The only softball coach the Rootstown High School softball program has ever known has officially passed the torch.
Dave Mullenix, who took over the program when it was founded in 1984, recently retired as the Rovers' coach and turned the program over to Jason Ray.
On Monday, Ray and his 2013 edition of the Rovers made a surprise gesture to Mullenix by presenting him with the team's official T-shirt for the season that reads "Tradition Never Retires" on the back. The shirt is a symbol of appreciation for Mullenix, with Ray adding that his players "have dedicated this season to 'Coach Mo'."
In Mullenix's 29 years as the softball coach, he compiled a 382-309 career record. The win total places him 19th all-time in Ohio high school softball history. In league play, Mullenix's record was 233-191, and he won two Portage County League titles (1984, 1997).
Mullenix also led the Rovers to four district titles (1995, 1996, 1997, 2003), were regional runners-up in 1995 and reached the state's Final Four in 2003.
The retired history teacher is currently serving as a study hall monitor at Rootstown High School. He has also been a longtime member of the school's boys basketball coaching staff.