Sunday, April 24, 2005

Curbstone Coaches - Class of 2005

Sunday, May 1st at 6:00 p.m. is the annual Curbstone Coaches Hall of Fame Induction ceremony at Mr. Anthony's Banquet Center . . . throughout the week I will be posting profiles of this year's inductees:

For 38 years, Dom Rosselli roamed the sidelines as the most successful coach in YSU basketball (and baseball) history.
He posted 589 wins in the cage sport and another 418 on the diamond, coaching All-Americans and All-League performers in each sport along the way.
He refuses to pick an all-time team in either sport for fear that he might overlook someone or not afford them the due of which they have coming.
Deep down though, if he were pressed hard enough, one can almost be assured that he would tell you that former guard Billy Johnson, of all the former players he had the good fortune to coach, has held to this day a very special place in both his and his family’s hearts.
Born on August 27, 1949, this Canton, OH native is a 1967 graduate of Canton Lincoln H.S. where he earned All-City Second-Team laurels, led the team in assists and free throw shooting his final two seasons while helping them to a state semi-final appearance his senior campaign.
He earned a scholarship to Youngstown State University and from the moment he stepped foot on the YSU campus, the Rosselli-Johnson combination seemed to click.
That combination produced an 82-25 overall mark resulting in two NCAA/Division II post-season appearances in the Mideast Regional, those coming during his sophomore and senior seasons.
He scored just 148 points his freshman year as the Penguins posted a 19-7 overall mark. His acclimation to the college game, however, was now complete and opponents the next three seasons would pay when they faced the Johnson-led Penguins.
As a sophomore during the 1969-70 season, his 582 total points (23.3. ppg) set the all-time sophomore scoring standard as the team posted a 22-5 overall mark en-route to post-season play at the Mideast Regional in Reading, PA. He led the team in assists, was named to the NCAA Tournament First-Team, earned The Pittsburgh Press’ First-Team All-District “Player of the Year” honors while their 18 consecutive wins that season is still the most ever recorded by any Penguin cage team.
He earned Associated Press Little All-America honors his junior season, led the team in scoring with 474 total points (an average of 19.8 per game), was tops in assists (7.1 per outing), once again earned First-Team All-District honors from The Pittsburgh Press while his 20 consecutive free throws set the standard in that category.
As a senior in 1971-72 he led the team with 522 (18.0 ppg) points while his nine assists per outing was tops on the squad for the third consecutive season. His 239 assists that year set the all-time mark (the record still stands today) while the Penguins returned to tournament action, this time competing in the Mideast Regional which was held on the campus of the University of Akron.
For his efforts he was once again named by The Pittsburgh Press’ as its “Player of the Year” (the only player to win the award twice), earning First-Team All-District honors and United Press International All-America honors as well.
He scored 1,726 career points (still seventh all-time) and was selected to play in both the North-South Basketball Classic in Erie, PA, and the first-ever NCAA-NAIA All-Star Game.
His 20 consecutive free throws is still fifth on the all-time YSU legend while his 706 career field goals and 314 career free throws made are sixth all-time in those respective categories. His 408 free throws attempted are seventh most all-time while his 392 assists is fourth overall in that category.
Upon his graduation from YSU (he earned his BS in Elementary Education in 1972) he underwent a serious lung operation as many YSU fans and family members donated monies necessary to help defray the cost of the operation, a gesture to this day that still brings tears to his eyes when he thinks about their love, prayers and generous, giving ways.
Retired after 30 years of service as the Canton Recreation Director, his versatility extended way beyond the boundaries of the basketball court since his graduation.
In 1979, he won an Emmy for comedy material that he had written for a Cleveland television show while from 1978-81, he wrote and produced a comedy service for radio disc jockeys throughout America and in several foreign countries.
He teamed with legendary Cleveland radio personality John Lanigan from 1980-84 to produce a radio show called “Sports Shorts” and in 1992 he began writing and drawing cartoons that were published in many national magazines.
Always the entrepreneur, he invented a product called “Wheel Easy” in 1998, a cleaning stand for motorcycles that was picked up by Harley-Davidson and is sold worldwide.
In 2000, the tennis complex in his hometown of Canton was named after him (he teamed with wife Karen to win the national mixed doubles tennis tournament, played at Flushing Meadows, NY during the U.S. Open) while in 2004 he won the Distinguished Alumni Award from his alma mater, Lincoln, H.S.
He and his wife of 35 years, Karen, are the parents of a daughter, Tiffany (Justin) Atkinson. They have one grandson, Troy, and they reside in Canton.

When you look at the list of area golf notables over the years, one name surely to come up is that of Dave Coller.
A native of Hubbard and a 1965 graduate of Hubbard High School, Coller has been a golf professional for the past 35 years, winning numerous sanctioned professional tournaments in both California and Ohio during that span.
Born on September 7, 1947, he was a four-year letterwinner for the Eagles from 1961-65, playing his first varsity match as a ninth-grader during the 1962 season.
He helped the Eagles to a third-place finish in the state of Ohio during his sophomore campaign in 1963 and was District medallist his senior year in 1965, shooting a District record 67 to claim top honors.
He was an integral part of Ohio State University’s links team from 1965-69, majoring in Turf Management during his four-year stay on the Columbus, OH campus.
He later coached the golf team at his high school alma mater from 1969-71, leading the Eagles to the 1971 O.H.S.A.A. (Ohio State High School Athletic Association) golf title.
From 1973-74 he served as the head golf professional at the Escondido Country Club in Escondido, CA, returning to the area as the head golf professional at the Henry Stambaugh Golf Course in 1974, a post that he held until 1978.
In 1978 he became the head golf professional at the Hubbard Golf Course, remaining in that capacity until 1995 when he accepted the head golf professional post at Oak Tree Country Club in West Middlesex, PA.
Since 2000, he has served as the Director of Golf at the Pine Lakes Golf Club in Hubbard.
He was named the 1971 Ohio “Coach of the Year” when the Eagles won the state title and in 1985, was recognized by the Northern Ohio PGA for his contributions to Junior Golf.
He and his wife, Beverly, reside in Hubbard and they are the parents of two daughters; Christine (Windt) and Lori. They have two grandchildren.

As one of two posthumous selections in this year’s Curbstone Coaches Hall of Fame class, Donald F. Leonhart had the unique distinction of being an excellent bowler and masterful linksman.
A Youngstown native, he was born on February 7, 1919 and passed away on October 5, 1999. During his athletic heyday, however, he commanded the respect of his peers at both the alley’s and on the golf course, a claim that not many from the two sports can make.
He attended Chaney and graduated from Austintown Fitch H.S. in 1937. It was upon his graduation from Fitch that he had posted the highest grade point average in the school system up to that time.
He entered The Ohio State University School of Engineering and later attended the Alexander Hamilton Business School in Philadelphia, PA.
A Navy veteran who was stationed in Guam during World War II, he worked for 33 years at the Youngstown Steel Door Co., retiring as the vice-president of manufacturing in 1972.
He also served as office manager for Powell Systems for 20 years upon his retirement.
A charter member of the Church League, he bowled in that league for over 60 years and was the last remaining member of that famed local aggregation. Over the years he bowled in many leagues, was a part of 32 City Tournaments, 14 ABC Tournaments and 10 Ohio State Tourneys.
He maintained a 180+ average for most of his 60 participatory years, including a personal high 206 mark in the mid-1950’s.
In 1965 he won the Youngstown City Tournament Singles crown and on April 1, 1969, his 786 set at Gran Lanes in the Suburban Scratch League set the standard at the time for highest set at that particular alley.
On April 5, 1975, he was enshrined in the Y.M.B.A. (Youngstown Men’s Bowling Association) Hall of Fame then on September 9, 1979, recorded the first of his two holes-in-one, that coming on the #18 hole at the Tippecanoe Country Club.
He recorded his second “ace” on October 9, 1988, also at the Tippecanoe Country Club only this time on the #3 hole.
He both bowled and golfed in many charity events over the years and in 1994, captured the Senior Golf Championship (for 70 and over entries), again at the Tippecanoe C.C.
He won many medals for bowling while competing in the local Senior Olympics, continuing to bowl and golf up until the last three months of his life despite losing his sight in his right eye some six years prior to his death.
He and his wife Lucille were the proud parents of two sons, Al and Dale, and daughter Donna.

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