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Charles Auto Family’s Getting to Know: Rootstown girls T&F coach Kyle Rodstrom

Charles Auto Family’s Getting to Know: Rootstown girls T&F coach Kyle Rodstrom


By Tom Nader

Publisher and Editor


The “Getting to Know” series is designed to help the community learn more about the coaches and administrators that are guiding today’s Portage County student-athletes to be tomorrow’s leaders.

Today, we get to know Rootstown High School girls track and field coach Kyle Rodstrom, who is in his 15th season leading the Rovers’ program.


Q: Hometown?

A: Painesville, Ohio.


Q: High school?

A: Painesville Riverside. Class of 1996. Played football, ran track and played summer baseball with my brother.


Q: College?

A: University of Mount Union. Graduated in 2001. Bachelor’s degree in Exercise Science.


Q: Current occupation?

A: Middle school physical education teacher.

Q: What inspired you to become a coach?

A: I want to give kids the best possible experience in sports. I hope they look back one day and see this as one of the most memorable times of high school.


Q: What makes being a coach at Rootstown special to you?

A: The kids.


Q: Who has been your biggest influence?

A: Ron Shafer. He taught me to be humble about success and the the relationship between your coaches and athletes can make all the difference.


Q: Funny story nobody would believe from your playing days?

A: One day at track practice in high school, I was dared to try pole vault, and I cleared nine feet. Needless to say, my coach was not too thrilled.


Q: Favorite TV show?

A: Friends, Seinfeld and The Walking Dead.


Q: Favorite movie?

A: Major League.


Q: Favorite musical artist?

A: Stone Temple Pilots, Dave Matthews Band, Pearl Jam.


Q: Favorite food?

A: Pizza.


Q: Best vacation?

A: Disney with my family.


Q: Shoutout to former teammates?

A: Aaron Huminsky, Alan Bosiaki, Jason Pilarczyk, Jeff Burhenne, Matt Domin, John Leskovan, John Shanahan, Pat Short and Adam Reed.


Q: Favorite motto or quote?

A: “Fate whispers to the warrior, you cannot withstand the storm. The warrior whispers back, I am the storm.”


Q: Describe your coaching philosophy?

A: Relationships with the kids are the most important thing. If they know you believe in them and care about them, they will work hard and believe in you as well.


Q: Favorite restaurant?

A: Canes.


Q: Favorite teacher from high school?

A: Mr. Lauer and Mr. Ulis.


Q: Advice you would give the younger version of yourself?

A: You can’t be perfect.


Q: Favorite coach from your playing days?

A: Coach Ron Shafer.


Q: Coaching resume?

A: Assistant track and field coach at Louisville High School (2002); Rootstown Middle School boys track and field coach (2003-07); Rootstown High School girls track and field coach (2008-present).


Q: Favorite sports team?

A: Ohio State Buckeyes, Mount Union Purple Raiders.


Q: Favorite athlete then?

A: Michael Jordan, Ken Griffey Jr., Dennis Rodman.


Q: Favorite athlete now?

A: My kids.


Q: First job as a teenager?

A: Pizza Hut.


Q: Family member that always gave you the best advice?

A: My mom and dad.


Q: Favorite candy?

A: Snickers.


Q: First car?

A: 1990 Ford Escort.


Q: Best friends?

A: Denny Pickens, J.P. Moran and the entire Track House from college.

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