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Western Reserve football coach Mike Stoll to retire

By ZOE GRESZLER and MARK HAZELWOOD • Updated May 3, 2018 at 2:37 AM

COLLINS — After a successful two-plus decade run as head football coach, and more than 35 years of teaching, one of Western Reserve Local School’s “good leaders” announced this is his last year with the school.

Mike Stoll submitted his letter of intent to retire, which was considered by the board of education’s work session Wednesday night. 

“He’s been here for a long time and he’s taught for (about 36 years),” said board treasurer Brett Robson. “He’s been here for a long time ... (and) has been a great addition.”

Board president Jamie White said she remembers Stoll teaching both her and her sister science when they were in school.

“He was one of the mainstays of our high school,” Superintendent Rodge Wilson said. “We depended on him a lot. He was a good leader. He taught kids a lot inside, and outside the classroom.”

Stoll’s teams finished with an overall record of 119-95 in 21 seasons at Western Reserve. He led the Roughriders to two Firelands Conference championships and two Division V playoff appearances, both which came in the 2010 and 2012 seasons.

The 2010 season saw Western finish with an unbeaten regular season, and the program’s first FC title in 20 years. The ‘Riders hosted a playoff game for the first and only time in history since the OHSAA went to the eight-team format in 1999.

In 2012, Western went 8-2 in the regular season, sharing the FC title with St. Paul. Entering 2018, the ‘Riders are the last FC team to beat St. Paul in that season six years ago.

Under Stoll, the ‘Riders have had 11 winning seasons since 2002.

When asked if the board knew Stoll’s reasons for retirement this year, Wilson said it was just the right time.

“There comes a time in everyone’s career when they’re eligible to retire. Everyone picks a different time for different reasons, and this was just the time for him,” he said. “He’s been eligible to retire for a few years, so he’s probably excited that it’s time to stop.”

The board will follow the standard hiring process to replace Stoll, first inquiring from within the school, however, the board noted this would not be an easy task.

“You can’t fill the shoes of William Stoll,” Wilson said.

In other business, the board had little information on the status of girls basketball coach Laura Pierson, who has had rumors circulating around her since the school removed her as coach after alleged 'inappropriate behavior’ linked to text messages with her players.

Wilson said in April that the board was waiting to see if Pierson would apply to continue as the school’s basketball coach. When asked if the school had received such an application, Wilson said he wasn’t sure.

“I have not talked to the athletic director recently, so I don’t know yet,” he said before Wednesday’s meeting. “It (the time to submit the application) probably expired Monday or Tuesday; it’s real recent. It just expired.”

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