-year legacy as an alum, perpetuating Otterbein athletics. During this time, Smokey would work with Edwin “Dubbs” Roush to create the “O” Club and serve as its president for 21 years. He also served as an assistant men’s basketball coach and worked to create the “O” Club Foundation to help further Otterbein athletic initiatives. As a result of his accomplishments, Smokey was rewarded with the “O” Club Outstanding Service Award in 1976 and, in 1989 at homecoming, the football field was named in his honor.