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Charles Auto Family’s Getting to Know: Ravenna athletic director Jim Lunardi

Charles Auto Family’s Getting to Know: Ravenna athletic director Jim Lunardi


By Tom Nader

Publisher and Editor


The “Getting to Know” series was created for readers to 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 Ravenna High School athletic director Jim Lunardi, who is in his eighth year as the Ravens’ AD — and previously spent 25 years as a Ravenna football coach (defensive coordinator 1997-2000; head coach 2002-2021).


Jim Lunardi transitioned into the Ravenna High School’s athletic director position in January 2016.

Q: Hometown?

A: Willoughby, Ohio.


Q: High school?

A: Willoughby South High School. Class of 1991. Played football, wrestling and baseball.


Q: College?

A: University of Mount Union. Class of 1996. Played football and wrestling. Degree in Elementary Education, with a double minor in Health and Physical Education.


Q: Current occupation?

A: Ravenna High School athletic director.


Q: What inspired you to go into education and also to coach?

A: I loved working with young kids and I loved sports so much that I figured my love for sports would influence others to love sports like I did — and still do!


Q: What made being a coach at Ravenna special to you?

A: I love the kids.


Q: Who was your biggest influence/mentor as a coach?

A: Don Montgomery, my wrestling coach in college and defensive coordinator in football at Mount Union. He always had the time to listen!


Q: Funny story nobody would believe from your coaching career?

A: I broke my coach headphones in half at Springfield on my son’s leg somehow. I was a little upset!


Q: Favorite TV show?

A: I love all the classics — Happy Days, Laverne and Shirley, Big Bang, Cheers.


Q: Favorite movie?

A: I love movies in general. It is hard to narrow it down.


Q: Favorite musical artist?

A: Metallica.


Q: Favorite food/meal?

A: Ribeye steak and crab legs or lobster tail.


Q: Best vacation?

A: Italy.


Q: Favorite quote?

A: There are two pains in life: The pain of discipline and the pain of regret.


Q: Describe your educational philosophy?

A: Set your educational bar high and don’t accept anything below it. You get what you put in!


Q: Favorite restaurant?

A: Violante’s (no longer open).


Q: Favorite teacher from high school?

A: I loved all of my teachers. I loved school in general!


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

A: I played three sports as a kid and I never had an off-season to train, because I was always in season. I think playing multiple sports was the best thing I’ve ever done!  You can’t expect to succeed if you only put in the work on the days you feel like it.


Q: Favorite coach from your playing days?

A: Frank Platzar (deceased) — high school wrestling coach and athletic director at Willoughby South.


Q: Favorite sports team?

A: Cleveland Browns.


Q: Favorite athlete then?

A: Jack Lambert.


Q: Favorite athlete now?

A: Jose Ramirez.


Q: First job as a teenager?

A: Paper route.


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

A: Mom, dad and older brother Lenny.


Q: Favorite video game?

A: Galaxy War or Tecmo Bowl.


Q: Favorite candy?

A: Reese.


Q: Best friends?

A: Billy Tekavec, David Williams, Keith Stafford, Dave Seline, Matt Torok.

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