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Moeller football coach John Rodenberg steps down after 10 seasons

Posted at 2:50 PM, Nov 07, 2017
and last updated 2017-11-07 19:23:18-05

KENWOOD, Ohio -- Moeller football coach John Rodenberg was eating at a restaurant Saturday when he was prompted to walk toward the TV.

He had a vested interest in two Big Ten games -- Ohio State at Iowa and Penn State at Michigan State -- because of some former Moeller players in those contests.

And while Rodenberg felt bad for Ohio State junior defensive end Sam Hubbard in the Buckeyes’ loss at Iowa, he was very happy for Michigan State kicker Matt Coghlin.

Rodenberg was able to catch Coghlin’s 34-yard field goal as time expired to give the Spartans a 27-24 win over Penn State.

“It was awesome,” Rodenberg said. “That’s why I coach.”

Rodenberg, who led Moeller to Division I state titles in 2012 and 2013, stepped down as the Crusaders’ coach Tuesday afternoon after 10 seasons and an 80-41 record at the school.

Moeller has not announced a new coach. The school issued a short media release after the team was informed at 2:40 p.m. Tuesday.

"John has been ambassador for Moeller High School," Moeller Athletic Director Mike Asbeck told

Moeller will not name an interim coach, according to Asbeck. Rodenberg will maintain his head football coaching duties until the team banquet Dec. 10.

There is no timeline on naming a new head coach.  

“I’m proud of the fact I had the opportunity to coach really good athletes and had the opportunity coach at Moeller,” said Rodenberg, a Springfield Township resident.

Moeller had a 4-7 record this season and made the playoffs for the first time since 2014 when it was a state semifinalist.

The Crusaders' 34th postseason appearance this season is second in Ohio High School Athletic Association history only to Newark Catholic.

This season, Colerain, the No. 2 seed in Region 4, defeated visiting No. 7 Moeller 45-0 in the first round Nov. 3.

Rodenberg, a health and physical education teacher at Moeller, acknowledged it was time for a change within the football program and a different voice as the head coach.

Rodenberg, 53, told he plans to coach again in 2018 -- whether as a head coach or as an assistant at the high school level. He also has aspirations of coaching at the collegiate level.

Known for his schemes on offense over the years, Rodenberg is grateful for the coaching experiences and the relationships he built with the players over the years not only at Moeller, but also at Covington Catholic and McNicholas.

In 2012, Moeller defeated Toledo Whitmer 20-12 in the state final at Fawcett Stadium in Canton. That marked Moeller’s first state title since 1985. The Crusaders also appeared in the state final for the first time since 1997.

The Crusaders defeated Mentor 55-52 Dec. 7, 2013 at Fawcett Stadium to capture the program’s ninth state title. It marked the first time Moeller won back-to-back state football titles since 1979 and 1980.

Several OHSAA records were broken or tied in the 2013 state final. Then-Moeller quarterback Gus Ragland -- now at Miami University -- was 12-of-13 passing for 273 yards with 189 yards rushing and a state-record-tying five touchdowns on the ground.

Several Moeller standouts over the past decade have expressed how much they enjoyed playing in the Crusaders’ program. Many players went on to play college football and some have played in the NFL.

Hubbard, a 2014 Moeller graduate who won back-to-back state titles, has kept in touch with Rodenberg and has enjoyed working out with the coach in the Moeller weight room when time permits.

“That’s my guy,” Hubbard told earlier this year. “He’s still Hurricane Rody.”

Rodenberg completed his 24th season as a head coach this year on the Greater Cincinnati high school scene. He has 164 career coaching wins overall.

Moeller won four Greater Catholic League South division titles under Rodenberg including two outright (2011 and 2013).

Rodenberg started his head coaching career at McNicholas in 1994. It was there where he coached Bengals punter Kevin Huber, a former University of Cincinnati standout.

Rodenberg led CovCath to the Kentucky 3A state title in 2006. He also coached one season at Roger Bacon prior to being named the Moeller coach.

Listen to Keenan Singleton and Mike Dyer discuss John Rodnberg's departure in the latest episode of the High School Insider podcast: