Valley coaches reflect on Ron Moschella's legacy
Legendary high school basketball coach Ron Moschella passed away Wednesday at the age of 72.
Those who coached with Moschella describe him as a dedicated coach who loved the game of basketball. He was still an assistant coach in this current season at Boardman High School.
"He loved the game and he loved the kids," said Jeff Hammerton, Boardman Girls Basketball Coach. "His passion for the game is just something that you can't match with anybody and he is Boardman Girls Basketball. As a coach, he built that program to what it was."
Coaches around the Valley told 21 News how much of an honor it was to work alongside Moschella. Dozens were inspired by his coaching style, dedication to the game, and how much he cared for his players.
"All the successes that he had on the court, he always worried about the girls outside of basketball more," Hammerton added. "He taught them how to compete and how to succeed. When they moved on and graduated, he was always so much prouder about how they became successes in life."
"He was always prepared. His kids were disciplined. He believed in the fundamentals and he was just a great coach," said John Hritz, Leetonia Girls Basketball Coach.
Valley coaches who knew Moschella best say his demanding, gruff coaching style led him to quite a successful career.
"Just being around the man and just seeing his mannerisms it was an honor being a 23-year-old coach and looking up to Ron Moschella," said Andy Saxon, Girard Girls Basketball Coach.
Saxon admired his "intense" coaching strategies and enjoyed working with Moschella when Girard and Boardman played each other in scrimmages. "He tells you like it is. He doesn't hold any punches back. He's very passionate about what he does and that makes him an excellent coach."
"He inspires me all the time," Hammerton added. "His work ethic too, practices would be a couple of hours and then after would be breaking down film. He's taught me so much as a basketball coach but he's taught me so much about life and building relationships. That's really what coaching is about."
"I always laugh I said, 'I got about 150 more victories to catch up to you," Saxon said. Moschella has over 600 wins in his coaching career.
"He expected 110% from all of his players. That's what he got," Hritz added. "You don't find too many coaches like him anymore."
"Coach Moschella's legacy stretches long beyond the basketball court," Hammerton added. "He's touched so many lives and he'll be sorely missed by myself. I speak for everyone in Boardman and in the basketball community that he is truly missed by everybody."