Lou Meszaros Inducted 2011 - Teacher/Coach
Affectionately called "Little Lou" by his friends and whispered between his football players, Lou Meszaros was one of the great coaches to grace Woodward High School. Graduating from Pennsylvania’s Sharpsville High School in 1934, Lou was a first generation Hungarian American, who liked to tell his family stories of his childhood. With a smile on her face, his daughter Deborah recalled one of his favorite memories: “I remember Dad telling us that his family was so poor that he and his siblings would walk the railroad tracks to collect the discarded coal for heat."
Lou worked for four years in the Youngstown steel mills to pay for his education, and graduated from Holbrook College. He started his coaching career in Beaverdam, Ohio, as their head basketball coach. After five years coaching at Beaverdam, Lou became head football coach at Delta High (46-6-3) and Whitmer High (14-4) before arriving at Toledo's Waite High School (18-17-5). Lou coached Waite's players for three seasons, culminating in a 1956 City League Championship. In 1957, Lou accepted an invitation from The University of Toledo to come on board as their backfield
coach. A heart attack sidelined him for the season, but his brief stay was fruitful in recruiting.
After regaining his health, Lou returned to coaching at Woodward in 1958. Known for years as the doormat of the City League, Lou, through hard work and grit, brought Woodward back into the fold by eventually winning more games in 10 seasons than Woodward had won in its past 33 years of City League competition. Lou was "Woodward Football."
He dedicated almost every Friday and Saturday during the season to football. During the weekdays Lou could be found after school on the football field preparing his teams for the upcoming game. On Sundays, he was always in the family’s garage with his coaches and his legendary blackboard, rehashing the team's mistakes and successes.
Lou's daughter, Deborah, remembered that because of his height, one of her Dad's "friends" bought him a red hat to wear when he was on the football field or sidelines so that he could be spotted from the grand stands. He was always being kidded about his height, and the "red hat" became a treasured family memory. Lou's friends represented a "who's who" of Toledo football. Ted Federici, Sylvester "Sonny" Smith, Thad Speirer, Jocko Gordon, Jim Wilusz, Bob Momsen, Elmer Scallish, Ducky Lewis, Steve Contos, Mike Mathias, Bob Rettig , Johnny Curtis, Jack Vergiels, Vern Smith, Harry Larche, Mike Prephan, and his many football players were his very good friends.
Lou would later earn his master's degree in education while at Woodward and, in his spare time, he pursued the links and was known as a very good golfer. With a career accomplishment of 109-80-18, Lou was inducted into the Ohio High School Football Coaches Association Hall of Fame in 1973.
Lou and his late wife, Judith Ann Amstutz Meszaros, were the parents of three children: Deborah Ballert, Steven, and Tammy McLucki; nine grandchildren and seven great-grandchildren. Mr. Meszaros passed away in 1976 at the age of 61.