After weeks of speculation, Boardman head football coach Mark D'Eramo finally stepped down from his position.
News of D'Eramo's departure had been brewing around Boardman since about Thanksgiving, but nothing was ever confirmed. Boardman Athletic Director David Smercansky officially made the recent rumors true in an email on Saturday, Dec. 8.
"Mark has turned in his resignation," wrote Smercansky succinctly. "His departure is a big blow to the football program."
D'Eramo was the head coach for only two seasons, but those campaigns sure were memorable. In 2011, D'Eramo earned Federal League Coach of the Year honors by guiding the Spartans to a 5-1 league record and a conference crown. After losing their first two games that year by just eight total points, the Spartans shot back to win seven of their final eight to earn an invitation to the Division I state playoffs.
The Spartans' second season under D'Eramo was not as successful as their first one. Although Boardman began the year in a big way blowing out Cleveland Benedictine 35-6, Cardinal Mooney whitewashed Boardman a week later, 37-0. A four-game losing streak to end the season stopped the Spartans at 4-6.
Before taking over the head coaching duties from D.J. Ogilvie two years ago, D'Eramo was a longtime assistant football coach at the school. His relationship with the students and faculty as a teacher/coach were second to none. According to Smercansky, D'Eramo was a lot more to the Spartan students than just a head football coach with an 11-9 record.
"Mark devoted countless hours to the football program and the classroom," wrote the A.D. "Mark was an excellent coach and a great role model for the student athletes. He was a class act and well respected around the Federal League."
There is no timetable for the school board to hire a new head football coach. Many candidates both internally and outside the Spartan family will almost certainly be considered. Let's face it, being a head coach at a large, famous Division I institution like Boardman is a job that many suitors will pursue. One thing that is certain is whoever does finally step into the Spartans' top spot will have large shoes to fill.
"(D'Eramo) put a quality product on the football field every Friday," Smercansky surmised. "He will be missed."