Stan Wenclewicz featured image

Former student’s teaching career was shaped by his experiences at WOUB

Posted on:

< < Back to

Stan Wenclewicz graduated in 1971

Football press passATHENS, OH – November will mark 51 years since the deadly Marshall University football team plane crash, and former WOUB student Stan Wenclewicz ’71 says he’ll never forget when he learned what happened. Thirty-seven Marshall football players were aboard the plane, along with the team’s coach, its doctors, the university athletic director and 25 team boosters.  All were killed. The Ohio University football team learned they wouldn’t have a game the next weekend just as they departed the buses from that days game at Penn State.

“Everyone was in shock.  It was devastating,” said Wenclewicz. “The Bobcats were supposed to play the Thundering Herd in Athens for the last game of the year. I was to broadcast that game on WOUB. I still have a press pass for a game that never happened.”

OU vs. Marshall ticketYes, Wenclewicz says the experience stays with him because it was so devastating. But also, because he was covering an aspect of a major national sports story as a student at WOUB.

“I had so many opportunities to learn so much,” said Wenclewicz. “Those hands-on learning experiences wouldn’t have happened without WOUB.”

Wenclewicz grew up in Dayton and came to Ohio University with the hopes of becoming a teacher.

Stan on Newswatch set as a student“I actually started taking classes at OU in summer of 1967 because I wanted to get a jump start on my college education.  One day I saw a sign for WOUB in Baker Center and decided to get involved with something positive in my spare time.”

Joe Tait was sports director at WOUB at the time. Tait, who passed away earlier this year, went on to become the legendary radio play-by-play announcer for the Cleveland Cavaliers.

Wenclewicz says Tait wanted to give students as many opportunities as possible. Tait believed WOUB and campus radio and tv stations were the feeders for the major networks and professional broadcasting. He encouraged students to get involved and learn a variety tasks.

Tait got a new job and left WOUB early during Wenclewicz’s time at Ohio University. That opening gave students the opportunity to become sports director, and Wenclewicz eventually got that position. He also switched his major to radio and television.

“I got to broadcast Ohio University football games, basketball games and hockey from Bird Arena, which even included a televised game. WOUB provided students to be the public address announcer for football and basketball games. I did many memorable games over my college years,” said Wenclewicz. “I was fortunate to be the first public address announcer for the first basketball game at the new Convocation Center against Indiana University. That was a treat.”

But even though Wenclewicz loved what he did at WOUB, he eventually realized his passion for teaching was something he needed to pursue.

“I stayed in Athens during spring break of 1970 to work for WOUB broadcasting regional high school basketball tournament games. Right in the middle of one of those games, I had a ‘come to Jesus’ moment. I realized radio and TV was really not the path for me. I wanted to coach high school sports. I wanted to teach.”

Wenclewicz changed his major to speech and got a teaching certificate. He went on to be a coach, athletic director, guidance counselor, principal and is now on the Clark County, Ohio School Board.

“I have always told students over the years that you’ve got to take opportunities and get involved. You can’t sit back and let life control you. You’ve got to be an active participant. You’ve got to open your own doors,” said Wenclewicz. “WOUB gave me presentation skills to be in front of a group and think on my feet. If it wasn’t for WOUB and all the experiences, I wouldn’t have had the career I did.  Ohio University and WOUB gave me opportunities that not many could ever duplicate and that has made all the difference.”