Former Moeller coach Gerry Faust will be in the Fawcett Stadium press box for the Crusaders' Division I State Final against Toledo Whitmer Saturday night in Canton.
Faust, 77, lives in Akron and spends a lot of his time with his family and keeps busy with a schedule of speaking engagements during the year.
Faust won state titles with Moeller in 1975, ’76, ’77, ’79 and ’80 before he coached at Notre Dame (1981-85) and Akron (1986-94).
The Moeller football team practices at the Gerry Faust Athletic Complex and the facility includes a bronze statue of Faust.
Faust said he tries to visit the area once a month and was last at the school about six weeks ago. He said he followed the Crusaders closely this season.
“These young men deserve an unbelievable round of applause for the schedule they played this year,” Faust said. “Three of those teams won state championships (Grand Rapids Christian, Indianapolis Cathedral and Gilman School) and a fourth (Louisville Trinity) is in it this weekend.”
Faust said he was impressed with the mental toughness Moeller showed especially after a tough loss to Lakewood St. Edward in October. “That shows character, leadership and coaching,” Faust said.
Faust said he knows how significant this week is for the Moeller community and remembers the buildup of a state championship week.
“I guess you would look at this way. It’s the ultimate. If you achieve the ultimate it’s great for the school, the kids who work so hard and the coaching staff that have helped (them during the season),” Faust said.
Faust, who has a grandchild who attends Akron St. Vincent-St. Mary, says he will settle in for a long day of football in Stark County on Saturday. St. Vincent-St. Mary plays Bellevue in the Division III state final at 11 a.m. before Moeller plays Toledo Whitmer at 7 p.m.
Faust said a win Saturday would rank with the all-time great state championship in the program’s storied past.
“If we win tomorrow night coach Rodenberg and his staff and his players should be commended for the phenomenal year,” Faust said. “This ranks with them all.”