"Often the difference between winning and losing
is doing the little things nearly right or doing the little things exactly
right. I feel that my success has been attributed to several things: (1)
God's blessing in choosing me for this career, (2) Surrounding myself with
good people, (3) Working with good kids, and (4) Doing the 'little things'
Ray Etzler served 28 years as head basketball coach at Convoy Crestview High
School. He graduated from Convoy Union High School in 1959 and Defiance
College in 1963. In 1966, he earned his Master's from St. Francis College in
Fort Wayne, Indiana. He served at Crestview from 1964 until 1994, with the
exception of two seasons (1973 and 1974) where he was an assistant coach at
Defiance College. His Crestview teams won 445, losing 171. His record
includes nine league, 16 sectional, five district and one regional title,
advancing to the State Tournament in 1971.
Etzler's teams experienced outstanding success. He coached in the OHSBCA
North-South All-Star game, the Ohio-Michigan All-Star game, and twice was
named to coach the West team in the District 8 All-Star game. He was also
selected Coach of the Year three times in District 8. On two separate
occasions he was named UPI Coach of the Year.
Also elected President of the District 8 Coaches' Association, he presided
over the district with the largest membership. In addition, he served the
state association as Second Vice President, First Vice President, President,
First Past President, Second Past President and received the Distinguished
In 1994 Coach Etzler was the recipient of the OHSBCA Paul Walker Award,
presented annually to an active coach of Ohio high school basketball.
Criteria for the award, in addition to the active coach status, is that the
coach has demonstrated a genuine commitment to the game of basketball and to
the OHSBCA. The coach must also have displayed exemplary conduct and the
highest degree of integrity.
During his 33 years at Crestview, Etzler served as a teacher, guidance
counselor, elementary principal and athletic director, including duties for
seven years as head baseball coach (record 90 - 35) with six sectional and
two district titles; assistant football coach; head girls track coach; cross
country coach; and junior high cross country coach. Outside of school he
served as Church Council President for three years, elder for eight years,
Sunday School teacher for 25 years, church youth director, and as a member
of the church building committee.
Coach Etzler and his wife, Coleen, have four children: Lori, Douglas, Andrew