The outstanding tradition of football at Archbishop Moeller High School in Cincinnati began under legendary high school coach Gerry Faust. The school’s first head coach, Faust had an incredible 178-23-2 record from 1962-1980. This included four mythical national championships and seven unbeaten seasons. Faust then went on to become head coach at Notre Dame and the University of Akron.
But the tradition of Moeller continued. The Crusaders were among the top 20 teams in the USA Today’s first national prep poll in 1982 and were among the top 25 pre-season teams selected this fall, 30 years later. The program, over the past five years, has been led by Head Coach John Rodenberg, who has a four year record of 31-16. Last fall the Crusanders finished 9-4 and this season faced six out of state teams including Trotwood-Madison (OH), St. Edward’s (OH) and Gilman (MD).
Rodenberg was a three-year letter winner as a linebacker at Capital University and began his coaching career in 1987 at LaSalle High School in Cincinnati. He then moved to Archbishop McNicholas High School where he was head coach for 11 seasons. Rodenberg then coached at Covington Catholic High School in Kentucky and won a state championship in 2006. After a brief stay at Roger Bacon High School back in Cincinnati, he was selected as head coach at Moeller in 2008.
One of the things Rodenberg has done with his staff is bring back two former Moeller coaches. Jim Lippincott recently retired as Director of Football Operations for the Cincinnati Bengals. A coach at Moeller from 1982-1992, Lippincott will be the defensive coordinator. Steve Klonne, the head coach at Moeller from 1982-2000, will now be the offensive line coach on Rodenberg’s staff.
“I love coaching football and I’m a purist,” said Rodenberg. We get a lot of public awareness at Moeller but first you have to create your program around the school’s mission statement.” The Crusaders are going after their eighth state title in 2012 as they celebrate 50 years of football tradition this fall.