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Ravenna’s Joe Callihan resigns as football coach

Ravenna’s Joe Callihan resigns as football coach


By Tom Nader

Publisher and Editor

Ravenna High School football head coach Joe Callihan announced his resignation from the position last week.

The 2023 season was Callihan’s second leading the Ravens. He posted a 6-14 overall record, with back-to-back 3-7 records the previous two seasons.

Ravenna head coach Joe Callihan walks the sidelines during the second half the Ravens’ matchup with Mogadore this past fall.
Paisley Nader/Portage Sports

The Ravens were 4-10 in conference play and split the two games against Kent Roosevelt that Callihan coached, winning 42-21 in 2022 and losing 28-20 this past season.

“This was a really difficult decision,” Callihan said. “I had spent the last month doing a lot of soul searching about what was best, not only for me, but the program. I determined that it was best for everybody that I step down.

“It was really hard because of how hard the kids have worked and all of those special bonds with the kids that I have made. It was one of the hardest conversations I have ever had to give. The only thing I can remember being tougher was getting the courage to ask my wife to marry me.”

Callihan took over the program after Jim Lunardi coached the Ravens for 20 years. Callihan graduated from Mogadore High School in 2013 and was First Team All-Ohio as a senior. He continued playing football at John Carroll University, where he earned All-Ohio Athletic Conference status as a senior in 2016.

Callihan, who is an Intervention Specialist, will remain on staff at Ravenna High School and said he will be forever grateful for the opportunity that Ravenna gave him to be a first-time head coach.

“It is something that I will look back on fondly for the rest of my career, remembering all of the friendships and bonds that I was able to make with not only the kids, but all of the coaches and people in the community,”  Callihan said. “It is why I applied in the first place, because I thought I could come in and help make a difference for the kids. I feel like we did some good things these past couple years, and I wish all of the kids and the entire program nothing but the best in the future, and I expect them to do a lot of big things.”

Lunardi, the district’s Athletic Director, said, “We will start the search for Joe’s replacement as soon as possible. We wish him well on his future endeavors moving forward.”

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