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Charlie Voth finds home and history with Rootstown boys soccer

Charlie Voth finds home and history with Rootstown boys soccer


By Tom Nader

Publisher and Editor


Charlie’s Voth historic career at Rootstown almost never was.

When he was offered the job back in 2001, his initial thought was to politely decline.

It had nothing to do with Rootstown and everything to do with him.

“I just didn’t know anything about Rootstown,” Voth admits.

He knows plenty now.

It has now been 22 seasons since Voth’s initial hesitancy.

He is the longest-tenured soccer coach in Portage County history — boys or girls.

He has led the Rovers to 224 career wins.

The most in Portage County history — boys or girls.

He has had only six losing seasons and has averaged 10 wins per season, with nine seasons of 11 or more victories.

He has coached three league-championship teams (2003, 2005 and 2017), three district championship teams (2009, 2016 and 2017) and was one win away from reaching the state’s Final Four back in 2017.


Rootstown boys soccer coach Charlie Voth (center) stands in flooded waters with Josh Collins (left) and Ivan Martinez after a game was cancelled because of poor field conditions.
Stephanie Farkash/Special to Portage Sports


So what changed Voth’s mind to take the job more than two decades ago when then-Rootstown athletic director Steve Matheos offered it to him?

Before making his final decision, Voth decided to invest a day to learn about the town and it soccer program.

What he quickly found was a town filled with supportive families, outgoing players and a program that had quickly established a culture of success after becoming an official varsity sport in 1995.

“I remember meeting and having a conversation with Dave Burg and Travis Carney,” Voth said of two incoming seniors to the 2001 team that had helped the Rovers win the 2000 Portage County League championship. “You could tell they were good kids and they gave me some good background on the team. I met Ron Feciuch, who had worked with so many of the players from when they were in youth soccer, and I really got to know Rootstown really well over the next couple of years through Ron.”

Voth took the job and has taken the Rovers on a run of success.

Remarkable for any coach, but maybe even a little more for Voth, who never played soccer until he was 24.


The Rootstown boys soccer’s 2017 regional finalist team.
Stephanie Farkash/Special to Portage Sports


Voth played football and wrestled at Firestone High School, where he graduated from in 1972. After graduation, he was drafted into the Army and was a specialist in the 42nd General Hospital in Valley Forge, Pa., in a one-floor facility that was made completely of wood. He helped treat POWs that had returned stateside from North Korea.

Voth’s coaching career was actually jumpstarted by his sister, who was working at a local YMCA and needed help. It resulted in Voth becoming an assistant gymnastics coach and his career as an athletic mentor had officially launched.

He began coaching soccer after the sport was introduced to him by friends, and he began playing at a Hungarian Club. Voth is quick to admit that he “knew nothing at all” about the sport at first, but it soon took a strong hold on him.

“Soccer is like a chess game. It is like a dance,” Voth said. “There are power moves and the amount of work players put into the game, people just don’t understand. Everyone moves and you just haver to get after it with a hard work ethic if you want to play the game the right way.”

He was added onto the staff at Cuyahoga Heights for a year, then he spent two years as an assistant on the Green High School staff before Voth was hired as the Firestone High School girls varsity coach.

He spent seven seasons at Firestone before the door opened for the chance to coach at Rootstown, which Voth said he now looks back on and is thankful that he did not “make the mistake” of walking away from the opportunity.

“I don’t think I knew it completely at the time, but getting the Rootstown job came at a perfect time for me,”  said Voth, who has spent 41 years as a welder and door fabricator and installer. “I have really enjoyed it. I really have. From the start until now. The families have made it so much fun for me — and the kids, too, of course.”

And so has Aaron Miracle.

Rootstown boys soccer head coach Charlie Voth, along with assistant coach Aaron Miracle, during a pregame lineup announcement.
Stephanie Farkash/Special to Portage Sports

Voth’s longtime assistant coach was one of his first players.

Miracle spent three years playing for Voth, then Voth brought him on staff as an assistant after he graduated in 2003.

In total, Miracle spent three years playing for Voth and has now been his assistant for 18 seasons.

“I first met Charlie when I was a sophomore in high school. He asked me where I played, and I told him I was a striker,” Miracle remembered. “He told me, ‘Yeah, go over there with the fullbacks.’ I fell in love with defense.”

And has equally appreciated his relationship with Voth ever since.

“I started coaching with Charlie right after high school and it has been 18 wonderful years. He has been a great teacher and a better friend to me,” Miracle said. “We’ve been through so much together,a nd I wouldn’t want it to be any different than it has been. Charlie has done more than he knows for me and the kids at Rootstown. I could never thank him enough for all he has done. I love the journey we have had together, and I’m always excited to see where the next one takes us.”

Voth holds Miracle in high regards as well.

“I can’t say enough about Aaron,” he said. “He is like the kid I never had. I grew up with him as a coach, and he grew up as a coach with me. It just works between us. He knows when to step in and talk the team and knows how to say it. We work well off each other. There is no way I could have ever done all of this without him with me.”

Voth has also developed a strong respect for Rootstown athletic director Keith Waesch.

“If you don’t have an AD like Keith supporting you, then I would tell a coach, ‘Good luck’,” Voth said. “Keith is amazing. The amount of work he puts in, the level of support he gives us. He is as good as they get.”

And for Rootstown, Voth has been just the same.

Now 70 years old, he has no intention of slowing down.

“Why would I,” he asks rhetorically. “I am still having too much fun.”

Charlie Voth stands along the fence line with players Owen Buckel (left) and Will Postlethwait before the start of a scrimmage at Canton South in 2017.
Stephanie Farkash/Special to Portage Sports


  1. Marc Streem November 18, 2022

    Congrats Charlie- great job, tremendous achievement!

  2. Scott Reis November 19, 2022

    I’ve called Charlie a GREAT FRIEND now for over 55 years! He absolutely loves playing Soccer as well as Coaching it. He’s a great mentor for all of the athletes whose lives he has so richly influenced. His success as a Man and a Coach comes as no surprise with those who’ve known him! He’s truly a great friend!!

  3. Joe November 19, 2022

    Nice article Charlie. Congrats on a great coaching career

  4. Joseph Howard December 31, 2022

    I met Charlie by playing futbol against him and being on the same seniors team together. He got caught in a bind and ask if I could help him coach the female program at Firestone. I had coach boys programs for 10 years but never a female program, so I was a bit apprehensive. However, after 2 practices I became part of the family. More than likely, I would still be coaching for him if I hadn’t taken the position of AD for Akron Public Schools.
    Charlie is the best and only wants what is good for the players.
    Great article!


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