Comets, LCCC coaching great Howard Washka to be honored

Staff Report



Howard Washka will be enshrined in the Lorain County Track and Field Hall of Fame with a ceremony at 6 p.m. Thursday.

The honor comes as Amherst Steele High School hosts the Lorain County Invitational for the first time in 35 years.

Field events will begin at 3:30 p.m. and running events will begin at 4:30 p.m. on the Richard S. Cooley Track at Mercy Stadium.

Washka, a 1950 graduate of Amherst and the first athletic director for Lorain County Community College, will be Steele’s 10th inductee since the inaugural Class of 2010.

He was responsible for founding the Elyria Northeast District/Regional High School Cross Country meet starting in 1969 and the LCCC (now Jack Wilhelm) Classic beginning in 1967.

Washka was instrumental in the construction and development of the LCCC cross country course, including the famed Washka Mountain, the man-made hill on the course. Mount Washka was created from the dirt excavated from the network of tunnels developed during construction of LCCC.

LCCC hosted the National AAU 10K Cross Country Championship and the Regional XII NJCAA Cross Country Championship. Washka also co-founded the Turnpike Athletic Conference. LCCC had a NJCAA 100-meter track champion with a national record time, a three-time NJCAA All-American in Jackie Below.

Washka was LCCC’s first physical education professor, first intramural director and first chairperson of HPER. He retired from LCCC in 1984 as assistant dean after serving the college for 20 years.

Previously, Washka had been an assistant football coach at Elyria High. He was still head football coach at Amherst Steele (1959-1967) during his first few years at LCCC before stepping aside and committing to the Elyria junior college on a full-time basis.

Washka died in Garland, Texas, at age 60 on March 7, 1992.

Other inductees into the Hall of Fame from Amherst include:

• Greg Norman, Class of 2015

• Tom Schoemig, Class of 2014

• Glen “Sonny” Wilburn, Class of 2013

• Coach Dick Elsasser, Class of 2012

• Coach Dick Cooley, Class of 2011

• Peter Kummant, Class of 2011

• Coach Jack Wilhelm, Class of 2010

• Theresa (nee Feldkamp) Brannen, Class of 2010

• Amy (nee McKinley) Agrella, Class of 2010

Amherst will also h ost the 62nd Annual Comet Relays on April 22, the Southwestern Conference Championships on May 10 and 12, the OHSAA District Championships on May 17 and 19, and the OHSAA Regional Championships on May 24 and 26.

Any community members who would like to volunteer should contact the head boys and girls coach Rob Glatz at Steele High School.


Staff Report