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Leo "Mox" Engler

Some athletes require many years of performances to attain stardom and some athletes and coaches reach it quickly. "Mox" Engler was one of the latter group - in fact he didn't even wait until he was 20 to take his claim to fame. Akron has produced several high school teams won state basketball championships, but not prior to 1929. Just one year out of St. Mary High School, "Mox" was elected coach by the 1928-29 Crusaders basketball team. St. Mary won 12 of 15 regular season games and with three more wins got to Columbus for the Class B playoffs. Although trailing 20-8 at the half in its first game, St. Mary came back to defeat Marysville, 31-28. In the championship game against Bluffton, who had won 28 straight, the inevitable happened, little St. Mary High School edged Bluffton, 28-26, to give Akron its first state title. The 19-year old coach was a legend in his time. He went on to coach the team for two more years but St. Mary was ineligible for tourney play because the coach was not a teacher. The remainder of his coaching days were limited to the City AA League, but his effort in 1928-29 was never surpassed.

Inducted 1977 | Basketball