Charles (Chuck) R. Zody (86) was born on Tuesday, December 22, 1936 in Butler, Ohio to Ralph and Velma (Charles) Zody. He accepted Jesus as his Lord and Savior on November 18, 1946. Chuck graduated from Loudonville High School and Ohio University, earning undergraduate (’59) and master degrees (’65). While at Ohio University, he competed as a pole vaulter on the track and field team under the leadership of his coach, mentor, best man, and lifelong friend, Stan Huntsman. After graduating, Chuck’s teaching and coaching career began at Utica High School in 1959, where he was the head football and track and field coach until 1963. He then moved to Hilliard High School to become the head cross country and track and field coach, prior to his arrival at Miami University in the fall of 1966, where he served as the Head Mens’ Cross Country and Track and Field coach for 23 of his 28 years on the Miami coaching staff.
While at Miami University, Chuck combined his coaching ability, work ethic and love for his athletes to lead his teams to 7 Mid-American Conference Cross Country Championships and 3 Track and Field Championships. This resulted in him being named MAC Coach of the Year six times in Cross Country (‘79, ‘80, ‘81, ‘84, ‘85, ‘93) and five times in Track and Field (‘79, ‘81, ‘83, ‘91, ‘93). He was also named the NCAA District IV National Coach of the Year twice in Cross Country (‘80, ‘93) and five times in Track and Field (‘79, ’80, ’81, ’91, ‘93). In 1982, Chuck was an assistant coach for the North team at the National Sports Festival and in 1983 he was the National Sports Festival Vice-President for Track and Field. He also served as the President of the NCAA Cross Country Coaches Association in 1984-85 and he was the head coach of the USA National Men’s Team in 1985. Chuck was inducted into the Miami University, Ohio Association of Track and Cross Country Coaches, Butler County Sports and Ashland County Sports Hall of Fames. Although he received numerous coaching accolades, they were never his focus. His greatest joy came from his athletes winning team championships, earning their degrees and becoming the men God created them to be as husbands, fathers and in their careers.
Chuck had a deep faith in God, and he was a dedicated member of Faith Lutheran Church in Oxford for over fifty years. His deep faith helped him maintain a love and devotion to his wife, Pauly. Together they provided a loving and stable family environment for their three sons and their grandchildren too. He loved nothing more than providing his grandchildren with 20 years of beach vacations to the Outer Banks. It was a pretty impressive feat for a man that hated sand. He also enjoyed creating a lasting memory with each grandchild, by helping them plant their own tree in their backyard that was a seedling from his tree at his home in Oxford.
Chuck is survived by the love of his life for 63 years, Pauly and his three sons, Roger (Halle), Stan (Angela) and Rod (Jackie) Zody. He has fourteen grandchildren: Jordyn, Alexis (Blake), Chris, Kelsey, Jake (Kaylie), Megan, Josh, AJ, Luke, Mia, Claire, Eliana, Leah and Jane. He is also survived by the thousands of athletes he coached at the high school and collegiate levels. He leaves a legacy of love and a model of integrity, excellence, determination and discipline that he imparted into all of us.
Services for Chuck will be held at Tidd Family Funeral Home, 5265 Norwich Street, Hilliard, Ohio 43026 on Saturday, September 30th. Visitation will be held from 12:00 to 2:00 PM, with a service following from 2:00 to 3:00 PM. Former athletes and friends will have the opportunity to share a memory or thought at this time. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions can be made to the Coach Chuck Zody Memorial Scholarship at Miami University.