History

Football-Style-Old

Whitmer High School has had a long and proud tradition when it comes to education and athletics dating back to the 1920’s. Whitmer is home to an estimated 2,500 students annually. The high school has been voted by the City Newspaper as the “Best High School in the City of Toledo” on multiple occasions. Whitmer offers a rigorous curriculum for students interested in going to college and has one of the best Career and Technology Centers in the state of Ohio. Also, Washington Local was voted “The Best Workplace” in the region in 2014.

The football program is know for being on of the toughest opponents on the schedule every year. In 2011, Whitmer Athletics joined the newly formed “Three Rivers Athletic Conference (TRAC)” and they won the first ever league championship with an undefeated regular season record. This feat was repeated again in 2012 with the Panthers repeating as league champions and finishing state runner-up. Prior to joining the TRAC, Whitmer was a member of the Toledo City League from 2004-2010. The football program garnered a record of 38-11 in league play during their City League tenure, winning the last two league titles before their departure to the TRAC. Prior to joining the City League, Whitmer was a member of the Great Lakes League (GLL), which is no longer in existence. The maize and blue won GLL titles in 1984, 1986, 1987, 1988, and 1995.

Over the years, Whitmer Football has been lead by 19 head coaches, and each have left their mark on the program in a unique way. From C.L. Messemore’s 1929 Whitmer Football team to today’s team, the program has been the pride of Washington Township. Coming off of a 2-7-1 season in 1967, Whitmer Football’s resurgence began under Norm Decker. Decker coached until 1974. Then, the Panthers longest tenured head coach, Pat Gucciardo Sr., took over the reigns of the program and coached from 1975-1992. Longtime Whitmer assistant, Jeff Robbins, was named head coach in 1993 and retained that post until 1999. Robbins gave way to Dan Fought, who was the head coach from 2000-2005, and he led the team to its first playoff win in 16 years in 2004. In 2006, Joe Palka was named the head coach of the Whitmer Football program. Coach Palka guided the Panthers to a Regional Finals appearance in his first season at the helm and was named “Coach of the Year” in the City League. Palka would lead the Panthers to two Regional Championships and two Final Four appearances (2010 & 2011) during his time as head coach. In 2012, Whitmer alum and seasoned assistant, Jerry Bell was named the head coach of the Panthers. In his first season, Bell lead Whitmer to a Division 1 State Runner-Up finish and also helped the Panthers claim their best season in school history with a 14-1 overall record. Coach Bell has qualified for the playoffs in each of his first three season as head coach.

Coaching Eras

C.L. Messemore

Donald Stacy

Henry Fearnside

Dale Crow

Doug Marshal

George Learch

Donald Stacy

Bob Mustain

Lou Meszaros

Vern Smith

Jim Mohn

Marty Brumbaugh

Bill Gilbert

Norm Decker

Pat Gucciardo

Jeff Robbins

Dan Fought

Joe Palka

Jerry Bell

Ken Winters

 

1929-1931

1931-1938

1938-1941

 

1939-1941

1941-1943

1943-1946

1946-1952

1952-1954

1954-1963

1963-1965

1965-1966

1966-1967

1968-1974

1975-1992

1993-1999

2000-2005

2006-2011

2012-2015

2016-Present

12-5

23-16-4

6-1-1

 

2-6-1

12-5-2

9-3-3

36-24-4

12-6

55-23-2

10-8-2

5-5

2-7-1

49-18-3

131-53-2

38-33

37-27

59-17

39-12

All Time Record

533-249-22    .663 Winning Percentage