Married to Kaye for 34 years; we met in college
Brooke, 31, now resides in Greenville, S.C. and is employed as a travel agent. She graduated from Liberty Center High School, where she received 11 varsity letters: 1 in softball, 4 in track, and 3 each in basketball and volleyball. Brooke was all-Ohio in volleyball, and a three-time state qualifier in track, placing twice. As a senior she won the state discus title.
Brandi, 29, still lives in Liberty Center, Ohio; she owns and operates Bliss Massage Therapy. Like her older sister, Brandi also lettered in basketball, volleyball, and track during high school. She was a three-time state qualifier in track, placing third in the shot put and sixth in the discus as a senior.
Blake, 25, resides in Denver, CO, and is currently a district manager for Toshiba business solutions in Boulder. He also inherited the family’s athletic genes, earning 10 varsity letters in high school: three in track (as a three-time regional qualifier in the shot put and discus); four in wrestling, where he qualified for state twice and was the heavyweight division state champion as a senior. Blake lettered 3 times in football, was named first team all-Ohio twice, lineman of the year once, and earned a full scholarship to Wake Forest University in Winston Salem, N.C A four-year college letterman, he garnered several honors: ACC Player of the Week, Academic All-ACC Team, and was a candidate for the Outland Trophy. He signed as a free agent with the Detroit Lions and was later put on waivers.
Education & occupation after MHS:
Following graduation I attended Ohio Northern University on a football scholarship, then taught one year at North Union in Marion County before moving to Liberty Center Local Schools in NW Ohio — where I’ve been since 1973. I was head wrestling coach at Liberty Center for 21 years, qualifying over 100 wrestlers to the state wrestling tournament. In 1986 I became the head football coach at Liberty Center. Among the football highlights: Liberty Center was Div. 5 state runner-up 1993 and 1998; and state champions in 1997. We’ve also won numerous regional titles. I was named Division 5 Coach of the Year twice, and coached the North South All-Star Game. Liberty Center Football is currently one of the top 25 programs in the state.
My wife is employed as the editor of the weekly newspaper in Liberty Center
Did your MHS education or experiences influence your career direction?
My experiences at MHS definitely influenced my decision to become a teacher, and my various coaches, especially Dave Douglas, sparked an interest to one day pursue coaching.
(Editor’s note: Rex played fullback under legendary Panther coach Swede Olsson, and was inducted into the MHS Athletic Hall of Fame in 1974.)
Strangest (or most interesting) thing you’ve done since H.S.:
Probably the strangest thing I have done since high school involved my son's college football career. For four years during football season I would coach my Liberty Center team on Friday nights, then leave at 2:30am to catch the 6am flight to wherever our son was playing. We traveled to Boston, Tallahassee, Clemson, Georgia Tech, NC State, UVA, etc., and we’d then catch the early flight on Sunday morning to get back in time for my Sunday H.S. football meeting.
In 2004 our high school football team qualified for the state playoffs, and our son was scheduled to play Miami in the Orange Bowl. Both games were on Saturday, one at 1pm and one at 7pm. We flew to Miami on a commercial flight Friday, went to Blake’s game the next day, and at the end of third quarter we caught a private jet ride back to Toledo in time for the playoff game. (The jet belonged to the parents of one of my players.)
We have also traveled to Seattle to see our son play in the Seattle Bowl, along with numerous trips to Florida . . . where I really enjoy Disney World.
Current Hobbies / Activities:
My main hobby is golf
Special plans for the future:
I plan to relax!!
Favorite Manchester teachers, and why:
My favorite Manchester teachers were Mr. Armenti (loved the conversation in class), and Mrs. White because she was nice
Favorite subjects at MHS:
Art with Mr. P and Panther Press with Mrs. White.
Least favorite subjects at MHS:
Favorite Manchester memories:
My favorite Manchester memories include football games, and playing poker during two-a-days; also baseball games and driving to all the away games. I enjoyed high school . . . it was great; I loved everything.
What sports, if any, did you play or letter in at MHS?
Football, baseball and wrestling, lettering three years in each sport.
Which H.S. reunions have you attended?
I have been to most of the reunions with the exception of maybe one. It was fun seeing my old friends and keeping in touch with Bill Henninger.
Did you have any favorite high school “hangouts?”
Big Boy after games
Favorite TV shows:
Then -- Ghoulardi
Now -- Seinfeld
Then -- Dirty Dozen
Now -- Field of Dreams
Last good book I read….
I have not read a book recently, but I listen to books on tape.
Biggest pet peeve since graduation:
That great plague of midlife: gaining extra pounds
If you could go back and change something, what would it be?
I would have studied harder
“My old friends would be surprised to know . . .”
… at how much weight I have gained.
Do you still have family living in Manchester, and how often do you get “back home?”
I have no family in Manchester, however my football team scrimmages Manchester every pre-season, and I come back to the area at least five times a year to visit my mother in Canal Fulton
Siblings who are also MHS alumni?
My brother Mark (class of ’72) and sister Nancy (class of ’70) both graduated from Manchester.
You can email Rex at: Rexkaye@aol.com