Greatest Coach in the History of each Stark County High School football program

neofb2021

Member
I would like everyone’s thoughts and input on this. Who is the best or most successful coach at every school in stark county. I am not going to include a list because I honestly don’t know enough about each school to do so. Please just offer a few suggestions and your reasons why.
For Example
Central Catholic
Lowell Klinefelter
Klinefelter’s 257 career wins are No. 1 on the list of Stark County football coaches. He is the only Stark County football coach to win multiple state championships (Division IV in 1988 and Division III in 2000). He led the Crusaders to a 257-172-6 record and 11 playoff appearances — the first in 1977 and the last in 2011.
Let’s attempt to be civil as well.
 
 
Massillon- Paul Brown
McKinley- Thom McDaniels
Perry- Keith Wakefield
Louisville- Paul Farrah
North Canton- Don Hertler Jr.
Glenoak- Bob Commings
CCC- Lowell Klinefelter

North Canton fans, was senior better than jr?

I will have to leave the rest to the fans of those teams. I picked the low hanging fruit! Lol
 
Alliance - Mel Knowlton
Massillon - Paul Brown
McKinley - Thom McDaniels
Louisville - Paul Starkey
GlenOak - Bob Comings
N Canton- Hertler Sr
Perry - Keith Wakefield
Jackson - Robert Fife
Minerva - Lynn Molen
CCC - Klinefelter
St Thomas- Jack Rose
Marlington - Can't remember his name coach late 90's great teams
 
Alliance - Mel Knowlton
Massillon - Paul Brown
McKinley - Thom McDaniels
Louisville - Paul Starkey
GlenOak - Bob Comings
N Canton- Hertler Sr
Perry - Keith Wakefield
Jackson - Robert Fife
Minerva - Lynn Molen
CCC - Klinefelter
St Thomas- Jack Rose
Marlington - Can't remember his name coach late 90's great teams
Marlington - Ed Miley
 
Was/is he really so toxic that no one would hire him after he and Louisville separated? Or was/is he just not interested?

Those teams were a blast to watch.
It is my understanding that he is not interested. He is still a teacher in Louisville and certainly not “ toxic” . My kids love the guy.
 
Here's what I have for the schools that haven't been mentioned on this thread yet, based on the yappi.net lists of yearly records

Tuslaw- Nate Held (2006-2016, 60-53 overall, PAC champions in 2006 and 2008)
Fairless- AJ Sarbaugh (2018- present, 28-21 overall, PAC champions in 2021 and 2022)
Lake- Jeff Durbin (1990-2012, 163- 98 overall, 4x FED champs, 3x state runner-up, 5x state final 4, 6x final 8)
East Canton- Spider Miller (2015-present, 38-33 overall, 2017 IVC champions, playoff wins in 2017 and 2018)
Northwest- Vic Whiting (1999-2016, 120- 69 overall, 3x NBC champs, 2004 state final 4, 2003 and 2007 state final 8)
Canton South- Don Nehlen (1959-62, 21-15-2 overall, 2x Stark County AA league champions)
 
Other Schools not in Stark, but who play in Stark-based leagues

Sandy Valley- Walt Headley (1948-1956, 59-20-2, overall, 6x league champions)
Malvern- Dave Tucci (1999-2012, 107-49 overall, 2008 state final 4, 2009 state final 8)
Carrolton- Barry Goettemoller (2000-2007, 39-44 overall, 2004 NBC champions, playoff win in 2000)
Green- Elden McVicker (1998-2007, 74-35 overall, 5x Suburban league champions, 2001 state final 4)
West Branch- Jim Laut (1980-2002, 184-66 overall, 5x NBC champions, 1994 state champions, 1998 state final 4)
 
OT, but Northwest as a program is a bit of a head-scratcher. Multiple state champion coaches, yet they never seemed to be much better than pretty good.
 
A summary of the input so far for the active Stark County schools. Most are no-brainers, and the only debatable ones so far are GlenOak, Hoover, Louisville, McKinley, and Minerva.
  • Alliance Mel Knowlton
  • Canton South Don Nehlen
  • Central Catholic Lowell Klinefelter
  • East Canton John "Spider" Miller
  • Fairless A.J. Sarbaugh
  • GlenOak Bob Commings / Scott Garcia
  • Hoover Don Hertler Jr. / Don Hertler Sr.
  • Jackson Robert Fife
  • Lake Jeff Durbin
  • Louisville Paul Farrah / Paul Starkey
  • Marlington Ed Miley
  • McKinley Thom McDaniels / Herman "Bup" Rearick
  • Minerva Lynn Molen / Tom Walters
  • Northwest Vic Whiting
  • Perry Keith Wakefield
  • St. Thomas Aquinas Jack Rose
  • Tuslaw Nate Held
  • Washington Paul Brown
Edit Note: Added coaches per post #18
 
Last edited:
A summary of the input so far for the Stark County schools. Most are no-brainers, and the only debatable ones so far are Hoover and Louisville.
  • Alliance Mel Knowlton
  • Canton South Don Nehlen
  • Central Catholic Lowell Klinefelter
  • East Canton John "Spider" Miller
  • Fairless A.J. Sarbaugh
  • GlenOak Bob Commings
  • Hoover Don Hertler Jr. / Don Hertler Sr.
  • Jackson Robert Fife
  • Lake Jeff Durbin
  • Louisville Paul Farrah / Paul Starkey
  • Marlington Ed Miley
  • McKinley Thom McDaniels
  • Minerva Lynn Molen
  • Northwest Vic Whiting
  • Perry Keith Wakefield
  • St. Thomas Aquinas Jack Rose
  • Tuslaw Nate Held
  • Washington Paul Brown
I know this is controversial but is Nate Moore arguably better than Paul Brown? He does have more wins?
 
I know this is controversial but is Nate Moore arguably better than Paul Brown? He does have more wins?
No. Moore is a great asset to the program and Massillon is fortunate to have him, but no. Moore is neither as innovative nor as dominant as Brown.

Most wins doesn't equal greatest coach any more than a perfect attendance award equals valedictorian.
 
I know this is controversial but is Nate Moore arguably better than Paul Brown? He does have more wins?
Could be arguably a better coach, but that's a qualitative analysis that is beyond these pages.

Quantitatively, though

Nate Moore (at Washington)
1 Ohio AP Poll title​
0 National Poll Titles​

Paul Brown
6 Ohio Popular Acclaim (aka Pre-Poll Era) titles​
4 National Poll Titles​
 
I know this is controversial but is Nate Moore arguably better than Paul Brown? He does have more wins?
-FYI———————-W-L-T————Rec. vs. McK——————-—-
Nate Moore———-83-22-00….…….…..7-1-0……………..(8 Years)
Paul Brown———-80-08-02……….……6-3-0……………..(9 Years)
 
Last edited:
A summary of the input so far for the Stark County schools. Most are no-brainers, and the only debatable ones so far are Hoover and Louisville.
I think there are a few other schools where it is debatable

Minerva

Lynn Molen
12 seasons (92-31) 74.7 winning% 6 league championships
Tom Walters 10 seasons (79-19) 80.6 winning % 6 league championships

GlenOak

Bob Commings
12 seasons (75-45) 68.1 winning % 4 league championships, no playoff wins
Scott Garcia 14 seasons (82-70) 53.9 winning % 4 league championships, 4 playoff wins, 2008 Final 8

McKinley

Thom McDaniels
18 seasons (124-47) 72.5 winning% 2 state championships, one national championship, 11-7 vs Massillon
Herman "Bup" Rearick 8 seasons (65-8-4) 89.0 winning% 2 state championships, 3-3-2 vs Massillon
 
Last edited:
Again, win totals are bit distorted, as the older guys couldn't win more than 10 games a year while the current coaches could rack up 16.
 
I think there are a few other schools where it is debatable

Minerva

Lynn Molen
12 seasons (92-31) 74.7 winning% 6 league championships
Tom Walters 10 seasons (79-19) 80.6 winning % 6 league championships

GlenOak

Bob Commings
12 seasons (75-45) 68.1 winning % 4 league championships, no playoff wins
Scott Garcia 14 seasons (82-70) 53.9 winning % 4 league championships, 4 playoff wins, 2008 Final 8

McKinley

Thom McDaniels
18 seasons (124-47) 72.5 winning% 2 state championships, one national championship, 12-6 vs Massillon
Herman "Bup" Rearick 8 seasons (65-8-4) 89.0 winning% 2 state championships, 3-3-2 vs Massillon
Thom McDaniels——11-7 vs. Massillon
 
I could make an argument for Moore. The games changed so much, the competition is more fierce and the private schools are a completely different beast. The demographics of the city and state for the matter have changed drastically.

Who is the best? That’s not for me to say but hats of coach Moore and staff keep doing what you’re doing.
 
Top