The 48th Curbstone Coaches Hall of Fame Banquet is scheduled for Sun., May 3 with 12 new members set to be enshrined during ceremonies at Mr. Anthony’s Banquet Center, 7440 South Ave.
Ray ‘Boom Boom’ Mancini, former world lightweight champion of the world and current International Boxing Hall of Fame honoree, will serve as guest speaker.
The 2015 class includes Phil Adams (softball), Larry Davis (tennis, coach), Pat Gaia (special award), Tim Graham (bowling), Greg Gulas (contribution to sports), John Linden (all-around award), Bill Narduzzi (posthumous/football), Pat Narduzzi (football), Bob Patton (basketball, coach), Earnie Shavers (boxing), Sherri Skelton (bowling) and Kenny Smith (baseball).
Former YSU head football coach Bill Narduzzi is this year’s lone posthumous selection and will join son Pat, as the only two grid inductees in this year’s class.
A native of East Canton and a graduate of East Canton HS, his exploits on the scholastic gridiron were legendary while he also played and lettered in basketball, baseball and track and field for the Hornets. He served as president of student council and was the sports editor of both the school newspaper and yearbook as well.
Upon graduation he attended Miami (Oh.) University where he earned two letters in football, playing end, tackle and guard for the Redskins (now known as the RedHawks).
‘The Doozer’ graduated 1959 with his bachelor’s degree in education and would spend the first three years after obtaining his degree coaching on the high school level. He taught and served as an assistant coach at Cleveland Benedictine, Sandy Valley and nearby Ursuline HS and during that period, the school’s posted a combined 26-6 overall ledger.
It was then on to the collegiate ranks with stops at the University of Pittsburgh, Brown University, Yale, Miami (Fla.) University and the University of Kentucky.
During his seven seasons at Yale he served as the Eli’s defensive coordinator, helping the Bulldogs fashion a 41-21-1 mark as they won or shared the Ivy League title on four separate occasions.
A noted defensive tactician, his 1968 unit was ranked second nationally in total defense and third overall against the rush.
In 1973 while a member of Fran Curci’s University of Kentucky staff, he was part of a coaching staff that helped produce their best overall mark in eight years, coaching two players that earned All-Southeastern Conference laurels and three players that played in five total post-season all-star contests.
He became YSU’s third ever head football coach in 1975, taking over for Rey Dempsey who led the Penguins to their first ever play-off appearance (1974) and after the season, accepted an assistant coaching position with the NFL’s Detroit Lions.
He coached the Penguins from 1975 to 1985, taking YSU to the next level as they became a driving force on the Division II level in the latter part of the 70’s.
Prior to his arrival, the Penguins made just one play-off appear¬ance and it took 34 years in order to realize that goal In Narduzzi’s first five seasons at the helm, he led the Penguins to two playoff appearances and the championship game of the Zia Bowl; the Division II championship game which in 1979 was held in Albuquerque, New Mexico.
At YSU (his only stop as a collegiate head coach), he led the Penguins to a 68-41-1 (.681 winning percentage) overall mark (1975-85) and also served as the school’s director of athletics as well.
Overall, he led the Penguins to two Division II playoff appearances (1978, 1979) and a runner-up finish nationally in Division II (1979).
He was the 1978 National Division II Coach of the Year and earned Ohio Collegiate Coach of the Year honors the following campaign.
He was the Mid-Continent Conference “Coach of the Year” in both 1978 and 1979; the very first two seasons that YSU was a member.
`It was also the first time the school’s illustrious sports history that they were aligned with any conference.
Under Narduzzi’s watch the school made the transition to Division I-AA and as members of the highly-competitive league, he earned O.V.C. Coach of the Year laurels in both 1981 and again in 1984.
Under Narduzzi the Penguins went from a Division II participant, to a well-oiled Division II playoff machine, to their infancy in Division I-AA and respectability in the middle part of the decade of the Ohio Valley Conference in the 1980’s.
While at YSU he coached 18 Mid-Continent Conference selec¬tions; eight Ohio Valley Conference picks and six players who eventually earned All-America laurels on both the Division II and I-AA levels.
A noted banquet speaker and member of numerous local, state and regional coaching associations, Narduzzi was chosen by the AFCA (American Football Coaches Association) to serve on its All-America Selection Committee in 1978.
Credited as founder of the highly regarded “Cradle of Coaches” organization at his alma mater, Miami (OH) University, he also served as the group’s first president. He also served on the NCAA’s Football Rules Committee in 1980.
Narduzzi later served as an assistant coach at Columbia University and passed away on February 4, 1988.
He and his wife, the former Angie Rex, are the proud parents of six children; Katrina, William, Patrick (current University of Pittsburgh head football coach and this year’s other football inductee), Bradley, Teresa and Regina
Tickets for the event are $60 each and $480 for a reserved table. Further information can be obtained by calling Mike Murray, ticket chairman at (330)-565-7820.