I’ve been around basketball for a lot of years and seen a lot of great kids and excellent
competition. There’s more to coaching than being a winner. It’s showing a kid what kind of
person he can be. They’re student-athletes, and seeing them go out into the world and be
successful in life means more to me than any amount of wins and losses.
Henry “Herk” Lazasz was born and raised in Tiltonsville, Ohio where he graduated from Warren Consolidated High School in 1950. He was a three-year letterman in both basketball and football, continuing his athletic career at Bethany College in West Virginia, lettering two years in basketball and four on the Bison football team. Following college he served two years in the US Army, playing football and basketball on his post in Arizona.
He was appointed head basketball and assistant football coach at his alma mater, Warren Consolidated, in 1957. He remained there through the initial Buckeye Local consolidation in 1972, when the school became Buckeye South. In 1998 following the consolidation of Buckeye South and Buckeye West due to a fire, he stayed on as head basketball coach of the new Buckeye Southwest. He finished the 1990-91 season as the head coach of the Buckeye Local Panthers.
His accomplishments through the years are many, including a combined record of 405 wins and 302 losses; two undefeated teams and Ohio Valley Athletic Conference Championships in 1961, 1971, 1977, and 1981. In 1970, he was named OVAC Coach of the Year and Martins Ferry Time Leader Coach of the Year. He was selected Ohio Coach of the Year by UPI in 1977 and also the AP Eastern District Coach of the Year that same season. During his career he received numerous achievement awards from the Upper Valley Dapper Dan Club, including the Carl Hamill Coaches Award in 1990 for leadership as a teacher, coach, counselor, and friend. He coached the Ohio North-South All-Star Game and the Ohio Valley Athletic Conference All-Star Game.
He has been a member of the OHSBCA and a past president and vice president of the District 5 Basketball Coaches Association when he also held posts on the scholarship committee and the All-Star game committee. He is a lifetime member of the NEA and OEA, and also a member of St. Joseph’s Catholic Church in Tiltonsville. On his retirement, two honorary boys scholarships were set up in his name.
Coach Lazasz’s first love is his family. He and his wife, the former Florence Joann Applegarth, have four children and five grandchildren: daughter Deborah (Ron) Stephenson, mother of Rachale and Louie; son William, father of Britany; daughter Mary (Robert) Sempkowski, mother of Bobby and Gabrielle, and daughter Lisa Lazasz, a teacher at Buckeye Local.