Walsh University Alum Rob Mizicko (’94) in his seventh year as the men’s and women’s cross country and track and field coach, under an umbrella used by many NCAA institutions. Since his return, the Cavaliers have gone on to national prominence in all six programs.
Since coming to Walsh, he has earned four Coach of the Year awards. In 2016, his peers selected him as Coach of the Year for NCAA Division II/NAIA in Ohio in men's cross country by the All-Ohio Coaches Association. In the fall of 2017, he was selected Coach of the Year in the Great Midwest Athletic Conference after the Cavaliers won the G-MAC Cross Country championship, Walsh's first team conference championship in its NCAA era, and also the Midwest Region's Men's Cross Country Coach of the Year. He led the Cavaliers to a second conference title at the 2018 G-MAC outdoor track & field championship and earned another Midwest Region Coach of the Year award for the Men's Track & Field season.
Mizicko has also led the Cavaliers to national prominence with mutiple national rankings and All-Americans. In 2015, he led Walsh to a No. 23 finish at the national championships in men's cross country. Two years later, the Cavs finished No. 22 at the men's cross country national championships. The success carried over to track & field where Mizicko has led Walsh to No. 31 finish in the 2016 women's outdoor season, No. 9 at the 2017 women's indoor national championships, No. 20 at the 2017 women's outdoor national championships, No. 12 at the 2018 women's indoor national championships, No. 19 at the 2018 men's outdoor national championships, and No. 19 at the women's outdoor national championships.
Through the results at the national championships, All-Americans have become a staple for the cross country and track & field programs. Stephanie Foster became the first in the NCAA era after placing in the pole vault during the indoor and outdoor national championships in 2014. Since then, Mizicko has also coached Sarah Berger, Kaitlyn Barber, Jetaiya Smith, Andra Lehotay, Tori Reeves, and Marcus Myers to All-American status. At the 2018 outdoor national championships, both Berger and Myers won national championships, the first for Walsh in its NCAA-era. Berger's national championship is the first for the women's program and just the second in the history of Walsh University women's sports along with women's basketball in 1998.
Mizicko earned his bachelor of science in education (K-12) in physical education from Walsh. He lettered four times in each cross country and track and field and was a five-time national qualifier. He earned his health education certification (7-12) from Malone University (’96).
Rob began his coaching career at Lake High School in 1994 and coached the Blue Streaks’ cross country and track and field programs through 1998. In 1998, he took the helm at Perry High School, where he coached through spring of 2012. At Perry, he was a four-time Stark County Coach of the Year and nine-time Federal League Coach of the Year. He led his teams’ to six Stark County Championships and seven Federal League Championships.
Rob taught physical education and health education at Perry from 1998 to 2012. He was named the 2011 State (OAHPERD) Health Teacher of the Year and was selected as a Top 25 Educator nine times. He was the founder and meet director of the Stark County Track and Field Championship Meet from 2003 to 2012 and is a former Executive Board member of the Ohio Association of Track and Cross Country coaches.
Rob and his wife of 16 years, Jennifer, reside in North Canton.