WILLIAM “BILL” CUNDIFF
A graduate of Green High School where he earned varsity letters in football and basketball, Bill Cundiff went on to become one of the most decorated players in Ashland University football history. During his prep career Cundiff was a three-time All-Suburban League First Team selection in football, starring as the Bulldogs’ quarterback and free safety. As a senior he passed for 1,558 yards and 15 touchdowns before a broken leg ended his season after just six games. Despite the shortened campaign he was named First Team All-District and Second Team All-Ohio and came back to play in the North/South All Star game where he led the North squad to victory with a pair of touchdowns. His gridiron exploits continued at the collegiate level where he quickly established himself as one of Ashland’s leading players. A four-year letterman, he was named to the All-GLIAC Team three times and was a two-time Harlon Hill Trophy candidate (the NCAA D-II Heisman equivalent). As a junior he set Ashland single-season records in passing yards (3,776), completion percentage (67.4%), touchdowns (37) and total offensive yardage (4,408). For his efforts he was selected as the 2008 GLIAC Player of The Year and was named to the American Football Coaches Association First Team All-American squad. He was a pre-season All-America selection as a senior and concluded his collegiate career atop the Eagles’ record board in numerous statistical categories, including: most pass completions (game, season, career), most touchdown passes (game, season, career), most passing yards (season, career) and total offense (season, career). In addition to his prolifi c career numbers of 9,143 passing yards and 79 touchdown passes at Ashland, he establish NCAA Division II records for the lowest interception percentage in a single season - .3% (1 interception in 305 passing attempts) and a career – 1.3% (16 interceptions in 1001 passing attempts).
Kim Kreiner is arguably the greatest athlete to graduate from Mogadore High School and one of the most elite athletes to graduate from Kent State University, As Kim’s high school career at Mogadore came to a close she was one of the few high schoolers dreading graduation. Kim played basketball, track and volleyball in high school and fi gured her athletic career was over. That clearly wasn’t the case. Kim walked onto the Kent State University track team in 1996. This was not easy task; for Kreiner fi rst had to fi nd an event, one that her frame would allow her to compete and one to be a contender in the MidAmerican Conference. She realized she was not big or strong enough for the shot put or discus, so with the guidance of the Kent State coaching staff, more importantly Coach Ramona Pagel, Kreiner tried her hand at the javelin. Kim stated “she kind of fell into the javelin.” After joining the team in 1996 and in her fi rst season of competition, Kreiner fi nished fourth in the Mid-American Conference (MAC) and fourth at USA Juniors…in 1997, she fi nished 3rd at the NCAA Championships and in 1998, she won her fi rst conference title, along with the Penn Relays crown…she also fi nished sixth at the ‘98 USA Championships and seventh at the ‘98 NCAA Championships. She took the 1999 outdoor season off to gain more experience and knowledge of the new javelin. Kreiner ended her career as a three-time All-American in the javelin for the Kent State Golden Flashes. She earned two MAC Javelin Championships and placed in the top fi ve at the championships in indoor and outdoor shot put four times over her career. A member of the 2000 MAC Outdoor Championship team, she received All-American honors and Academic All-MAC recognition. Following her phenomenal career at Kent State, she competed on the international level with great success. An American record holder in the javelin (199.8), Kreiner was a member of the 2004 United States Olympic team and a gold medal winner at the 2003 Pan American Games. Kreiner is a teacher and resides in Mogadore.
DAVID MARIOLA, JR.
The Purple Magics wrestling team captured the 2006 Suburban League Title as Co-champions with Wadsworth High School. In recognition of his team’s success, Coach David J. Mariola, Jr. was named the Division I Wrestling Coach of the Year by the Cleveland Plain Dealer and the Akron Touchdown Club subsequently bestowed upon him a similar honor. Coach Mariola’s Purple Magics have compiled an overall record of 242-110 since he took leadership (2000-2018) of the Barberton wrestling program. To date, seven of Mariola’s Magics have earned AllAmerican titles, and three wrestlers have placed first at the National High School Championships. Throughout his career at Barberton High School, Mariola has coached 22 State Qualifiers and 12 State Placers. At Nordonia High School where he served as Head Wrestling Coach, his teams compiled a 48-16-2 record and wrestled to a Division I second place and sixth place finish in 1989 and 1999, respectively, in the Ohio High School Athletic Association’s annual, state wrestling tournament. During Mariola’s tenure at Nordonia, the Knights had three State Champions, 14 State Qualifiers, and 10 State Placers. Mariola was named Coach of the Year by the Greater Cleveland Conference in 1995, 1996 and 1997. He was also named Division I Coach of the Year in 1998 by the Cleveland Plain Dealer, GCWCOA and the Touchdown Club. What an awesome career! The first blocks of this career foundation were put in place at St. Peter Chanel High School, Bedford, Ohio. Mariola had a positive high school athletic experience (1979-1983) lettering in two sports: football and wrestling. His team was State Wrestling Champions in 1983. Dave was his Wrestling Team’s MVP in 1980, 1981, 1983 as well as a three-time state placer and the 1983 State Wrestling Champion in the 155 lb. weight class. This spectacular high school career caught the attention of many college recruiters searching the area for talent to compete at the next level. At Michigan State his stars continued to shine for him. He was selected MVP in 1986 and 1988 and Team Captain for 1986, 1987, and 1988. In 1986, Dave earned All-American honors by placing second in the Big Ten Conference and fifth at the NCAA Division I National Wrestling tournament. As he finished his wrestling career, he stood at 8th in the number of career wins while at Michigan State University. The pinnacle of his accolades was his selection as a training team member for the U.S.A. Olympic Wrestling Team. Mariola and his wife, Beth, live in Stow with their daughter, Keegan (age 12) and son, Caden (age 9).
Like so many successful athletes, Pat Milton (nee Williams) received a great deal of encouragement and support from her parents. And, while she also faced her share of hurdles along the way, her inner drive to be play the game she loved put her on a path to great success. “Willie” - as she was known to her friends – was, by her own admission, “the biggest tomboy on the block” and loved all sports. She took up golf at age 11 with the full support of her parents who were both members at Portage Country Club. She received early lessons from Bernie Allaman and further encouragement from Portage Country Club Assistant Pro, Hank Fried. When she reached high school at Akron Firestone (which was prior to Title IX legislation) she asked the golf coach if she could try out for the boys’ team and was told no. Undeterred, she continued to hone her game and by the time she was 15 years old she was a member of the Ohio Women’s State Golf Association and had qualified to play in the Women’s Western Junior Tournament in Indianapolis. She made the decision to play collegiately at Rollins College in Florida, which had a women’s golf program, and helped lead the team to the AIAW National Championship during her junior season. The best was yet to come as she became one of the top women’s golfers to ever come out of northeast Ohio. She was a fixture on the women’s amateur scene before turning professional in 1979. As a pro she played on various mini-tours and three LPGA Qualifiers and finished second in her final tournament as a pro. After deciding that the lifestyle of a professional golfer wasn’t for her she applied for reinstatement as an amateur. Her application was accepted but she was forced to “sit out” of tournament play for two years and couldn’t compete as a pro or an amateur. In 1984 she returned to the world of competitive golf and finished as runner-up in the Ohio State Amateur Tournament in Findlay, Ohio. That tournament “re-energized me,” she said, and it was the beginning of an impressive second golf career. Milton went on to win the Ohio Women’s Amateur in 1988 and finished as runner up on two more occasions (1994, 2001). She played in three USGA Women’s Opens (1989, 1990, 1991) and was a two-time semi-finalist. In addition she was a semi-finalist in the Women’s Western Am in 1989 and also played in seven USGA Qualifiers. In 1999 she was the medalist in the U.S. Women’s Mid-Am in Atlanta, GA and was the only player to break par. Locally she was a dominant player, capturing seven Akron District Women’s Golf Championships. One of her fondest memories was teaming with her father to capture 13 Father-Daughter Championships at Portage Country Club. She continues to enjoy the game of golf and trying to get better every time she plays. Pat and her husband Paul live in Munroe Falls.
Robert Pacsi stands among the winningest coaches in Northeast Ohio with a lifetime win-loss record of 664 wins and 380 losses. His Ohio record is 560 wins and 338 losses, placing Bob among the top 25 winningest in Ohio. Fate was with Bob, for he had the privilege of coaching one of Twinsburg’s greatest basketball players, James Posey. After playing at Twinsburg and Xavier, Posey advanced to play several years with various NBA teams including Denver, Miami, Boston and Indiana. James Posey is currently an assistant coach for the Cleveland Cavs and is coaching in the 2018 MGM Resorts Summer League in Las Vegas. After graduating Farrell High School, Pacsi earned his BA and MS degrees at Gannon College in Erie, PA. During high school, he played freshman football and basketball as well as varsity golf. At the college level, Bob lettered in baseball. After graduating from Gannon College, Pacsi launched his 45-year coaching career. Bob’s 39-year coaching tenure in Ohio included 26 years at Twinsburg High School in Summit County, where with his Tiger team he owned nine (9) conference championships and two district titles. In addition to Twinsburg, Bob has also coached at Sharon Kennedy, Marion Harding and Garfield Heights Trinity. He also served as the offensive coordinator for the Trinity 1980 Football State Champion Team. These Trinity teams reached the state football playoffs four times. Over his coaching career, Bob has coached basketball as well as baseball, football and golf. Bob has received many accolades throughout his coaching career including many Conference Coach of the Year titles, the Ohio High School Basketball Coaches Association’s 500 Career Wins ring, the prestigious William Falor Award for Career Achievement presented by The Dapper Dan Club of Akron, Summit County Coach of the Year, and the Bob Arzen Award, which is presented by the Ohio High School Basketball Coaches Association to the coach who has 20 years or more years with the same school. Additionally, Pacsi has been inducted into the Trinity High School Hall of Fame and the Twinsburg High School Hall of Fame in 1985 and 2017, respectively. Pacsi stepped down from as Twinsburg High School basketball coach after 26 years at the helm. Bob has since been hired as the Head Basketball Coach of Mayfield Heights. Bob and his wife, Mary Frances, (deceased) have a son, Robert, and a daughter, Stephanie, as well as four grandchildren.
Coach Gerry B. Rardin’s Warriors of Walsh Jesuit High School won all the divisional marbles and the 1999 Division II State High School Football championship title. In the prelude to taking command of the 1999 state title, Rardin and his Warriors removed Lake High School from contention in the state semifinal game with a score of 14-10 in Massillon. In the subsequent Division II Championship game in Canton, the Warriors were victorious by a one-point advantage with a score of 19-18 over Sylvania Southview and were crowned the 1999 Division II State High School Football Champions. Over his 35-year coaching career as head coach at Walsh Jesuit High School, Rardin compiled a 252- 118-2 record including two undefeated regular seasons. In the annual Ohio High School Athletic Association divisional football playoffs, his Walsh teams have appeared in 17 regional playoffs while capturing 10 regional Championships. These Rardin teams have made five (5) appearances among the divisional final fours while participating in two (2) State Championships. The year 1999 was the year of the roses and the State Championship Title for Rardin and his Walsh Jesuit High School team. In the Rardin era, Walsh High School was frequently visited by college recruiters looking for that next generation of talented players to carry on their traditions at the college level. These dominating Warrior teams, over the years, have been the result of the efforts of several significant individual players who have moved forward to play at the next level. Rising from the tutelage of Coach Rardin, over 250 Walsh graduates have played football at the collegiate level. Four (4) Warrior graduates are playing for Division I teams across the country while nine (9) have made the “cut” and are playing in the National Football League. These athletes not only are symbolic of their own commitment, talent, and dedication to the sport, but are reflective of the quality of coaching consistently demonstrated by Coach Rardin and his staff. His accolades, over his career, have been many. Most outstanding was his selection by the National Football League as the 2000 NFL High School Coach of the Year. Over the years, he also was honored as Coach of the Year by ten other organizations. The Rardin legacy will remain in the annals of Warrior football. Coach summarizes his Walsh experience as 35 years as Head Football Coach, 7-years as an Assistant Coach and 4 years as a player for the Maroon and Gold. Following graduation from Walsh Jesuit High School (1972), Gerry Rardin completed his undergraduate degree at the University of Akron (1976). He subsequently earned a master’s degree (2000) from Marygrove College. Coach’s involvement in and love for Walsh continues as he currently serves as the Dean of Students. Coach Rardin and his wife, Janet, live in Stow, Ohio. They have three adult children, Stefanie, Abbey and David.
JAMES “JET” TURNER
Jim Turner earned his nickname “Jet” as a high school track and football star at Akron Central and Akron South High Schools. As a standout performer in the 100, 220, 440 and mile relay events, he helped lead Central to the city and district championships as a sophomore. On the gridiron he earned All-City and AllDistrict honors at Central as a defensive back during his junior campaign and repeated those honors at South High School as a senior. After being recruited by a number of colleges and universities he decided to attend the College of Wooster where he became a four-year letterman and a three-time All-OAC selection – including first team honors as a sophomore. Despite the fact that he was small in stature – standing just 5’9” and weighing in at just 175 pounds – he led the Fighting Scots in rushing in both his junior and senior seasons (after finishing second on the team as a sophomore) and was well-known for his quick openers and sweeps. He was inducted into the Wooster Athletics Hall of Fame and later served as a member of the College of Wooster Alumni Board. Turner rushed for more than 2,100 yards in his collegiate career and was ranked among the conference’s leading rushers in each of his four seasons – he averaged 4.5 yards per carry as a senior. While at Wooster he was also named to the Williamson Little All-America Team. His collegiate gridiron exploits drew interest and offers of a professional football career from the St. Louis Cardinals of the NFL and Houston of the AFL but Turner elected to enter the Air Force. During his time in the Air Force he attained the rank of Captain and served as the Director of Personnel Services for an overseas military installation. He was also awarded a United States Commendation Medal for outstanding performance. Following his time in USAF Turner went on to have a distinguished administrative career in the California State Assembly where he served as the Assistant Chief Administrative Officer, Executive officer of the California State Allocation Board and Chief Consultant to the California State Assembly’s Committee on Education. He returned to Ohio as the Associate Director of Admissions at the College of Wooster and also was the Regional Supervisor Veterans Affairs for the Ohio Department of Education. Since 2003 he has served as a public member of the State of California Physical Therapy Board.