Former Troy football coach Nolan headed to hall of fame


By David Fong

dfong@aimmediamidwest.com

TROY — Steve Nolan didn’t grow up dreaming of being a part of the Troy football team’s legendary program.

In fact, until he applied for the vacant head coaching job in 1984, Nolan had never even heard of it.

“Never,” Nolan said. “When I heard of Troy, the first thing I thought about was ancient Troy, to be honest with you.”

It didn’t take Nolan — who grew up in western Pennsylvania and took his first head coaching job at Conneaut High School in northeast Ohio — to fall in love once he and his family got here that first autumn, however.

“How could you not?” Nolan said. “It’s a great place to raise a family. It’s a great place to be. My wife and my daughters loved it here. We knew pretty early on this is where we wanted to be.”

Which, for nearly 30 years, was a good thing for the Troy football program.

After taking over in 1984, Nolan would spend 28 years in Troy, becoming — by far — the winningest coach in school history. This weekend, he’ll be one of five inductees into the Troy Athletic Hall of Fame Class of 2017. He’ll be joined by track and field coach Herb Hartman (1968-present), basketball player Dick Steineman (class of 1973), gymnast and track athlete Rob Evans (class of 1978) and volleyball/basketball player Stacy Pahl Schretzman (class of 1985).

The five will be introduced at the Troy football team’s home game against Bellefontaine Friday, then formally inducted in a ceremony Saturday at the Crystal Room in Troy.

“It’s a tremendous honor,” Nolan said. “I’m obviously very happy to have been considered.”

It didn’t take Nolan long to make his mark on the Trojan football program. He went 8-2 in his first season as head coach, then went 12-1 the next year, guiding the Trojans to the Division I state semifinals, the deepest playoff run in school history, where they eventually lost to nationally ranked Cincinnati Moeller.

From 1984 until his retirement following the 2011 season, Nolan went 202-98 at Troy (251-119 overall as a head coach, inclduing his time at Conneaut and Troy Christian, where he coached for several years after retiring from Troy), making him one of the winningest coaches in Ohio high school football history. His teams at Troy captured eight conference championships, made 11 playoff appearances and put together three undefeated regular seasons.

He was a nine-time Greater Miami Valley Conference and Greater Western Ohio Conference coach of the year, as well as the Associated Press Division I Southwest District Coach of the Year and Ohio Division I Co-Coach of the Year in 1996. That year, the Trojans were crowned AP Division I poll champions after going undefeated during the regular season and spent two weeks in the USA Today Top 25.

Nolan gives much of the credit for his success to his assistant coaches, along with hundreds of talented players. Just a small sampling of the players he coached includes Kris Dielman — who went on to be a multi-time Pro Bowl offensive lineman with the San Diego Chargers, Mr. Football Ohio 1998 winner Ryan Brewer and Jason Manson, the 1996 Division I Co-Defensive Player of the Year.

“I really did have some great kids,” Nolan said. “I was very fortunate in that regard. I was figuring it up the other day and I had about 800 seniors who graduated from our program. We had a lot of great football players, but we had even more great young men. That was always the most important goal for our program — to produce great young men. A lot of the guys I coached are adults now, and I’m proud of what they’ve become.

“I was also lucky to have some great assistant coaches throughout the years. You can’t have a successful program without great assistants. And obviously I couldn’t have done what I was able to do without the support of my wife Marietta and my daughters, Brandy and Alyssa.”

Contact David Fong at dfong@aimmediamidwest.com; follow him on Twitter @thefong

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Anthony Weber | Troy Daily News Former Troy football coach Steve Nolan will be inducted into the Troy Athletic Hall of Fame this weekend. Photo Courtesy of Lee Woolery | Speedshot Photo Former Troy football coach Steve Nolan calls in plays against Piqua in this 2010.
http://www.tdn-net.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/21/2017/09/web1_nolan_headset.jpgAnthony Weber | Troy Daily News Former Troy football coach Steve Nolan will be inducted into the Troy Athletic Hall of Fame this weekend. Photo Courtesy of Lee Woolery | Speedshot Photo Former Troy football coach Steve Nolan calls in plays against Piqua in this 2010.

http://www.tdn-net.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/21/2017/09/web1_nolan.jpg
Coach won 202 games at Troy