Bill Narduzzi | YSU Athletics Hall of Fame

Bill Narduzzi | YSU Athletics Hall of Fame

Bill Narduzzi

  • Contributor (1975-85)
  • Inducted 1996

The school's third ever football coach, he was the head of the Pen­guin grid fortunes from 1975 to 1985, taking the Penguins to the next level as they became a driving force on the Division II level in the latter part of the decade of the '70's.

Prior to his arrival, the Penguins had made just one play-off appear­ance, (in 1974 under former Head Coach Rey Dempsey), and it took 34 years for that to happen. In his first five seasons at the helm, Narduzzi led the Penguins to two playoff ap­pearances and the championship game of Division It in 1979.

A native of East Canton, Ohio, his exploits on the scholastic gridiron were legendary, lettering also in basketball, baseball and track and field at E.C.H.S. He also found the time to serve as President of Student Council and was the sports editor of both the school's newspaper and yearbook.

He graduated from Miami (0hio) University in 1959 with a bachelors degree in education, earning two letters for the Redskins while playing end, tackle and guard.

Upon graduation, he spent the first three years of his coaching career on the high school level, teaching and serving as an assistant coach at Cleveland Benedictine, Sandy Valley and nearby Youngstown Ursuline. During that three-year period, the school's posted a combined 26-6 overall ledger, and then it was on to the collegiate ranks with stops at the University of Pittsburgh, Brown University, Yale, Miami (Fla.) University and the University of Kentucky.

During his seven seasons at Yale as defensive coordinator, the Bulldogs fashioned a 41-21-1 mark, winning or sharing the Ivy League title on four separate occasions. A noted defensive tactician, his 1968 unit was ranked second nationally in total defense and third overall against the rush.

At the University of Kentucky in 1973, he was a part of a coaching staff that helped produce their best overall mark in eight years, coaching two players that earned All-Southeastern Conference laurels and three players that played in a total of five post-season all-star contests.

It was at Youngstown State University, however, that he made a name for himself on the collegiate level, his only head coaching assignment. He took over the reigns of the Penguin grid program in time for the 1975 season, and during his 11 seasons as the head grid mentor at YSU (he was also the school's Director of Athletics fare brief time at the outsetafthe'80's), the late head coach posted a 6841-1 overall ledger, a.671 winning mark In 120 total games coached for YSU.

He led the Penguins to two Division 11 playoff appearances (1978 and 1979) while his Penguins were runners-up in the 1979 Zia Bowl, dropping a hard fought 38-21 decision to the University of Delaware in Albuquerque. N.M. The 1978 National Division 11 'Coe& of the Year,' he was the 1979 Ohio Collegiate 'Coach of the Year' as well as Mid-Continent Conference 'Coach of the Year' in both 1978 and 1979 also, the first two seasons that the Penguins were members of the midwestem conference and the first time that YSU athletics became aligned within a conference format

When the Penguins made the transition to Division I-AA as members of the Ohio Valley Conference, he led the charge and for his efforts, earned 'Coach of the Year' laurels in both 1981 and 1984. He led the charge as the Penguins went from a Division 11 participant, to a well-oiled Division It play-off machine, to their infancy in Division I-AA and respectability in the middle part of the decade of the '80's in the Ohio Valley Conference.

While at YSU, he coached 18 Mid-Continent Conference selec­tions, eight ght Ohio Valley Conference picks and six gridders who eventually earned All-America plaudits on both the Division 11 and Division I-AA level.

He was a noted banquet speaker and member of numerous local, state and regional coaching associations, and was chosen in 1978 by the American Football Coaches Association to serve on its All-America selection committee. The founder of the Cradle of Coaches organization at Miami (Ohio) University, he also sewed as the group's first President. He also served on the NCAA's Football Rules Committee in 1980.

Prior to his death, he served as an assistant coach at Columbia University.

He and his wife, the former Angie Rex, are the proud parents of six children; Katrina, William, Patrick (an assistant football coach at I-AA foe Rhode Island), Bradley, Teresa and Regina

They have six grandchildren.