Athletic Director steps down after 35 years at the helm

(Plain Press, April 2007) Rich J. Wild, Athletic Director at St. Ignatius of Antioch Parish at Lorain Avenue and West Boulevard for the past 35 years, announced he is stepping down at the end of the Winter Sports season. Wild was honored at the Ignatius Basketball Association (IBA) Championship Night on March 10th 2007.

The IBA Championship Night proved to be an appropriate venue to honor Wild. The IBA is the largest of the programs run by St. Ignatius Athletic Program. This year over 300 students from 49 public and private Cleveland area schools participated in IBA’s 28 teams and two cheerleading squads.
The IBA features four leagues for elementary school students plus girls and boys high school Catholic Youth Organization teams. “I know of no other program in this city that is bigger being held in one facility,” said Wild in “The Coaches Corner.”

Wild went on to praise the coaches and volunteers that have made this effort possible saying “Only with the dedication of so many of our loyal coaches and volunteers is this possible. I can’t say enough about all those who give so freely of their time and talent to make Saturdays at St. Ignatius an event that the kids will fondly remember for a lifetime.”

In the Antioch League, six teams made up of third grade boys and girls compete. The Pirates, coached by Ray Szcepaniak, Kristina Martens and Kathrin Martens faced the Wolves coached by Stephen Gillespie and Kathy Lockyer in the Championship Game.

Five teams made up of 4th and 5th grade boys compete in the Vatican League. In this year’s Championship Game, the Gregorian Panthers coached by Mike Hoag and Jim Gerrick faced the Papal Guard Friars coached by Andrew Suvak and Paul Doerner.

In the Girls Varsity League, five teams of 4th to 8th grade girls compete. Playing in this year’s championship game were the Holy Cross Lady Crusaders coached by Steven Hanigosky, Phil Swinderman and Melanie Gallagher and the Loyola Lady Ramblers coached by Tiffany Jarus and Meredith Hanigosky.

The Boys Varsity League consists of ten teams of 6th to 8th grade boys. In the Championship Game the Marquette Golden Eagles coached by Ron Bunner, Devon Wood, Mike Murphy and Parker Urban faced the Villanova Wildcats coached by Joe Dackiewicz, Ryan Dackiewicz, Tom Hrbek, John McHugh, Josh Pecek and Jonathan Eagan.

At the IBA Championship ceremonies, four people were inducted into the St. Ignatius of Antioch Sports Hall of Fame: Dennis Donelon, the late Patrick “Doc” Gallagher, Dave Szymczak and Ward 18 Councilman Jay Westbrook.

Patrick McDaniel has accepted the position as the new Athletic/Activities Director at St. Ignatius of Antioch Parish. McDaniel is a W. 98th Street resident and a lifelong member of the parish. McDaniel, attended St. Ignatius School where he played baseball, football and basketball. He led the IBA league in scoring while playing for the Villanova Wildcats when he was in the 8th grade. McDaniel is a graduate of Holy Name High School and University of Akron. He was part of the Akron basketball squad that made it to the NCAA Playoffs in 1986.


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