Huron coach Tony Legando becomes all-time victory leader in 21st season

HURON Coaches generally are not about records and milestones. So it's not particularl
Dan Angelo
May 24, 2010

HURON

Coaches generally are not about records and milestones.

So it's not particularly surprising it took a couple of weeks for it to register that Tony Legando had passed Huron coaching legend Tony Munafo on the all-time wins list.

The milestone win was the season opener against Vermilion, a 20-6 victory that was Legando's 154th career victory.

"We talk so much about team and not being an individual thing, so it's not what we're after," said Legando, in his 21st season as varsity football coach at Huron.

"And when you think about that first game with the new field and all that was going on, we really didn't think about it.

"When you've been coaching this long, it's really not about the wins and losses. I know people hear me say that and I'm not sure they buy into it, but it's really about teaching kids and helping them stand on their own two feet."

Munafo, a Huron and Ohio Football Coaches Association Hall of Fame member, ended with a 153-64-1 career mark in22 seasons at the school.

Legando pulled even with a 31-7 victory against Margaretta to close the 2007 season. He entered the 2008 season at 153-69-0 and stands at 4-2 heading into a Sandusky Bay Conference game Saturday at Sandusky St. Mary Central Catholic.

"The best thing about it is you get to thank the people who have helped you get to these places," Legando said. "It's time to say I've had a lot of great athletes and coaches to work with and the community support has been unbelievable, as any one who walks into our stadium can see.

Teaching has been a cornerstone of the Huron football program, which has had more than 17 straight years of a team grade-point-average of 3.2 or better.

Legando, a fourth-grade teacher at Huron, began his career with back-to-back 5-5 marks, then two straight 7-3 campaigns before making his first playoff appearance in 1992 with an 8-5 run.

The Tigers made it to the Division IV state finals the next year, going 11-3 and dropping a 16-6 decision to Versailles in the championship game.

Huron has made eight state playoff appearances under Legando, but it did not capture its first SBC title until 1998 with a 10-0 run, then had a five-year championship run from 2001-05.

"From the time they are in fourth grade and I start working with them until they are done, we focus on team and don't worry about conference and district and state honors," Legando said.

"I think the most memorable thing is the amount of selfless football players we've had here, the great coaches I've had the opportunity to work with, the things we've been able to accomplish with the boosters and the H Team and the relationship we'vedeveloped with our faculty.

"And I think our youth program and our community service work stands out. Those are the tools we use to teach kids."