Superintendent Michael Hartenstein plans to recommend Todd Blackledge as the varsity boys basketball coach for North Canton Hoover High School.
Hartenstein will present his recommendation to the Board of Education for approval at a meeting Wednesday.
“Todd is the right person to lead our student athletes,” Hartenstein said. “We will have a competitive basketball team, and our kids will be better athletes and people for having gone through the program.”
Hartenstein also praised Blackledge’s passion for student athletes and his commitment for program development at the youth level.
“What stood out to the committee about Todd Blackledge was not only his integrity but more importantly his vision for coaching and developing the total athlete — mind, body, and soul,” Hoover Athletic Director Don Shimek said. “Added to that, the goals he has to unify the boys’ basketball program and at the same time to strengthen the bonds with other sports programs in our community really struck a chord.”
Blackledge, a native of North Canton and former Hoover varsity basketball player, served as a varsity assistant coach for previous coach Randy Montgomery for eight seasons. For four of those years, he also served as the freshman boys’ basketball coach.
Blackledge, who also played quarterback at Hoover, Penn State and in the NFL, also works as a college football analyst on ESPN. He and his wife, Cherie, have four sons. Their oldest son graduated from Hoover last year and attends Hope College in Holland, Mich., where he plays basketball.