Place resigns after three seasons as Ponitz football coach


Place resigns after three seasons as Ponitz football coach

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Ponitz head football coach Jim Place (right) and players. A generous donation by Ron Hemelgarn, a Chaminade grad, 1996 Indy 500 winner/owner and good friend of Ponitz head football coach Jim Place funded the Ron Hemelgarn Training Center at Ponitz last summer. MARC PENDLETON / STAFF

Jim Place, among the most traveled high school head football coaches in area history, has resigned after three seasons at Ponitz Career Technology Center in Dayton.

Ponitz was a combined 14-16 under Place, including 3-7 this year. The Golden Panthers finished this season by defeating Cincinnati Hughes 33-8 to snap a four-game losing skid. Ponitz is a Southwest Ohio Public League National Division member for football only and Dayton City League member in all other sports.

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A former University of Dayton football captain and Canton native, Place was the head coach at, in order: Northwestern, Beavercreek, Stebbins, Middletown, Chaminade Julienne, Hamilton, Cincinnati Withrow and Ponitz.

He estimated his career record at 260-184-2. His greatest success was guiding CJ to a D-II state championship in 2002 with sophomore Javon Ringer in the backfield.

“I can truly say that it was all great,” Place said in a statement, “the players, the student body, the administration and the staff. Being a Panther was such a rewarding experience. The only down side was missing time with my family.”

A relatively new varsity program, Ponitz was a program-best 7-3 in 2016 and landed Deedgar Cooks in the Ohio North vs. South All-Star Game.

Also this week, Lance Engleka resigned at Middletown after two seasons, citing death threats, and Shawn Lamb resigned after 14 seasons as Lebanon’s head coach.

Place cited missing family time as the main reason for leaving Ponitz.

“It is now time for me to move on to my next phase of life: Full time grandfather to my nine grandchildren,” he said. “This is the reason for my decision to give it up.”

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