Wednesday, March 14, 2001

Klonne forced out at Moeller


2001 season will be his last

By Dave Schutte
The Cincinnati Enquirer

        Moeller High School has told football coach Steve Klonne — who led the storied program to 169 wins and two state championships in 19 seasons — that next season will be his last.

        “I feel real fortunate to have coached a lot of great players and coached with a lot of great coaches,” Klonne said. “It's been an extremely tremendous experience for me.”

        Klonne declined to say why the decision was made. Dick Beerman, Moeller's co-athletic director, declined comment.

        A source close to the situation told The Enquirer that Klonne was told of the decision last week and given the option of staying another season or resigning immediately. Klonne decided to coach one more season.

        “I can't imagine going into a season without Steve on the sideline,” Colerain coach Kerry Coombs said.

        “Steve is a legend in high school football. He's been a great innovator on and off the field and represents the sport with great class and dignity.”

        Said former Princeton coach Pat Mancuso: “Steve has done an outstanding job at Moeller and is a class act. You have to give him his due. Moeller played an extremely tough schedule, because no one around here would play them. They were always playing Massillon, Warren, Canton McKinley or good teams from Pennsylvania.”

        Klonne, a graduate of St.Xavier High and Xavier University, was hired in 1978 as an assistant to Gerry Faust and became head coach in 1982. That year, the Crusaders went 13-0 to claim the Ohio big-school state championship.

        Klonne's second state championship came in 1985, and his overall record is 169-48, including 9-2 last season. Moeller reached the state title game five times under Klonne, the last in 1997 when the Crusaders lost to Canton McKinley.

        Faust started the Moeller program in 1963 and went 174-17-2 before leaving after the 1980 season to become Notre Dame coach. Ted Bacigalupo led Moeller to a 12-1 record in 1981.

       



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