The Ohio High School Basketball Coaches Association is proud to announce that Joe Balogh of Ontario High School is the recipient of the 2011 Paul Walker Award. The Paul Walker Award is presented annually by the OHSBCA to an active coaching member of the association who has made significant contributions to high school basketball. The award is named in honor of the late Paul Walker, the longtime coach of Middletown High School. At the time of his retirement, he had the most wins as boys’ basketball coach in Ohio High School Basketball history with 695.
Joe Balogh is the son of the late Paul and Merilyn Balogh. He is a graduate of Edgerton High School where he played for Coach Ron Stevens and was an honorable mention All-Ohio player. He earned his Bachelor of Arts Degree in elementary education from Ohio Northern University. While at ONU he had the opportunity to play for two years and coach for two years under two legendary Division III coaches, Gale Daugherty and Joe Campoli. Joe began his teaching and coaching career in the Fort Loramie school system where he taught junior high reading and served as the junior high and varsity cross country coach along with being the junior varsity basketball coach. His high school basketball coaching experience began under George Hamlin, who lead Fort Loramie to a state championship in 1977.
In 1984 Joe accepted a varsity assistant’s basketball position at Ontario High School and then a year later was hired as the boys’ varsity basketball coach. In his twenty-five years as the boys’ varsity coach at Ontario Joe has compiled a record of 401 – 160 for a winning percentage of 71%. Included in this record are eight twenty win seasons with a highlight being his 1989-90 team that went undefeated during the regular season and finished with a record of 24 – 1 . In 1995 his Ontario team earned a spot in the Division III Final Four where they lost to the eventual state champions, Orrville Red Riders, in a classic state semi-final game. His 1996-1997 team went 23 – 2 with its only two losses being to state champions, Cleveland Heights (Division I State Champions) during a holiday tournament and Patrick Henry (Division III State Champions) in the regional final. During Joe’s tenure at Ontario the Warriors have won 16 league championships, 12 sectional championships, 6 district championships, 1 regional runner-up, and 1 regional championship. In 1990 and 1997 the Warriors were the Associated Press Poll Runners-up and in 1998 they were the AP Poll Champions. From 1996 to 1998 his teams compiled a 34 game home winning streak and in 1997, 1998, and 2007 went undefeated in the North Central Conference.
For his accomplishments Coach Balogh was named OHSBCA Coach of the Year in 1995 and was recognized as District 6 Coach of the Year in 1989, 1990, 1995, 1997, and 1998. Joe has received the prestigious Bob Arzen Award for his twenty plus years at Ontario. He has coached in the North-South All-Star Game and the Ohio-Kentucky Game. He is very active in the Ohio High School Basketball Coaches Association where he served as president from 2004 – 2006 and was the chairman of the scholarship committee. He currently holds the position of Awards Director for the OHSBCA.
Joe has been married for 28 years to Diane, and they have two sons. Steven is currently attending college at the University of Central Florida where he is pursuing a degree in physical therapy. Blake is a sophomore at Ontario High School where he is a member of the golf team and basketball team.