This Akron native built one of the strongest girls volleyball programs in Northeast Ohio while at Akron Hoban High School. In Mary Howard's 24-year tenure at Hoban, she established a record that her predecessors will be hard pressed to match or surpass. In 1976 Howard took control of a one-year old volleyball program and it didn't take her long to build Hoban into a state powerhouse. From the beginning it was Howard's philosophy to consistently raise the bar for her teams by playing the toughest programs she could schedule. That tactic, Mary believes, produces a superior player in the long run. Obviously, it worked because by 1979 she had directed the Knights into the Ohio AA final four and the following season captured the first of Hoban's four state championships. Every season, from 1979 through '92, Howard's spikers won 20 games or more. During those 14 campaigns Hoban captured nine regional titles, finished state runner-up in 1987 and '88 and grabbed the Ohio Division II Championships three consecutive years from 1990 through '92. In addition, Howard's squads compiled 448 wins against 149 losses for a .750 winning percentage, and garnered 21 sectional and 13 district titles over her career. She was accorded Coach of the Year honors in 1988 by the Akron Beacon Journal and by the Akron Touchdown Club in '88, '90, '91 and '92. Also in 1991 the Akron Dapper Dan Club honored Howard as well as did the Ohio High School Volleyball Coaches Association, who voted her Coach of the Year and, after Hoban inducted her into its hall of fame in 1994, it did likewise in 1997. Currently, Howard is in the process of rebuilding the volleyball program at Akron St. Vincent-St. Mary.