AVON LAKE, Ohio - Friday nights are going to be a little different this fall in Avon Lake. For the first time in 21 years the Shoreman football team won't be led by Dave Dlugosz.
Family, friends and former players came out to the Aherns Party Center this weekend to say thank you to a very popular coach, teacher and friend of the Avon Lake community.
"Really i'm overwhelmed," Dlugosz said. "What a great turnout, it's great to see my old ballplayers, there's doctors out there, there's engineers out there, our state representative I had as a student. It's so fun to see the generations melting together."
The retirement ceremony was emceed by NewsChannel 5 sports anchor Mike Cairns, whose kids had Dlugosz both as a coach and for a teacher.
Also in attendance was former Ohio State football coach and current University of Akron Vice President of Strategic Engagement Jim Tressel.
"I have admired Dave Dlugosz for a long time," Tressel said. "Loyal to his community, loyal to his players. i can't even imagine the impact he's had on this school system and community. It's an honor being here to honor him."
As for the future, Dlugosz will still be visible on the sidelines with the Shoreman this year because new head coach Larry Laird has asked coach Dlugosz to come back and coach the offensive line and linebackers. Dlugosz is looking forward to the reduced role going forward.
"I'm still going to be involved in that part, but I've got to believe there's not going to be as much pressure on Friday nights now. Also I'm not going to have to worry about grades, not worrying about tracking kids down as far as behavior is concerned and so forth, that's all his (coach Laird) ballgame now."
In 21 season as the Shoreman head coach. Dlugosz won 18 southwest conference championships, 15 playoff appearances and won the division two state championship in 2003. Dlugosz retires with a 200-44 career record.