The Press Newspaper
Sylvania Northview names court after Pemberville native
After 38 years of coaching girls’ basketball at Northview, Sigler feels that in order for the program to maintain the excellent level it is need of someone with more energy. He says his daily long drive from his Michigan home is starting to wear on him as well.
Following one junior varsity season, Coach Sigler led the varsity program to 37 consecutive winning seasons. With 675 wins, he finishes his career as the third most winning coach in the history of Ohio girls’ basketball. During Coach Siglers' tenure, 21 players have gone on to play at the college level.
His teams have won nine Great Lakes League titles and six Northern Lakes League titles and have made three state final four appearances.
Many who knew Sigler at Eastwood never saw this coming. Neither did Sigler.
"When I started teaching, I wanted to try coaching boys," Sigler once told The Press. "That wasn't going to happen. There was never a boys opening available. I got a call one day from the Northview athletic director (Jim Glase) and he said, 'How about coaching girls?' I went, 'Oh, man. I'll have to think about that a little bit.'
"I called him back and said that looks like how it's going to have to be. He said I was going to make $200. I coached junior varsity for one year, and the rest is history. It's hard to envision to be around that long and be successful and have kids who put in the time and effort.”
"I've been blessed with kids who are willing to work and put in the time. I've had very good coaches surrounding me and we have worked extremely hard at it to get as much as we could get out of them. I'm fortunate for that to happen."
Sigler grew up in Pemberville and later earned a teaching degree from Bowling Green State University. He made his eighth grade basketball team but didn't play as a freshman. He was a guard on the junior varsity team as a sophomore.
"I was a team manager for the next two years because I wasn't good enough to make the team. They were pretty good," said Sigler, whose family lived across the street from Eastwood High School in 1962. "I look back on it and I wished I could have gone out my junior and senior year. I would have hung around the gym and learned a few things. I (did hang) around the gym as a manager and learned some things."
Sigler replaced B.J. Murray as Northview's varsity coach in 1976 and his first team went 16-4 and won the GLL title. In Sigler's second year the 'Cats went 22-2 and reached the state semifinals and was ranked fifth in the state. A year later the Wildcats went 21-1 and were ranked second in Ohio.
"The girls' game was new at that point," Sigler recalled. "The girls I had were very athletic and very competitive. They had success early on, and at that point it became contagious and they just wanted to be better and better. One team made it to Columbus and that helped fire up the rest of the kids."
Sigler said his 2003-04 state semifinal team, which went 26-1 and featured Indiana-bound Nikki Smith, was the best team he ever coached. Sigler said the 2004-05 state semifinal team, which went 25-2, was his most fulfilling team.
One of Sigler's regrets is that he never coached at the collegiate level. He said he wanted to coach at BGSU, but the Falcons hired Fran Voll instead.
Sigler had already retired as a physical education teacher in 2001. He and his wife of close to 47 years, Karen, have two children, Jerry Jr. and Gretchen.
Sigler has credited Karen, who has been the team's scorekeeper since the 1992-93 season, for sticking with him through the last three-plus decades.
"She's sacrificed a lot for this to happen," he said. "When you coach that many years your family sacrifices. She's been there through the good and the bad."
Karen, speaking to Northview fans and staff, said, "Coach and I have enjoyed working with each of you throughout his career. We hope to continue the relationships we have developed."
Despite Sigler’s retirement, the tradition he started continues. On the night he was honored, Kendall Jessing had a double-double (17 points, 12 rebounds) in helping her team cruise to a lopsided victory over visiting Northern Lakes League foe Napoleon, 48-24, under new coach Brittany Cymbolin.
Members of the new class include Charles “Chuck” Daniels ’97 of Ottawa; Tanea Green ’03 of Cincinnati; Joe Moore ’74 of Oregon; Bob Sutyak ’93 of Perry; Kyle Weisenburger ’03 of Ottawa; and Clayton Westerbeck ’96 of Sidney.
Moore was a Findlay College baseball player who was named, during his senior year, Findlay’s Most Valuable Player, All-Hoosier Buckeye Conference, All-National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics District 22, All-NAIA Area IV and was selected to the American Association of College Baseball Coaches Collegiate All-America Team.
In 1974, Moore recorded a .677 slugging percentage while collecting 25 runs batted-in and four triples, with 42 total bases. During his career, he recorded 45 runs batted-in, a .500 slugging percentage and five triples. Moore has worked in both production and distribution for Spartan Chemical Co. Inc. he and his wife reside in Oregon.
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