Michael Dennis was born and raised in Loudonville, Ohio. Mike was a very active child who loved playing sports. Whenever possible, he would get some type of game started in his backyard, with his neighbors or brothers and sisters.
Michael graduated from Loudonville High School in 1979 and during that time he earned seven varsity letters, three in football two in basketball and two in track.
During his senior year, Michael was compared to the legendary Jack Augenstein (1998 HOF member) because of the many honors and awards he received. In his senior year the football team went 10-0 and Michael was named First Team All-Johnny Appleseed Conference on both offense and defense. He was awarded by his teammates as co-outstanding performer. The Ashland Times-Gazette and Mansfield News Journal gave him the nod as a First Team Tight End. In the Northeast Ohio District, Michael was “AA” first team Defensive Back and was selected as Defensive Lineman of the Year. In the All-Ohio “AA” teams, he was UPI First Team Tight End and AP First Team Defensive Back. Michael was the first Loudonville football player to received All-State First Team recognition in the “AA” classification. Today, Michael still holds the record for the average per catch at 29 yards.
In basketball, Michael was the team captain his senior year. He was First Team Johnny Appleseed Conference and was also First Team Ashland Times Gazette and the Ohio Observer (Mansfield area). Michael was the first Loudonville player selected to play in the inaugural Mansfield News Journal’s North-South game. In 1987, Michael was a member of the first class to be inducted into Loudonville’s Athletic Hall of Fame.
After high school, Michael attended Ashland University and graduated in 1983 with a Bachelors of Science Degree in Education with teaching areas of Physical Education, Health and Special Education. While at Ashland, Michael participated in football. He was a four-year Letterman. Co-Captain his senior year and was part of two Conference Championships. Michael was voted most improved, selected First Team All-Heartland Academic and Honorable Mention All-Conference as an offensive guard. After graduation, the Pittsburgh Steelers invited him for a tryout. Since then, he has gone back to earn a Masters Degree of Education from the University of Findlay and now is close to completing his degree in School Administration.
Michael is starting his nineteenth year in education and is now into his sixteenth year at Hardin Northern Local Schools. He has taught physical education, health, and learning disabilities during his tenure. Twice he has been named to “Who’s Who Among American Teachers.” He is a member of the Core Team that deals with promoting a chemical-free lifestyle with the school district. He is also school’s representative for the American Lung Association. Michael has also been busying coaching football for nineteen years, basketball for fifteen years, track for two years, and softball for one year. In football, he has also been part of eight conference championships as a defensive coordinator. Hardin Northern has been Division VI State Runner-up and has made the final four two other times. In basketball, Michael was a head coach four years and during those years he was selected to coach two all-star games.
Michael is the son of Alfred and Marie Dennis. He has three older brothers and two younger sisters. Mike would like to extend a special thanks to his parents along with his brothers and sisters for all their sacrifices and support in allowing him to participate in athletics and excelling in them. He also would like to credit his coaches, teammates and Loudonville community for his success.
Michael has been married to Denise Lortz for the past 14 years. They have three children, Aysha, Michael and Megan.
Nominator: Connie Dennis