Emil S. “Coach” Rubcich, 79, of Marion

Emil S. "Coach" Rubcich, age 79 of Marion, Ohio passed away on September 23, 2010 at Marion Manor.

He was born in Powhaton Point, Ohio on August 26, 1931 to the late Kathryn (Vicich) and Steven N. Rubcich of McMechen, WV.

In 1949, he graduated from Union High School of Benwood, WV, where he excelled in basketball for 4 years earning him "Outstanding State Basketball Player of the Year" award. His senior year record was 19-1.  He was selected to play in the WV-Ohio all-star game and first team in the North-South all-star game.

In 1950, he enrolled at West Liberty State College in WV earning his B.A. Degree in Education majoring in Mathematics and Physical Education.  During his athletic career he was a 4 year starter at WL and was the only team invited to the NAIA National Championships in Kansas City.  There he earned a position on the All Tournament Team.  Emil's career point total was 1285 and his team record was 22-6 his senior season.  In his final year at college he was an assistant coach under head coach, Richard Wehr.

After graduation he served two years in the Army during the Korean conflict.  His service was with the 520th Military Police Division at Supreme Headquarters of the Allied Powers of Europe (S.H.A.P.E.) in Paris, France.  His special services included playing basketball, baseball and acted as an assistant coach in football.

On April 26, 1958, he married his college sweetheart Mercyne (Nickie) Sgouros in the Greek Orthodox Church of Wheeling, WV.  Shortly after they wed, Emil continued his education by receiving his Masters Degree from West Virginia University.  He began a successful coaching career at Dillionvale High School in Ohio.  While at Dillonvale, he was the head coach of basketball and baseball.  As head basketball coach, his team was 16-9 and won the District Championship moving into regional play.  He was chosen to coach the Ohio Team in the Ohio-West Virginia All Star game in which he once played.  As an assistant coach in football his team went undefeated with a 10-0 season.

They moved to Marion in 1961, and Emil became the head football coach of the LaRue Indians.  The following year he became Elgin High School's first head football and baseball coach.  Within the next nine years, he compiled a football record of 51-28-2 and against county rivals was 19-8-1, which included 2 NCC Championships, 1 second place and 3 third places.  He was the first coach to win two championships in two varsity sports in the same year resulting in league titles, and a record of 13-1 in baseball.  He placed 48 All-Conference football players and 7 All Ohio gridders.

He often said the most rewarding aspect of his life was guiding young men like Larry Barnett (American League Baseball Umpire), Toby Harrah (Professional Baseball player & coach), Jerry Layne (National League Baseball Umpire) and Brian Agler (Head Coach of the 2010 WNBA Champion of the Seattle Storm).

In 1986, a highlight in his life was when he was presented for induction into West Liberty State College Sports Hall of Fame for basketball by his long time friend, Ted Stolarczyk, who was also a graduate of West Liberty.

Emil retired with 36 years of service in education and coaching, and in 1988 began a new 20-year career with McDaniel Automotive.  He was a life time member of the OHSAA, ORTA, MCRTA, Ohio Principals Association, AARP, Charter member of the Marion Evening Lions Club, Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 7201-District 10, Knights of Columbus, Marion County Youth Foundation Committee, Trustee of the Marion Popcorn Festival, Committee of the Fahey Athlete of the Month and a member of St. Mary's Catholic Church.

Emil enjoyed participating in Marion's Palace Theater productions, golfing, attending baseball spring training games & watching many sporting events.  Emil & Max Ross became the first managers of Whetstone Golf Club where Emil originated the Polish Open Golf group which is still in operation today. Most of all, he treasured the time he spent watching his grandchildren play various sporting events.  Many will remember Emil as a teacher, coach and principal who helped grasp their dreams.

He is survived by this wife of 52 years, his son Mark, Westerville, OH, daughter Tina & son-in-law David Heard, Marion, OH, and five grandchildren: Carter, Lexi, Quinten, Landon & Weston, his brother Adolph, sister Olga.

The Rubcich family will greet friends from 2 – 6 p.m. on Sunday, September 26th at the Boler Center, 590 Forest Lawn Dr., Marion, beside Marion Catholic High School.

A funeral mass will be celebrated in his memory at St. Mary’s Catholic Church, 251 N. Main St. on Monday at 10:30 a.m., with Father Michael Nimocks officiating.  A private interment will be held in Marion Cemetery at a later date.

In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to the Emil Rubcich Scholarship Fund, c/o Marion Community Foundation or to Quality of Life Hospice Program at Marion General Hospital.  They may be sent to the funeral home.

For those wishing to express their condolences to his family, you may do so by visiting www.snyderfuneralhomes.com.

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