Wilson graduate spent 32 years as educator in city
By Tom Williams
After 32 years of teaching, East High physical education teacher Mark Cherol is ready to see what challenges retirement will bring.
Cherol, who has been boys varsity basketball head coach for 15 seasons at Wilson and East, is retiring from teaching and won’t return for a sixth season as the Panthers coach.
“Hopefully, I’ll find something to do that is just as interesting and challenging,” Cherol said.
Five years ago when Youngs-town City Schools closed Wilson High and The Rayen School to open East, Cherol was named head coach for the East basketball program. In his five seasons, the Panthers compiled a 59-43 record.
The Panthers were 15-7 this year.
“We’re losing three seniors, but hopefully everybody else will be back for whoever takes over,” Cherol said. “Our junior-varsity team went 15-4 so it should be a good group.”
During his career, Cherol has taught health and physical education throughout the city, including Wilson High and Hillman Elementary schools.
A Wilson High graduate, Cherol played baseball and basketball when he attended Mount Union, then just baseball after he transferred to Youngstown State.
His first stint as varsity basketball coach was at Wilson. After five seasons, he assisted George Burich for eight seasons, then took over the Redmen program for five more seasons before the school closed.
“I love the challenge of working with young men, not just teaching them about basketball, but about responsibility and respecting each other,” Cherol said. “I love competition and coaching was a way that I could still do that.”
Over the years, Cherol’s programs have experienced losses created by violence and temptation.
“There have been moments when you wonder why things happen like that,” Cherol said.
Cherol said he’s looking forward to having more time for family.
“Especially in the evenings,” Cherol said. “People don’t always realize how much time goes into coaching.”