Rich Dematte

For 35 seasons-a career that spanned five decade—Rich Dematte would become Avon Lake High School's ultimate assistant coach.

A 1964 graduate of Dillonvale High School (now known as Rayland Buckeye), the longtime coach learned much of what he's passed on through personal experience. He earned eight varsity letters in high school playing baseball. basketball and football.

Dematte came to Avon Lake in 1969 after earning his bachelor's degree from West Liberty State College in West Virginia. He got into coaching that same year under Avon Lake Hall of Fame head football coach Al O'Neill.

An assistant for five Shoremen head football coaches, Dematte would go on to coach on 17 Southwestern Conference championship teams and 10 state playoff teams, including the 2003 team that won the first football state title in school history. He was an assistant coach on six of the 10 Avon Lake football teams inducted into the Avon Lake Sports Hall of Fame. Dematte was recognized by his peers when he was inducted into the Lorain County Football Coaches Hall of Fame in 2004. The Ohio High School Football Coaches Association honored him in 2001.

A junior varsity and varsity assistant baseball coach from 1969-74, Dematte was an assistant coach on the school's first varsity girls basketball team in 1975. He served as an assistant boys basketball coach as well (from 1969-71 and 1999-2000). In his final season coaching boys basketball (1999-2000), the Shoremen advanced to tbe Division II Elite 8 regional title game after knocking off a favored Olmsted Falls team in the district finals.

Among his many other accomplishments, Dematte founded the Avon Lake Varsity Club and helped establish the Keith Reiber Memorial Scholarship Fund. A two-time Who's Who of High School Teachers, he is a l2-time winner of Avon Lake's Outstanding Teacher award.

© Avon Lake Sports Hall Of Fame