One week ago, Ohio lost a man dedicated to the youth of Massillon Washington High School. A man who shared the values of hard work and dedication lost by many of today's athletes. Coach Steve Studer, was more than just a coach. He became a mentor for many of the past and current Massillon Tigers who live in the shadow of greatness everyday.
Last Monday, the Tiger program lost Coach Studer. He passed away from an apparent heart attack at the school he called home. Coach Studer was more than a coach for the Tigers, he was born a Tiger.
Steve Studer knew what greatness was about. Having walked the hall ways of Massillon Washington High School as a student, and now as its strength and conditioning coach. He knew what the pride and tradition of Massillon Tiger Football was, better than any other resident in the schools district. Coach Studer is one of four generations of Tigers.
He became one of the many great athletes, who's remembered at Ohio's most prestigious football school. His picture hangs in the schools Wall of Fame and became a coaching legend. As current Tiger coach Rick Shepas said. "Nothing meant more to Steve Studer other than his family and the Massillon football program."
Many who have seen the 2001 movie "Go Tigers!" know what Tiger football meant to Coach Studer and his family. The Studer family was highlighted in the film, from Coach Studer's father, down to one of his son's who captained the 2001 Tiger team.
Steve Studer the player, achieved greatness as a Tiger, before playing at Bowling Green University under Coach Don Nehlen. He finished his college playing days in the East-West Shrine All-Star Classic. Before trying to live his dream of playing in the NFL. That dream came up short, as he was released by the Chicago Bears on their last cut. He never gave up his dream, and tried to hook up with the USFL, but it was never to be. That didn't stop Studer, he returned to Massillon and began his life's work with the young football players trying to live up to the schools tradition. Many of his pupils would do that and more, as many went on and played college football and a few even found a path to the NFL.
The loss of Coach Studer is not just a loss for Massillon, its a loss for the state of Ohio and its football tradition. This man lived for Ohio High School Football. His passion was the sport, and the young men who played the game. He will be missed.
Coach Studer is survived by his wife and four children. His youngest child is a current eighth-grader who plays football, and will write another chapter in the history of Massillon Tiger Football and the Studer family.
There has been a Memorial Fund established in Coach Studer's name. If you would like to contribute, please send to the following.
STEVEN P. STUDER
C/O MASS AREA CREDIT UNION
46 FEDERAL AVE. NW
MASSILLON, OHIO 44647
You can visit the home of the Tigers at the following link. MASSILLON PROUD.COM
The photo in this story is from MassillonProud.com