Coach Julie Plitt after the Tigers won the District Volleyball Championship in 2016

by Matt Huether,

Loveland, Ohio – This past Fall Loveland High School Athletics lost two of its distinguished Varsity Head Coaches. Coaches Julie Plitt and Fred Cranford both resigned after their respective Fall sports season due to family reasons. Both have been an integral part of Loveland Athletics since their arrival.

Coach Plitt led Loveland to a 22-2 record and their second straight ECC Conference Championship this season. Coach Plitt also reached a coaching milestone this season winning her 400th career game as Head Coach. This came in her 21st coaching season against Lakota East with a score of 24-26, 25-23, 25-15, 25-13. Coach Plitt’s coaching career includes 10 years with Reading, 7 years with Wyoming and 4 years with Loveland. In Coach Plitt’s four years with Loveland, she had much success with a 78-20 record.

Coach Cranford led the Loveland Tigers Varsity Football team for 6 seasons. During his first season as Head Coach, Loveland won the OHSAA Division II State Title as well as the ECC Conference Championship. This was Loveland’s first Division 2 State Title in the school’s history. During Coach Cranford’s 6 seasons at the helm for Loveland, he held a 33-32 record.

Coach Fred Cranford (Loveland Magazine File Photo © 2019)

When asked what their impacts were on their respective Programs Loveland Athletic Director Brian Conatser said both were great leaders and were well-respected coaches making big impacts on their team’s success and the Loveland Athletic Department.

Principal Peggy Johnson said that Cranford stepped down because of the age of his children and because his wife travels for business. He told Johnson, “My kids are of the age, I need to be there for them.” Cranford has three school-age children.

Two of Plitt’s children will be attending Ball State next year. Marie Plitt will play volleyball and Drew is already playing football there. Johnson said that for Plitt to continue coaching volleyball at the high school level she would miss her daughter’s college career. “It’s very exciting to have children playing college sports, and I understand her choice.”

Brice, Julie, Marie, Steve, and Drew Plitt on the occasion of Marie’s Volleyball Senior Night on October 11, 2018.

Johnson said a timeline for hiring will be established; the positions will be posted and a committee will be put together to evaluate candidates comprised of parents, Athletic Boosters members, Constater, and other coaches outside of the respective sport. Conaster will make a final recommendation to the Board of Education.

Conaster described both Plitt and Cranford as outstanding leaders of young men and women. “On the court, on the field, they had high expectations of the student-athletes and held them accountable, and obviously with a lot of success.” Conaster mentioned Cranford coaching a State Championship football team and said that no-one can have a conversation about southwest Ohio volleyball without including Loveland and Julie Plitt in the conversation. “We owe both a lot of gratitude for setting the culture in making Loveland High School Better.”

Cranford will continue teaching physical education at Loveland High School. Plitt teaches health and physical education at Wyoming City Schools.

On behalf of Loveland Magazine, we would like to thank both coaches for their efforts and wish them the best of luck in their future endeavors.

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