Fairfield wrestling coach Ron Masanek started to think about retirement in June when he was bestowed with a special honor.
Masanek truly appreciated being inducted into the Buddy LaRosa’s High School Sports Hall of Fame – a way to recognize the dedication of nearly a half-century coaching student-athletes.
Masanek said LaRosa was so gracious to him that the induction would be a fitting way to complete his storied coaching career.
On Thursday, Masanek announced his retirement from the Indians’ head coaching position after 48 years. Masanek is stepping down due to family health reasons.
“I had the Walter Alston theory of one year at a time,” Masanek told The Enquirer on Friday afternoon. “You hope it’s a good year because they are one-year contracts. I was fortunate to be able to have many good years and stay into coaching the sport I love.”
(Alston, the late Hall of Fame Dodgers manager who lived in Butler County, managed 23 seasons in the majors under one-year contracts).
During his high school coaching career, Masanek compiled a dual meet record of 410-83-3, which ranks fourth in all-time wins in Ohio high school wrestling history, according to the Ohio High School Athletic Association website.
Masanek, who turned 73 on Wednesday, produced 11 undefeated seasons, 23 Greater Miami Conference championships and nine Ohio state runner-up teams.
Fairfield won eight district championships, 15 sectional titles, and placed third in the state in both 1991 and 1992.
Along with all the success, he was proud to make an impact in the lives of student-athletes. “Watching boys become men,” Masanek said.
Individually, Masanek coached 200 GMC champions, 127 sectional champions, 42 district/regional champions, 150 state qualifiers, 43 state placers (top six finish), and six different state champions.
Masanek coached nine high school All-American wrestlers.
“Words cannot express our gratitude for coach Masanek’s service here as a coach, a teacher, and a leader of men,” Fairfield athletic director Mark Harden said. “He has left a legacy here that will last forever, and we will forever be in debt for his long, historic tenure here as our head coach.”
A 1959 graduate of Parma High School and 1964 grad of Miami University, where he was a three-year letterman, he was a two-time Mid-American Conference runner-up and a two-time national qualifier.
CROSS COUNTRY: The Mason girls’ team is ranked No. 1 in the state by the Division I preseason coaches’ poll. The Comets have won two straight state titles. St. Xavier is ranked No. 2 in the Division I state boys’ poll. The Bombers have won two straight state titles.
BASEBALL: Lakota East senior first baseman Adam McDonough verbally committed to Akron, according to Thunderhawks coach Ray Hamilton. The Zips offered on Aug. 1. An Enquirer Division I all-area selection last season, McDonough hit .489 with 25 runs and 35 RBI.
FOOTBALL: La Salle senior defensive lineman Jordan Thompson has a slight tear in his meniscus, Lancers coach Nate Moore said. Thompson, who verbally committed to Northwestern in early May, is out several weeks, Moore said. The team isn’t sure when Thompson will return, but he will miss the opener against Colerain Aug. 29 at Yager Stadium in the Skyline Chili Crosstown Showdown.
“Jordan is irreplaceable,” Moore told The Enquirer. “There is nobody who can take the place of Jordan Thompson, leadershipwise and as a player.”
Thompson, an Enquirer Division I all-area selection last season, had 62 tackles and 4.5 sacks for the Lancers. ■