TOLEDO -- Lou West certainly knows his way around the collegiate football coaching circuit. And the experience he has gained at 11 different colleges in his 26th year of assistant coaching has been a valuable asset in his development and success.
A 1973 graduate of Niles High, West, 48, is in his second year as defensive coordinator for the University of Toledo, after spending 1999 and 2000 seasons coaching safeties at Notre Dame.
Already, West has established himself as one of the premier defensive mentors in the Mid-American Conference.
No. 2 defense in MAC
In West's first year with Toledo last year, the Rockets' defense ranked No. 2 in the MAC in rushing yards allowed (105.6) and total defense (321.8), and third in scoring defense (25.5).
Toledo also held three opponents to just seven points, and won the MAC championship with a 41-36 win over Marshall, and the Motor City Bowl, 23-16, over Cincinnati -- all in head coach Tom Amstutz's first year at the helm.
West, a 1976 graduate of Cincinnati where he won three letters as a defensive back, was tapped by Amstutz to join the Rockets' staff in 2001, shortly after the latter accepted his position at Toledo.
Besides charting defensive strategy, West also is a recruiter and scours the Southwest Ohio and Kentucky areas for future talent.
While a player at Cincinnati, West played in the Blue-Gray Classic and North-South Shrine Bowl after the 1977 season.
A native of Washington, Pa., West earned his master's degree from Arizona (1980).
He and his wife, Gail, have three children: Andre, Adrian and Alexandria.
Toledo opened the season Aug. 29 with a 44-16 win over Cal-Poly, and launched defense of its MAC title last Saturday night at Eastern Michigan.
There are three Youngstown-area players on the Toledo team, including returning starter Chris Tuminello from Boardman High, a senior center and co-captain.
Tuminello (6-3, 282) started 10 of 11 games last year at offensive guard, and also served as the long snapper, before being switched to center last spring.
He ranks No. 1 on the depth chart, and again will be the long snapper.
An outstanding student in engineering, Tuminello was selected to the Verizon Academic All-American Second Team in 2001.
Also on the Toledo roster are Anthony Abron (6-2, 220), a sophomore defensive end from Warren Harding who is No. 2 on the depth chart; and Tim Averhart (5-10, 175), a freshman free safety from Ursuline who is rated No. 3.
Tuminello's brother, Kevin Tuminello, is a highly-rated senior lineman for the Boardman High football team this year.
A center, snapper for extra points and field goals and a defensive tackle for the Spartans, Kevin (6-41/2, 284) is being eyed by a host of major college football programs, including Vanderbilt, reports his father, Jim Tuminello.
Kevin, a two-year letterman and very powerful with a 405-pound bench press and 505-pound squat, was featured in the spring and summer issues of the Ohio Future Stars Magazine. He also has a 31-inch vertical jump.
Last year as a junior, he achieved a 91.6 percent average grade on offense. And on defense, he registered 80 tackles, including six for losses and five assisted sacks. And he made the All-Steel Valley Conference team.
Kevin also excels academically with a 3.8 grade-point average, and is a member of the National Honor Society.