Leetonia picks Hulea as new football coach

LEETONIA — The future Leetonia High School football coach is bringing in a winning past.

Former Crestview and Poland head coach Paul Hulea has accepted the Leetonia position and is expected to be officially be named at Jan. 11 board meeting.

Leetonia athletic director Ed Ridgeway said Hulea plans to meet with his new team on Jan. 3.

“We’re excited to have him on board and he’s excited to start,” Ridgeway said.

Hulea has a career head coaching record of 115-46 — including 68-32 in nine seasons at Poland and 47-14 in six seasons at Crestview.

He guided Poland to the 1999 Division III state championship, becoming the first coach in Ohio history to post a 15-0 record. He stepped down as head coach after the 2004 season.

Before going to Poland, Hulea was a highly-successful coach at Crestview. He guided the Rebels to Tri-County League titles in 1988, 1991 and 1993 and led them to their first state playoff appearance in 1991.

Ridgeway actually coached against Hulea when Salem played Poland.

There were 29 applicants, Ridgeway said.

Hulea takes over for Hadi Hadi, who went 2-28 at Leetonia and finished with 15 straight losses.

Leetonia lost by an average margin of 38.3 points a game this season, surrendering 47.1 points a game.

The Bears have lost 31 straight league games, 13 straight home games and 44 of their last 47 games overall.