Collinwood track to be named in Honor of Lou Slapnik '71

The Cleveland Metropolitan School District’s Interscholastic Athletics Office and the City of Cleveland Department of Recreation along with Ward 8 Councilman Mike Polensek and Ward 10 Councilman Jeffrey Johnson announced on September 10 that the track at the Collinwood Athletic Complex will be named for legendary Collinwood track Coach Lou Slapnik '71.

The dedication will take place on Saturday, September 20, 2014, at 10:45 a.m. at the Collinwood Athletic Complex, 1070 East 152nd Street, Cleveland, Ohio 44110.

Lou “Slap” Slapnik spent nine years as the coach at Patrick Henry Middle School where his teams won eight consecutive MS Cleveland City Championships. Named head coach at Collinwood in 1994, Lou won the Jesse Owens Cleveland City Championships in each of his seventeen years. Eight times Collinwood won District Championships with seven District Runner-up titles. At the Regional level, Lou’s teams won eight Regional Championship titles along with six Regional Runner-up titles.

Slap’s teams won nine State Championships (eight in Division I and the 2010 title in Division II) along with one Runner-up title in 2007. Collinwood dominated OHSAA competition winning five of those championships consecutively between 1997 and 2001 as well as three in a row between 2004 and 2006. Collinwood became synonymous with the State Meet as they scored 10 or more team points in each of the seventeen years of Lou’s tenure.

Under his leadership, Collinwood won State Championship honors in forty-one individual events along with numerous state records, some of which still stand. On the national level, Lou has coached Nike HS Outdoor National Champions in seven events and Collinwood relay teams have been a fixture in these races throughout his career.

Lou retired at the end of the 2010 track and field season. He was inducted into the Ohio Association of Track and Cross Country Coaches Hall of Fame on January 27, 2012. Slapnik is a 1971 graduate of St. Joseph High School and Ashland University and taught physical education for 32 years in the Cleveland Metropolitan School District.