COLUMBUS, Ohio — Sandwiched between the Ohio state basketball championships of Deer Park and Moeller high schools was a special presentation for a local first family of sports March 24.
NFL Hall of Famer Anthony Munoz, with his son, Michael, and daughter, Michelle Munoz Trenz, was inducted into Ohio High School Athletic Association Circle of Champions. Each year, prominent figures in the history of Ohio athletics are recognized.
For former Bengal Munoz, a Southern Cal grad, it was a chance to safely walk center stage at Ohio State in a friendly atmosphere. It also was an opportunity to share the limelight with his children. Though Michael Munoz played offensive line at Tennessee, he prepped in football and in shot put and discus at Moeller. After the ceremony, he was eager to find his seat to watch his alma mater earn their fourth Division I basketball title.
Michelle Munoz Trenz played in the 2000 Division I girls championship with her undefeated Mason team and later played on the Schottenstein Center floor after transferring to Ohio State from Tennessee. Her last game as a Buckeye came in 2005.
The reward was watching his children
“I could have just stood off to the side and watched them receive the honor,” proud papa Munoz said. “To see something like this happen and to be included, my heart just overflows with joy to watch them out there.”
Anthony and DeDe Munoz visited Ohio State’s Schottenstein Center many times to watch Michelle after she transferred from the late Pat Summit’s program at Tennessee. Brother Michael Munoz refers to his sister as the “best athlete in the family.”
Speech of a lifetime
Micheal Munoz is now 36 with five children and Michelle is 35 with four. Formerly president of the Munoz Agency and executive director of the Anthony Munoz Foundation, Michael has been vice president of character development for the Pro Football Hall of Fame. His audition may have come nearly 20 years ago when he gave his own father’s induction speech in Canton as a Moeller student.
“It was the day after he turned 17,” Anthony Munoz recalled. “For him to get up there, not only in front of the crowd there but a national audience and a do a phenomenal job, I could have just deferred and not had to say anything. When I chose him, I really didn’t know what he was going to say.”
Michael Munoz would go on to have his own solid career pancaking defenders at Moeller and Tennessee (where he still has season tickets). Bypassing certain NFL opportunities due to injury, he’s a tad taller than his father and has dropped some of the poundage required of bruising offensive linemen wearing No. 78.