Holenka sets OVAC staff

When it comes to coaching, Ohio head coach Mark Holenka has a solid mix of veterans and youngsters.

However, as it pertains to coaching in the Rudy Mumley OVAC All-Star Charity Football Classic, the Shadyside coaches are all rookies.

The Tigers’ staff is preparing for the 68th annual game, which will be held on Sunday, July 28 at Wheeling Island Stadium with absolutely no reservations.

“We don’t know what to expect any more than the kids expect from it,” Holenka said. “We’re excited for the opportunity. In some ways, it’s going to be like coaching on the small-college level because all of these kids are probably capable of playing some range of college football if they chose to do so. It’s going to be a fun experience for us and hopefully the kids enjoy it, too.”

Here’s a capsule look at the coaches:

MARK HOLENKA, Head Coach – This Tiger alumni has guided his alma mater for the last four seasons, including winning the OVAC Class 2A title and producing only the school’s second-ever 10-0 season.

All told, Holenka, who is a 1975 graduate of Bethany College, owns a 38-13 record and guided the Tigers to the 2009 Division VI state championship game. He earned the OVAC Coach of the Year Award after that season. He’s also been named Times Leader Coach of the Year twice (2010, 2011), Ohio State Coach of the Year (2012) and Intelligencer/Wheeling News-Register Coach of the Year in 2010.

Holenka has 36 years of experience in football, including the last 14 with Shadyside. Prior to that, he was the defensive coordinator at River.

Along with football, Holenka also served as River’s head wrestling coach for 17 years.

Mark and his wife Lana have three daughters, Ashley (Farrier), Shayla and Hayley, and a granddaughter.

TY FLEMING, Running Backs – This veteran football mind had two tours of duty at Shadyside High School and enjoyed all sorts of success.

Fleming guided his alma mater to its first appearance in the Division VI state title game in 2006. He posted a record of 158-89 during his career and four regional titles.

Fleming also coached at Woodridge, St. John Central, Bellaire and Newton Falls. All told, he owns 33 years of experience.

The Kent State University product is retired from education.

Ty and his wife Sharon have three children (Krista, Tyler and Trey) and two grandchildren (Kaity and Jessie).

JOHN GRINCH, Line – This veteran mentor has been coaching football for 33 years, including 26 at Shadyside.

Grinch worked under Fleming, replaced him as head coach and then rejoined the staff under Holenka. All told, he’s worked 26 years as assistant.

Prior to arriving at Shadyside, Grinch worked at Wintersville High School and Buckeye Central Junior High.

Grinch is a graduate of DuBois High School and Clarion State College.

John and his wife Penny have three sons (Paul, Sean and Chase).

MICHAEL KERNIK, Offensive coordinator and quarterbacks – This former Tiger all-Ohio quarterback played in the Mumley Classic in 2002 and now he’ll be calling much of the offense.

Kernik has been coaching football for seven years, including five at Shadyside. He also spent a season at Hamilton Township in suburban Columbus and Harrison Central.

Kernik, who is a graduate of Capital University, is also the Tigers’ head boys track coach.

Michael and his wife Lacie have a daughter, Kayla.

B.A. HOLLOWAY, Wide receivers – This former Tigers’ player has been climbing the coaching ladder since his graduation in 2008.

Holloway is a five-year member of the Tigers’ staff and also has coaching experience in girls’ basketball and baseball.

Holloway is pursuing his degree at Ohio University Eastern.

JEFF CAMPBELL, Running backs – This former Tiger also graduated in 2008 and got into coaching immediately thereafter.

Campbell has spent the past five seasons working under Holenka.

Jeff is currently pursuing his degree at Ohio University Eastern.

CHASE GRINCH, Offensive line – This former Tigers’ athlete has been an assistant coach with the Tigers for the last four years.

Grinch graduated from Shadyside in 2007 after playing football and wrestling during his prep career.

Chase graduated from Ohio University in 2012 and currently working toward a master’s degree from Grand Canyon University.

RANDY MERRYMAN, Wide receivers – This 1980 Shadyside High School graduate has been around the Tigers’ program for 16 years as an assistant coach.

On top of coaching football, Merryman has also served as an assistant wrestling coach.

Randy and his wife, Deanna, have four children. Their oldest son, Johnny, played in 2009 Mumley Classic. Their other children are April, Sammy and Ellie.

Staskey can be reached at sstaskey@timesleaderonline.com