Steelers center stage at April 12 Baron Club event

STEUBENVILLE – Four Pittsburgh Steelers spanning five decades – led by defensive standout Ike Taylor – will provide the program for the Franciscan University of Steubenville’s Baron Club Dinner on April 12.

The event will also honor local sports leaders Mike Orlando, Patricia Herring and Frank “Digger” Dawson.

“There is a strong connection between the Steelers and the Tri-State Area,” said Mike Florak, the university’s director of community development. “Generations of parents and grandparents share stories of their favorite Steeler players and games. This event will bring all those memories to life with a format that lets the players go beyond locker room sound bites and share their more personal football memories.”

Moderating the conversation will be Bob Pompeani, a sportscaster at Pittsburgh’s KDKA-TV, who has covered the Steelers for more than 32 years. In 2013, he received his sixth Golden Quill award, this one for his Pittsburgh Steeler Exclusive reports. Joining him as co-moderator will be his daughter, Celina Pompeani of WTOV-TV.

The Steeler panel will be led by Taylor, who holds two Super Bowl rings and is in his 11th year as cornerback for the Steelers. Taylor was drafted in the fourth round of the 2003 NFL Draft.

Also speaking will be Jeff Hartings, who played college football for Penn State and then put in 11 seasons in the NFL, including six at center with the Steelers from 2001 through 2006.

He was selected to two Pro Bowls and wears a ring from the Steelers’ 2005 Super Bowl victory over Seattle.

Craig Wolfley played 10 years with the Steelers, from 1980 through 1989 as an offensive guard and tackle. He is a sideline analyst on the game day radio network broadcast team and hosts a Pittsburgh sports-talk show.

Robin Cole played linebacker for 11 seasons for the Steelers.

Cole played in Super Bowl XIII, which the Steelers won over Dallas, 35-31, and the next year helped lead the Steelers to victory over the Los Angeles Rams in Super Bowl XIV.

During the dinner, former university president the Rev. Terence Henry, TOR, will present the Baron Club Award to three Ohio Valley individuals for their career achievements and the pivotal roles they play in the lives of young people.

As quarterback and safety, Mike Orlando helped lead Steubenville Catholic Central High School to the 1993 Ohio Division V state football championship.

He also played third base on the Crusaders’ 1994 Division IV state baseball championship team.

Orlando now teaches business classes and is the head football coach at Archbishop McNicholas High School in Cincinnati. In fall 2013, Orlando led the McNicholas football team to the regional semi-finals.

As the longtime director of the Steubenville Striders, Patricia Herring, Class of 1975, has mentored and coached hundreds of youth who went on to state championships at the high school and college levels in track and field and long distance running. Herring’s award comes on the 40th anniversary of the founding of the Steubenville Striders.

Frank “Digger” Dawson co-founded the Lou Holtz Hall of Fame in East Liverpool, established a $400,000 scholarship foundation for the East Liverpool High School Alumni Association and writes about the history of Potter football, and is involved in his community in numerous ways.

The Baron Club Dinner supports the Franciscan University NCAA Division III athletic program.

The event will be held in the newly renovated Finnegan Fieldhouse, home of the Barons. Visitors will be able to see the results of the $5 million expansion project, which increased the size of the fieldhouse by 17,000 square feet and features a 5,100-square-foot fitness center complete with cardio equipment, free weights, an aerobics room double the size of the previous one, and a strength, performance, and flexibility training room.

Reservations for the dinner are $65. Sponsorships are available by calling (740) 284-5210 or visiting