NFL Legends Join Tomahawks Ownership Group

Legendary NFL linebackers Jack Ham and Shane Conlan are among a group of new investors joining the Johnstown Tomahawks’ ownership group.

Both have longstanding ties to western Pennsylvania sports.  Ham played his high school football at Johnstown’s Bishop McCort High School and later attended nearby Penn State University, where he co-captained the team and was named to the 1970 College Football All-America team.  After college, Ham played 11 seasons for the Pittsburgh Steelers and was a part of four Super Bowl champion teams.  He retired in 1982, but is still considered one of the greatest linebackers to ever play.  He was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1988 and the College Football Hall of Fame in 1990.

Conlan, a two-time All-American, played at Penn State University from 1982 to 1986 before the Buffalo Bills selected him eighth overall in the 1987 NFL Entry Draft.  Before his retirement from pro football in 1995, Conlan was a two-time AFC champion and a three-time All-Pro selection.

Ham and Conlan join an existing ownership group led by Esmark, Inc. Chairman and CEO James P. Bouchard and the Johnstown Sports Partners, LLC.  The ownership group – which also includes Mark Lee and Johnstown businessman James Vasilko – was originally announced May 3, when the team announced the North American Hockey league’s Alaska Avalanche franchise was relocating to Johnstown.

Bouchard first announced the expanded ownership group during a May 24 radio interview with Pittsburgh radio station WESA-FM. 

Other additions to the ownership group include investors from the Pittsburgh and Chicago business communities, including: 

• Patrick A. Gallagher, Founder and Chief Executive Officer, PGT Trucking, Monaca, PA;
• Jonathan Metcalf, Owner and Chief Executive Officer, Randall Metals Corporation, Chicago;
• Joseph Peduzzi, Founder and President, TF Asset Management, Pittsburgh; and
• Alexander J. Simakas, Founder and Chief Executive Officer, Tool Craft Manufacturing, Pittsburgh.

“We’re so proud to have Jack, Shane and our friends and business associates from Pittsburgh and Chicago on board with us,” Bouchard said.  “Jack is legendary in the Johnstown area, so it’s a real privilege to have his commitment and support as we build the Tomahawks franchise. Together, the ownership group will help us bring a winning hockey tradition back to Johnstown.”