Dave Kirk laid at lasting impact to a generation at Chagrin both in the classroom as an English teacher and as coach to our Tiger runners. He led the Track and Field program from 1990-2014 and Boys Cross Country Team from 1990-2010. Under his tenure, 80 athletes earned All-Ohio recognition and 19 athletes qualified to the National Championships. His teams also won a State Championship and two State Runners-up titles. Additionally, Dave has played an integral role in the writing, organization, and implementation of the “Ohio Plan” as it is referred to by the United States Olympic Committee Paralympic Division which has become a national model for other states looking to provide opportunities for disabled athletes to compete in track & field. He was inducted into the Ohio Track & Field Hall of Fame in 2012, He continues to volunteer his time to the Department of Defense Warrior Games and has worked with both the Marine Corps and the Army in hosting this event that promotes the successful recovery and reintegration of our nation’s wounded, ill, and injured service members and veterans through adaptive sports competition. A published author, including an article in Olympic Coach, Dave has presented at the USOC National Leadership Conference as well as participated in the National High Performance Summit held by the USOC at the University of Illinois.
Pete Olah was the Head Varsity Cross Country and Track Coach from 1988 – 2000, a period which saw our women’s program come to be a dominant force in Ohio. The team broke out in 1990 at the OHSAA State Cross Country Championships with a 6th place finish. The following year the runners would easily outdistance the competition and earn Chagrin its first team title in 20 years. In 1992, the Tigers returned to Columbus and finished as Runners-Up. Over his 22 seasons his teams earned 3 district championships, 3 district runner-up finishes, and 4 CVC titles. Individually Pete helped to guide 189 Regional Qualifiers, 36 State qualifiers, and 20 State placers. With the success came many honors including being selected CVC Coach of the Year four times (1991 – 1994), Geauga Times Leader Geauga County Girls Cross Country Coach of the Year (1990), Geauga Times Leader Coach of the Year (1991), Ohio Association Of Track and Cross Country Coaches District 2 Coach of the Year (Girls Cross Country in 1991). Pete was also an integral part of the wrestling program in his role as Assistant Varsity Coach during the 1980s & 1990s. The program produced a Regional Runner-Up team finish, over 20 state qualifiers including 9 placers and 2 runners-up. In addition, Pete had a distinguished career as an industrial arts teacher for 34 years at Chagrin.
Up until 1991 Chagrin had won only one team state title, which had been 20 years prior with the boys cross country team. However, a group of young women would not only bring another state championship home, they would set the foundation for a program that has been revered throughout the state these past 25 years. Coming off a 6th place finish at the 1990 OHSAA State Cross Country Championship, the girls coach Pete Olah and boys coach Dave Kirk would set up a challenging season and some grueling practices. The varsity squad consisted of Seniors Elizabeth “Tiggy” Hopkins, Amy Michel, and Sarah McGuire; Juniors Courtney Michel, Jennifer Priem, Lori Fisher, and Kerry Schoelch; Sophomores Marie Irvin, Beth Wurster, and Christie Grano; and freshmen Casey Abley and Cortney DeGross. This line-up dominated throughout the fall and in Columbus. They placed 1st at Wadsworth, Cunra, & Sim Erich Invitationals, 2nd at Malone College, and 3rd at Kirtland. In addition, they were undefeated in non-league meets and were co-champions of the CVC with Twinsburg. At the 14th OHSAA Girls Cross Country Championships, the Lady Tigers amassed 90 points easily outdistancing runner-up Findlay Liberty Benton who had 120. Of the 17 teams and 161 runners, Courtney Michel would lead pace for the Tigers finishing 19th overall. Although they would lose three key seniors, they would go on to finish as runners-up in 1992. As of 2016, the Lady Tigers cross country team has made it to the state championships 11 times in the 39 year history of OHSAA girls cross country. Since 1982 there was only a five year stretch when the OHSAA fielded just two divisions compared to three. This period was from 1989-93, which makes the Lady Tigers success during this time even more impressive.
Professional bowling was one of the leading sports in America in the 1960s & 1970s, which is when Harry Smith ‘49 was considered one of the most outstanding bowlers. He began his career in his teens competing throughout Cleveland. He would eventually perform with a team in Detroit followed by a move to St. Louis. Through this time his reputation grew to a point where his competitors called him “Tiger” due to his fierce competitiveness. Harry would go on to win 12 Professional Bowlers Association (PBA) titles and 3 American Bowling Congress (ABC) championships. His play earned him All-American status in 1959-60, 1962-63, and 1964-65. Over his career he bowled 12 sanctioned 300 games and had an 843 series. He would average 199 for 25 ABC tournament appearances. Bowler’s Journal International Magazine selected the 100 best bowlers of the 20th Century and placed Harry 37th on the list. His illustrious career would garner many honors from being a charter member of the PBA Hall of Fame, ABC Hall of Fame, and Greater Cleveland Sports Hall of Fame to name just a few.
The Chagrin baseball program has had a rich history and arguably one of the best that has donned the Tiger uniform is Matt Crawford. During his freshman year, he was brought on as a varsity starter, a role that he would not relinquish. Matt would find tremendous success at the plate, on the field, and on the mound. His greatest achievements came during his senior season where he helped lead the team to their best record, 26 – 3, and a regional finalist finish going 9 – 0 on the mound. During this 2001 season, he set the school record for hits in a season at 53 and runs batted in with 41. With this success came several honors including being a two-time 1st Team CVC member. Matt was selected All-Ohio and 1st Team News Herald. Additionally, he was a Plain Dealer All-Star, which at the time covered the best 10 players in northeastern Ohio. His career batting average of .478 is the highest in Chagrin history and he still holds the Chagrin record of 119 career hits. Matt’s .558 batting average his senior season is 2nd all-time in Chagrin history. Matt would continue his baseball career at Wright State University. He was a four-year varsity letter winning pitcher and co-captain of the team during his senior season. He was also selected Horizon League Pitcher of the Week.
David helped to guide the resurgence of Chagrin football when he quarterbacked the Tigers to 28 wins, three playoff appearances, and three CVC titles in a three year span. He would complete his football career as the winningest quarterback in Chagrin history. He would also be the leader in passing yardage while throwing for over 1200 yards in each of his three seasons at the helm. His sophomore and senior years garnered selection as Honorable Mention All State, 1st Team Northeastern Ohio, and 1st Team Geauga County Touchdown Club in football. His success was also notable in basketball where he was a 4 year varsity starter. David would finish his hoops career in the 10 in points and assists at Chagrin. He was a two-year captain of the basketball squad, while he held the same honor during his senior season in football. David also earned 1st Team CVC honors his senior year and honorable mention in both his sophomore and junior years. Additionally David was selected in both sports with multiple Plain Dealer and News Herald player of the week awards.
The eleven seniors of the class of 1964 had a four year record of 31-0-2. During this four year streak they scored 977 points to their opponents 184. That’s an average score of 30-6. Bob Shutts (QB-S) and Barry Furst (OE-ILB) were the co-captains for this team during their senior year. The other 9 seniors were John Bourisseau (OT-DT-punter), Pete DeGreen (C), Bill Grubich (G-ILB), Miles McKearney (G), Jim Miles (C), Joel Moorhead (G), Jim Murley (RB), George Reitz (OE), Tom Zeleznik (OT). As freshmen, their Head Coach was John Piai, Sophomore year was Ralph Quesinberry, and then John Piai for their junior and senior years. Assistant coaches were Bill Morgan, Don Chadwick, Jack Stanton and Jim Hoppel. The East County League included Solon and many of the traditional teams that we still play today like Orange, Kenston and West Geauga. The Seniors of ’64 are thankful for the significant contributions of the class of’62, ’63 & ’65 who all own a piece of this remarkable feat.
Katie Stancik Hanson 2007 enjoyed a stellar career running for the Tigers and at Allegheny College. She earned CVC MVP honors in cross country in 2003 & 2004, while also doing the same in track in 2006. She qualified for the OHSAA State Championship in cross country and track all four years, while being awarded All-Ohio status with her 18th place finish in 2005, which helped her team finish 3rd in the state in cross country. OHSAA All-District and All-Region honors were achieved all four years in both cross sports as well. In her junior year, her 4x800m relay team finished 5th at the OHSAA Indoor Track & Field State Championship Meet, while her senior year they took runner-up honors. In the spring, she ran the anchor leg of the 4x800m relay, which placed each of her four years with a 3rd place finish her senior year. Her classroom success earned her Academic All-Ohio honors in her last three years in both sports. Katie would additionally be recognized with the CVC Sportsmanship Award, Chagrin Falls 12 Sport Award, Plain Dealer Player of the Week, & News-Herald Player of the Week. In the winter, she would be a valuable member of the Lady Tigers Basketball Team. Katie would go on to Allegheny College where she was a 3 sport captain and 1st Team selection to the North Coast Athletic Conference in cross country, indoor track & field, & outdoor track & field. One of the many highlights of her collegiate career was her participation in the 2007 NCAA Division III National Championship in cross country. Recently Katie qualified and completed the 2017 Boston Marathon.
Mr. “Q” not only had a terrific athletic career at CFHS, but he helped to establish the tremendous success of Chagrin athletics over these past 40 years. His passion for children and fitness as a physical education teacher has built the foundation for students to embrace not only sports, but having a strong character. His efforts were not overlooked as he was selected the Teacher of the Year in 1995. Dave took over the girls track program in 1981 and helped build the girls track and field program into the regional and state level program it is today. During Dave’s tenure as coach, school records were set in all 16 girls events, six of which are still on the books. Dave was also the Cross Country Head Coach (1972 – 76) where he took 2 girls’ teams to state. Mr. “Q” has spent his most time in basketball where he has spent 22 years as a coach for teams from 8th Grade to Varsity with 4 undefeated seasons and over 350 wins. As a CFHS student athlete himself, he earned four varsity Letters in his senior year in addition to being named 1st Team All-CVC in Baseball. Dave’s impact on Chagrin students was also made by being a founding member of the Dad’s Club, Co-Commissioner of CAA Softball for 10 years and oversaw Q Sports where over 200 kids would take part every session.
Megan Anderson was a 3 sport star at Chagrin, earning 12 Varsity letters (volleyball, basketball, softball). Megan was a captain for all 3 sports her senior year. She would earn CVC 1st Team honors in volleyball (’96), basketball (’96), and softball (’96). Megan was a 1st Team All-Ohio selection (’96), All-District, and earned News-Herald Player of the Week honors. During her senior basketball season, she helped lead the 1997 team to a state runner-up finish. Megan would continue her basketball career at Wake Forest University.
Sean played a total of 41 games as a varsity Tiger football player. He started in every game including his freshman year. He was selected to the News Herald “All-Star” team all four years he played. As a sophomore, he was selected as the Fox 8 “Player of the Week.” Sean holds the CFHS record for the most rushing yards in a single season, and most career rushing yards on school records. He was voted 1st Team All CVC running back each year: ’96, ’97, ’98 and ’99. His diligence and attitude allowed him to be recognized by awards such as; All CVC and all Ohio all four years of his high school career. As a senior, Sean earned Division 4 Ohio offensive player of the year, Geauga County Touchdown Club MVP, winner of the Cleveland Touchdown Club most valuable player of the year, News Herald MVP, Chagrin Valley conference MVP and was named an All American. Sean’s College football opportunities were many. Teams interested included Penn St, Michigan, OSU, Notre Dame, Nebraska, Michigan State, Boston College and Maryland to name a few. He chose Penn St, where he played for 4 years being named captain by his peers his Sr. year, along with winning the Hall Foundation award for outstanding senior player. Sean was drafted by the Tennessee Titans. He also played for the Green Bay Packers, Detroit Lions, and went on to win a Super Bowl with the Pittsburgh Steelers.
Christine has one of the most distinguished athletic careers at Chagrin that earned her All-Ohio honors in three sports: Cross Country (2001), Swimming (2000-2003), and Track (2002 & 2003). She set school records at CFHS in 1600M & 3200M in Track and 100 Yard Breaststroke & 200 Yard Freestyle Relay in Swimming. In her senior year she placed 4 times at the State Swim Meet (6th in 100 yard backstroke & 200 yard IM and 2nd in 200 & 400 yard Freestyle Relays) & was 3rd in the 1600M race in the State Track Meet. Most notable was Christine’s selection as one of six national finalists from over 20,000 applicants for the Wendy’s High School Heisman Award, which honors seniors that have excelled in athletics, academics and community service. She took her talents to Denison University where she was a NCAA DIII National Championship qualifier in both cross country (2004 & 2005) and track (2005), North Coast Athletic Conference Champion (individual and team), and NCAA Academic All-American (XC 2006). Christine also is the school record holder in the Steeplechase.
Lauren has been a phenomenal swimmer at both the high school and collegiate level. She was a 4-time State Champion – 100 Freestyle (2000- 2003) and 2-time winner in the 200 Freestyle (2001, 2002). In both events Lauren set state records. She was also on the state runner-up 200 & 400 Freestyle Relays. Over her high career she was a 7 Time High School All-American – 100 Freestyle (2000 – 03) & 200 Freestyle (2001 – 03). The media took notice by naming her the News Herald Swimmer of the year (2001, 2002) and Plain Dealer Female Winter Athlete of the Year (2001-2002). Lauren would make her mark in college first at Penn State University before finishing at Case Western Reserve University. She would earn NCAA All-American status in 4 events in both 2005 (PSU) & 2007 (CWRU). Overall, Lauren set or still holds multiple records in individual or relays at CFHS (5), PSU (2), & CWRU (5). In addition, she was selected as the CWRU Female Athlete of the Year (2006-2007) and for the Flora Stone Mather Alumnae Award for outstanding academic achievement (2008).
Jeff has maintained his passion for basketball from his days playing in a packed CFHS gym to coaching over 400-plus victories as boys and girls varsity basketball coach in Pennsylvania. Both in high school and at Dickinson College, he was a two-sport standout. At Chagrin, Jeff captained the 1968-69 basketball team to the CVC crown, which would earn him recognition on the prestigious Plain Dealer Dream Team. He earned all-MAC mention in both sports, and was the recipient of the MacAndrew’s trophy, as the outstanding Dickinson athlete in 1972. Jeff was selected the MVP of the 1972 Sun Coast Classic where he tallied 28 points and 22 rebounds in the championship game versus Brandeis. He is one of two players to average a double-double for their career. Jeff still holds the single season rebounding record at the college. He is also the only Dickinson College basketball player to amass 300 points and 300 rebounds in two different seasons. Since his collegiate days, he has been a varsity head coach for both boys and girls in the state of Pennsylvania. In a nearly 40 year coaching career, he has numerous titles and over 400 victories. He has led teams to district playoff wins in all four classifications – A, AA, AAA, & AAAA.
Tim participated in the unique combination of football, wrestling, and tennis while at Chagrin. His greatest success came in football where he was a standout during one of the greatest eras of Tiger football. As a starting offensive guard and linebacker during his junior and senior years, he helped lead the Tigers to a 19 – 1 record where they were CVC Co-Champs in 1971 and undefeated and CVC Champs in 1972. He earned numerous honors from 1st team CVC, MVP in the CVC, All-Ohio and the Cleveland Touchdown Club recipient in football. He would take his talents to Rose-Hulman University in Indiana. Tim would play four years and would be selected as captain during his senior year playing middle linebacker. Even forty years since graduating from Rose-Hulman, he is still on the top ten list for unassisted tackles in a season with 71.