WADSWORTH — Jeff Walck is one of the most successful and legendary coaches of all time in Ohio volleyball.
He is about to take over the winningest program in Medina County history.
Wadsworth athletic director Brad Musgrave announced Thursday that Walck has been chosen as the new coach of the Grizzlies. His formal appointment will take place at the district board of education meeting on Jan. 8.
Walck has a spectacular 522-100 career record and has qualified for the state semifinals 10 times in 23 seasons. His 522 wins rank 17th in Ohio, encompassing 14 years at Tallmadge and nine at Massillon Jackson.
“I feel very fortunate and honored to be named the varsity volleyball coach at Wadsworth,” said Walck, who spent last season as an assistant with the Grizzlies. “I look forward to working with our young people and staff, continuing the success and high standard set at Wadsworth.”
Walck succeeds Jill Klingbeil, who resigned after nine years to spend more time with her husband and young daughter. She posted a 175-51 mark with the Grizzlies, highlighted by four Division I regional appearances and five league titles.
Klingbeil, whose 190 wins are the third most in county history, welcomed the opportunity to have Walck join her staff, where he was affectionately known as Coach Jeff by the players.
“When Jeff Walck is interested in working with your team, you obviously don’t say no,” she said. “He played a major role in our (county-record) 24-match winning streak, us winning the Suburban League (National Conference) title and playing for the Brunswick District championship.”
When Klingbeil announced her intention to step down, the timing was perfect for Walck to take over. In his last season with the Polar Bears in 2017, he led them to the D-I state semifinals and captured his eighth Federal League crown.
Walck went 222-28 at Jackson with eight district championships, four state semifinal appearances and two state runner-up finishes. The Polar Bears defeated Wadsworth in the 2014 Hudson Regional final.
The Akron Ellet graduate won 300 matches with Tallmadge from 1989-2002, amassing nine Suburban League titles and nine district championships, six trips to state and four state runner-up trophies.
“Jeff is a fantastic person and has a proven track record filled with incredible success over many years,” Musgrave said. “He has already earned the respect from the girls he will coach next year by forming positive relationships with them as a group and as individuals.
“Jeff will demand excellence from our girls and will have a significant impact on their lives, both on and off the volleyball court.”
The Grizzlies’ three most recent coaches — Klingbeil, Terri Mason and Jen Greenlees — combined for a 288-92 record and seven regional berths, making the job one of the most coveted among public schools in the state.
Walck, who also coaches Junior Olympic volleyball for NOVA, is retired after 37 years of service with the City of Akron. He and his wife Paula have one son, 19-year-old Ryan.