Miami Valley Football Coaches Association set to unveil new public home for Hall of Fame

The Miami Valley Football Coaches Association’s Hall of Fame has a new home.

After leaving Welcome Stadium during that facility’s renovations, a new display for the MVFCA HOF will be unveiled at the Dayton Mall in a ceremony Thursday night.

The newest inductees — Dick Hoppe, Terry Ward and Dave Haines — will also receive their pins during the festivities.

From 1969-77, Hoppe was the head coach at Fairmont West, where he posted a 66-31-3 record and won the Western Ohio League twice.

Ward was an assistant at Sidney for 30 years spent 11 seasons as defensive coordinator for Lehman Catholic.

Haines was the head coach at Sidney from 1960-74 and went 85-60-3 with three undefeated Miami Valley League championship squads (1968-70). He is joining the Legends branch of the hall that was established in 2014 to honor coaches who preceded the MVFCA’s inception.

“There’s a little bit of confusion in regards to the actual starting date of the Miami Valley Football Coaches Association,” said association HOF chair Eric Gillespie, who coached at Fairborn, Hamilton and Springfield. “It was some time in the early ‘70s, so there are a lot of legendary coaches who predated the association so we wanted a way to honor some of those guys so every year we pick a ‘Legends’ hall of famer, a guy who was active from 1970 and before. There are some really legendary guys out there, so we’ve been picking a head coach and assistant coach and a legend here for the last handful of years.”

Welcome Stadium was originally picked for its central location and because it frequently hosted high-profile events, but the mall will offer a unique opportunity for the HOF to be easily visible for anyone who happens to pay a visit.

Gillespie credited long-time coach Jim Place, a Hall of Fame member who coached at multiple area schools and led Chaminade Julienne to a state championship in 2002, for connecting the HOF and the mall after exploring multiple other options.

“He reached out to 15 or 16 other people got a lot of ‘No’s, and then the Dayton Mall jumped in with both hands and both feet so we’re excited to to house it there,” Gillespie said. “So I haven’t seen it out there, but yet, but it’s gonna be unique.”

The MVFCA Hall of Fame inducted its first class in 2012 and will consist of 22 members once Hoppe is inducted: Bob Gregg (Jefferson Twp., Centerville), Al Herrick (Versailles), Jay Niswonger (Valley View), Jim Place (Northwestern, Beavercreek, Stebbins, Middletown, Chaminade Julienne, Hamilton, Withrow, Ponitz), Mike Schneider (Miamisburg, Wayne), Jame VanDegrift (Lebanon), John Aregood (Franklin, Carlisle), Tom Montgomery (Roth, Dunbar), Hank Scheider (Miamisburg, Stebbins), Chuck Asher (Piqua Catholic, Piqua, Sidney Lehman), Howard Sales (Oakwood), Ned Booher (Northmont), Steve Dewitt (Catholic Central), Jim Spoerl (Carroll), Ken Amlin (Roth, Patterson, C-J), Ed Domsitz (Alter), Jim Villinger (Cedarville), Rick Robertson (Springfield North, Fairmont, Springfield), Pat Masters (Meadowdale), Steve Bartlett (Carroll, Southeastern, Miami Trace) and Greg Peitsmeyer (Bellefontaine).

The previous Legends inductees are “Fuzzy” Faust (Chaminade and C-J), Glenn “Tiger” Ellison (Middletown), George Wertz (Piqua), James Eby (Trotwood-Madison, Greenville, Colonel White), Wat Farrar (Milton-Union) and Jim McDermott (Belmont).

The members of the assistant coaches HOF, which was created in 2009, are Larry Noffsinger, Tom Cobey, Jackie Failles Sr., Mike Granger, Joel Householder, Gary Jackson, Mark McCormick, Dan Kodak, Rick Krejci, Bob Levy, Dan Allen, Bill O’Neal, Jack Ward, Pat Wood, Tuffy Thompson, John Zaidain, Alfred Powell, Rick Thompson, Rex Plymale, Jerry Scrivner, Jerry Puckett, Larry Thoele, Bill Haggy, Terry Shanks, Albert Powell, William Dinger, Jack Hollow, Dave King, Dave Miller Sr., Doug Peck, Carl Biechler, Tom Flohre, Rick Roberts, Charlie Schoenberger, Mark Smith, Rocky Day, Brent Nance, Jeff Eckley, Mike McKenna, Bob Young, John Fantauzzo, Denny Good, Norm Lewis, Doug Swartz, Jack Stout, Sidney Booker, Dave Tobias, Mack Bottorff, Bob Zolman, Mike Anderson, David “Doc” Amlin, Jim Dimitroff, Bob Franz, Greg Hale, Tom Massi, Jim Benetis, Tony Rulli and Matt Bartley.

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