A change in perspective, personally and professionally, has led Mike DeStazio to resign as girls basketball coach at Woodmore High School after nine successful seasons.
DeStazio, 48, who spent 22 total seasons coaching girls and boys teams at Woodmore, posted a 142-55 varsity girls record since taking the post in 1994-95. That win total is the highest for any coach in any sport at Woodmore.
The coach's wife, Sharon, 47, underwent chemotherapy treatment for six months after being diagnosed with colon cancer last May, a life-changing event for the family.
“That made me look at things in a new light,'' DeStazio said. “I started to think, maybe life is too short. We became a lot closer as a family. She had a major surgery, but she is doing well now. In fact, she's the one who talked me into coaching this year.''
The DeStazio family includes two grown daughters, 28 and 22.
Some turbulence within the Woodmore family, from DeStazio's perspective, is what ultimately led him to resign after the Wildcats went 12-9 this year.
“It's in my better interest to move on,'' DeStazio said. “There are some things going on with the administration and the school board at Woodmore at this time that are different from my philosophy. I've seen more negative things take place in the last three months involving students and staff than I had in all the 22 years I've been there.
“With my commitment to my family and my wife's condition, it's best for me to resign.''
DeStazio, a 1973 Woodmore graduate, declined to specify the matters involving the school's administration, the school board or the students. He has been an automotive instructor at the Penta Career Center, a vocational education facility in Perrysburg, for 26 years, and said he may also retire from teaching within a year or two.
After going 19-1 as girls junior-varsity coach in 1993-94, DeStazio moved up the following season and won a Suburban Lakes League title, finishing 17-4. He added a league crown in 1996-97 when the Wildcats ended 20-3. His teams reached the district final in three of his final four seasons, with the 2001-02 team ending at 19-6 with a loss in a regional semifinal, the best tournament run ever for the girls program.
Counting his seasons as junior varsity boys and girls coach, DeStazio totaled 320 victories over 22 years.
“We're losing a good coach,” Woodmore athletic director Dave Madaras said. “He's done some really good things with our kids and he's put a lot of time and effort into our school during the summer and during the season. I've always gotten along with Mike very well and I'm really going to miss him.”
The 22nd annual Wood County Cage Classic will be played Friday at Bowling Green High with the girls game at 6:30 p.m., followed by the boys game.
Tickets are $5 for adults and $4 for students - good for both games - at the door. Profits are returned to the schools for their athletic departments.
The schools represented are Bowling Green, Eastwood, Elmwood, Lake, Lakota, North Baltimore, Northwood, Otsego, Perrysburg and Rossford.