Coach Kick is a man who likes challenges, as his career has been exemplified by taking programs that were floundering and propelling them to a higher level. Over the years, Kick’s teams have had 402 victories. His career began at Upper Scioto Valley, a new consolidation of Alger, McGuffey and Roundhead, on to Patrick Henry, another new consolidation of Deshler, Halmer, and Malinta, to Kenton, then Ridgedale, and finally back home to Loudonville.
At Upper Scioto Valley, his team made 2 trips to the regionals and achieved an over-all record of 883-13. Kick was named District 8 Coach of the Year in both 1968 and 1969. At Patrick Henry, he had an undefeated season in 1973 and won 105 games in seven years. In 1973 and 1974, he was selected as District 7 Coach of the Year and he also coached in the District 7 All-Star game.
Kenton had suffered through 7 straight losing seasons, winning only 2 games the previous year, when Kick took over the program in 1976. He took them to 14 victories the first year and went to the District Finals, and hit 200 career victories in only his 12th year of coaching. He was honored by being selected to coach in District 8’s first All-Star Game. In 1983, he moved to Ridgedale, where the team had experienced 5 consecutive losing seasons. Again, his team won 14 games the first year and went to the District Finals. He was selected as Central District Coach of the Year by the Associated Press. In 20 years of coaching he hit the 300-victory mark.
When he came home to Loudonville, he took over a team that had experienced 7 straight losing seasons. Under Coach Kick, they won their first Sectional Championship in 32 years, in 1992. Ironically, the coach had played on the last team to accomplish the feat in 1960. He was selected as the Ashland Times-Gazette Coach of the Year and was also chosen to coach in the Ohio-Michigan All Star Game. He finished up his 28 years as a boy’s head coach by coaching in the Mansfield News Journal All Star Game.
After 4 years out of coaching, Steve returned for one year to work with the L.H.S.’s Girl’s Basketball Team. What a wonderful year it was as the Birds hit the 20-victory mark. They won the Mohican Area Conference Championship and the Lady Birds also went to the District Championship game. In the process, they presented the veteran coach with his 400th victory. Steve was honored by being selected as the Northeast Ohio Division III Coach of the Year.
Steve and his wife, Kay, have been married 33 years and have 3 children. Ellen has her doctorate inorganic chemistry from the University of California. She has just started working for Bristol-Myers-Squib in New Jersey as a researcher. Phil is presently in the Ohio State Medical School. Andy is a junior at the University of Dayton in Army ROTC.
Steve has been active in all the communities where he has lived with the Lutheran Church, the community fund, and as president of the teacher’s association in 3 schools. He has twice been selected as an Outstanding Teacher in America. He has coached several players who have become very successful coaches in their own right with a total of 3 state championships and 2 state runner-ups finishes. He was also active in the Ohio High School Basketball Coaches Association, serving as the president from 1986 to 1988.
Nominator: Ellen, Phillip, & Andrew Kick