It’s a position that’s very familiar to Lake – who led the Colts program from 1986-99 – coaching the team to a 9-1 season in 1992, when he was named Northeast Ohio Football Coach of the Year.
Even after stepping down from the top job, Lake was never very far away from Cloverleaf football. He served as offensive coordinator for the Colts 2008 playoff team and was offensive line coach for former Cloverleaf head coach Doug Haas, who resigned Jan. 24 to accept a head coaching position with Wooster High School.
"I am happy to introduce Bob Lake as the head football coach at Cloverleaf High School,” said Athletic Director Craig Walkup. “When the position came open, I asked Bob if he would oversee the off-season weightlifting program and he agreed without hesitation. We are fortunate to have a coach with his experience leading our team. He is very respected not only in the coaching circuit, but by our student body and staff as well. We felt it was important to hire someone who was a teacher in the high school and someone who had head coaching experience. Bob fills both of those needs. He has been very loyal to Cloverleaf.”
It was the talented core of players and their work ethic in the weight room that ignited Lake’s desire to return in the lead role.
“By watching them work so hard and be so dedicated, it inspired me to want to be head coach again,” Lake said. “I wanted to be part of what’s going on.”
Lake is proud of the more than 20 Cloverleaf athletes who received scholarships to play for Div. I colleges like Ohio State, Penn State, West Virginia and Yale, during his head coaching career. Getting players to that next level takes knowledge of what Div. I schools are looking for, Lake said, and a high school program that helps athletes gain those skills – including implementing offensive and defensive styles that complement those found at the college level.
Lake, 57, has been with Cloverleaf 34 years, where he teaches psychology, sociology and is co-chair of the High School Social Studies Department. He played at Canton South High School and went on to earn a Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology and American History from the University of Akron. He began his coaching career at Cloverleaf as assistant head coach in 1979 and is a member of the Cloverleaf Athletic Hall of Fame.