After six years, Mike Donnelly resigns as Clay coach
After six years at the helm of the Clay football program, Coach Mike Donnelly has announced his resignation.
His teams went a combined 29-31, including a 7-3 record in 2008. During his tenure at Clay, his teams broke 19
school offensive records.
Donnelly says the highlights of his career including coaching University of Michigan starting safety Jordan Kovacs, who was just named the Wolverine’s MVP in team voting, who picked Kovacs over quarterback Denard Robinson.
He also coached former Ohio State and current Chicago Bears receiver Dane Sanzenbacher while he was an assistant at Central Catholic, where his 2005 team won one Division II state championship during a 10-year stint. In 2005, he was named Assistant Coach of the Year in Northwest Ohio.
Donnelly, a Clay alumnus, was also a wide receivers coach at Wittenberg University in 1997, helping a team that went 9-1 and won the North Coast Athletic Conference.
He spoke about his resignation at the Clay fall sports banquet. He remains athletic director at Clay.
“For the past six years I have had the wonderful opportunity to influence high school students’ learning and development as head football coach,” Donnelly said.
“During this time, I have also taken on the role of athletic director, a job that perfectly fits my passion for athletics. Over time however, the demands and high profile positions of athletic director and head football coach have taken its toll on me physically and mentally,” he continued.
“Additionally, the time spent away from my wife and children to pursue my dreams have meant missing many family functions. I have come to the decision that for the betterment of my health and well-being that I resign from the position of head football coach. My goal is to continue on impacting young people as the athletic director.”
Gasser back at Toledo
Bryan Gasser (Cardinal Stritch) is in his second stint as a graduate assistant coach for the University of Toledo football team. He previously worked as a graduate assistant at UT in 2010. He works primarily with the tight ends.
Last season, Gasser coached the wide receivers and was co-offensive coordinator at Notre Dame College, a Division II school in South Euclid, Ohio. Gasser helped the Falcons set records in scoring, yards per game and passing yards per game.
Gasser played football at Ohio Northern University from 2003-05, earning All-OAC and Academic All-OAC honors at tight end in 2005. He then served as an assistant coach at his alma mater from 2006-08, working with tight ends and running backs. He coached three All-OAC players in his three seasons at ONU.
In 2009, Gasser served as the offensive line and special teams coach at Otsego.
Gasser is from Northwood and attended Stritch where he played football, basketball and track. He earned his bachelor’s degree in business administration from Ohio Northern in 2006 and his master’s degree in sport administration from Bowling Green State University in 2010.
Another Stritch grad, Michael Blazevich, a three-sport star for the Cardinals, is currently a freshman safety at Toledo.
Toledo had less than two weeks to get ready to play No. 18 Utah State in the Famous Idaho Potato Bowl. But the Rockets say they are ready to roll and eager to return to Boise's Bronco Stadium, where they played the hometown team just two years ago.
Kickoff for Famous Idaho Potato Bowl is set for Dec. 15 at 4:30 p.m. on ESPN, the opening day of the bowl season. It is the third-straight bowl game for Toledo (9-3), one of seven Mid-American Conference teams to receive bowl invitations. The Rockets will square off against WAC champion Utah State (10-2).
"It should be fun," said junior David Fluellen, a first-team All-MAC running back. "It's a great environment out there and they have great facilities. We're excited and ready to get the game plan together to see what we can come up with." Fluellen missed the regular-season finale against Akron with a high-ankle sprain, but says he'll be ready to go in two weeks.
Utah State features a prominent defense that ranks eighth in the nation in scoring defense (15.4 ppg), eighth nationally in sacks (3.25 pg), 12th in the country in rushing defense (111.4 ypg), and 15th in the nation in total defense (322.7 ypg). UT senior safety Jermaine Robinson said that he and his teammates have seen the Aggies on TV and know what they're capable of.
"It's a good matchup — they’re talented," Robinson said. "They beat a good team to win their conference (LA Tech), they have a good running back who has over 1,200 yards and an athletic quarterback. Those two put together with their defense makes it a great challenge, but we're going to do what we have to do to win this game."
Cheerleaders at Cavs game
The Woodmore School Board approved a request for the high school cheerleaders to perform at the Cleveland Cavaliers game versus the Los Angeles Lakers on Dec. 11.
One of the requirements is that the cheerleaders would have to sell 100 Cavs tickets. Ticket prices are $38 for each game on Dec. 11 and that includes a second complimentary ticket for games on Dec. 14 against Milwaukee, Dec. 18 versus Toronto, or Dec. 21 versus the Indiana Pacers. The Dec. 11 game time is 7 p.m. and the cheerleaders would perform at 6:30.
RSVP to Angie Balduf at the high school (419-862-2721) with payment due at that time.
The Woodmore board also recognized indoor track and field and bowling as sports for this school year with the understanding that Woodmore Local Schools would not provide any financial backing, scheduling, transportation, or paid coaches for those programs.