BOARDMAN, Ohio (WKBN) — The gym inside of Boardman High School was a littler quieter Wednesday after the school district lost one of its own.
Boardman basketball coach Ron Moschella has died at the age of 72. He coached at the school for 31 years and retired with more than 700 career wins.
“You’ve heard the phrase ‘they broke the mold when they made someone.’ That phrase definitely goes to coach Moschella,” said Jeff Hammerton.
Hammerton, assistant athletic director and girls basketball coach at Boardman High School, shared some insights on Moschella’s era at Boardman.
“One thing he used to always talk about is what the girls became after they graduated,” Hammerton said. “He was always so much more happy for their successes in life than it was on the court.”
Moschella spent over three decades with the Boardman girls basketball program, leading the Spartans to 14 district championships and two trips to the state Final Four. He also coached the Columbiana girls to five straight league titles.
“People would judge him by his the way he coached on game day, but what they didn’t get to see is his huge heart,” said Boardman Schools Superintendent Tim Saxton. “He just absolutely cared about his athletes and about his girls. He was like a second father to them.”
Moschella was no stranger to the Boardman gym after stepping down. He was even brought back on the bench recently.
“It’s not just for all the successes he’s had but it’s because of the impact he had on so many kids,” Hammerton said.
Hammerton said no one can replace Moschella.
“I want the passion that he had for the game, he embodied in the girls. And that’s how the girls played — and I think if you’ve seen our team play this year, I think you see a lot of coach Moschella in them,” Hammerton said
Saxton and Hammerton said the district needs time to appropriately honor Moschella because of the great impact he made on the school
Calling hours will be from 2-6 p.m. on Sunday, Jan. 8 at the Boardman High School gym. Calling hours will also take place on Monday, Jan. 9 from 10-11 a.m. at St. Charles Church in Boardman, followed by a funeral Mass at the church at 11 a.m.