Canton McKinley High School

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McKinley Senior High School
2323 17th Street NW


United States
TypePublic, coeducational high school
Motto"Where champions are made, and success is tradition."
School districtCanton City School District
SuperintendentAdrian Allison
DeanWillie Cook
PrincipalThomas F. Hill
Enrollment1,356[1] (2016)
Color(s)Red and Black[2]          
Fight songWashington and Lee Swing
Athletics conferenceFederal League[2]
Team nameBulldogs
RivalsMassillon Tigers
YearbookPhoenix (formally The McKinleyite)
Athletic DirectorGreg Malone

McKinley Senior High School is a public high school in Canton, Ohio, United States. It is the only high school in the Canton City School District. Athletic teams compete as the Canton McKinley Bulldogs in the Ohio High School Athletic Association as a member of the Federal League.


The original McKinley building on Market Avenue North was opened on March 27, 1918. The students of Central High School and North High School were moved to the new building. The school was named for President William McKinley (whose home was across the street from McKinley High School) and his sister, Anna McKinley, who taught in the Canton Public Schools for 30 years. When it opened, it was the only high school in Canton. By 1943, it was one of four high schools, as enrollment in the city schools dictated Lehman High School, Lincoln High School, and Timken Vocational High School be opened. As the city of Canton's population declined, so did city school enrollment. In the spring of 1976, the Canton City Schools closed all four high schools in the city. Lehman and Lincoln reverted to junior high schools, and Timken Senior High School and McKinley Senior High School were their replacements. McKinley Senior opened in a new building on the site of Fawcett Stadium. In February 2015, the Canton City School board approved closing Timken as a traditional four-year high school, thus making McKinley the city's only high school for the first time since Lehman became a high school in 1937. McKinley High School's enrollment peaked in the 1935 – 1936 school year with 4,000 students attending.[3]


McKinley competes in the Federal League, one of the oldest athletic conferences in Ohio.

OHSAA State Championships[edit]

Old McKinley High School building at Canton McKinley High School


Canton McKinley is 7th in the nation in football wins all-time, with 827 as of December 2017. McKinley is also second in Ohio in win total.

Prior to the start of the current playoff format in Ohio high school football, McKinley had won seven AP poll titles. Since the playoff format began, McKinley has won three State Titles, in 1981, 1997, and 1998. They have been State Runner-Up three times in 1977, 1985, and 2004.

McKinley-Massillon rivalry[edit]

The Canton McKinley vs. Massillon Washington rivalry is the 13th most played rivalry in the nation, with 129 meetings between the schools, including the 24-17 Massillon victory on October 27, 2018. The rivalry is also tied for the nation's 14th oldest, dating back to 1894 and was profiled in the November 14, 1994 issue of Sports Illustrated. The Great American Rivalry Series which features the nation's top high school football rivalries has highlighted the rivalry 11 times since 2006.

Fawcett Stadium[edit]

McKinley plays at Tom Benson Hall of Fame Stadium (formerly Fawcett Stadium), which seats over 22,500 fans. Benson is also home to the NFL's annual Pro Football Hall of Fame Game (The Hall is in Canton)

Notable football alumni[edit]

Famous Bulldogs include Percy Snow, Kenny Peterson, Marion Motley, Wayne Fontes, Ray Ellis, Jamar Martin, the late Pro Bowl linebacker John Grimsley, Mike Doss, Reggie Corner and Josh McDaniels (New England Patriots Offensive Coordinator/Quarterbacks coach, former Denver Broncos Head Coach). Famous former coaches include Don Nehlen (West Virginia) and Ben Schwartzwalder (Syracuse).


McKinley is #1 in Ohio in wins all-time. They have won three State Championships in 1983–84, 2004–05, and 2005–2006. They have been State Runners-Up eight times, and hold Ohio records for most appearances in the Championship game (11), Final Four appearances (23), and Sweet Sixteen appearances (48).

Notable basketball alumni[edit]

McKinley has had several players move on to the NBA, including Nick Weatherspoon, Phil Hubbard, Gary Grant, Eric Snow, Michael Hawkins, and Keith McLeod. With Nick Weatherspoon playing in the NBA from 1973 to 1980, Phil Hubbard from 1980 to 1989, Gary Grant from 1989 to 2001, Eric Snow from 1996 to 2008, Michael Hawkins from 1997 to 2001, and Keith McCleod from 2004 to present, McKinley has had a graduate in the NBA continuously since 1973, which is believed to be a record.[citation needed]

Merger with Timken High School[edit]

On February 25, 2015, Canton City Schools approved the merger of McKinley High School and Timken High School, giving Canton a single high school for the first time since 1937. Freshmen of the merged schools will attend the Freshmen Academy located at the current Timken High School, while grades 10–12 attend the senior high school located at the current McKinley building. The remaining high school will retain the McKinley name, mascot, and colors.[10]

Notable alumni[edit]

David James "Dave" Wottle (born August 7, 1950) is a retired American middle-distance track athlete. He was the gold medalist in the 800 meter run at the 1972 Summer Olympics in Munich.

Notable Staff[edit]

  • Jim Aiken – Coach: Head football and basketball; would go on to coach at the University of Akron, University of Nevada, Reno, and the University of Oregon
  • Paul Bixler – Coach: Head basketball, assistant football; would go on to coach at Ohio State and Colgate; Director of Player Personnel for the NFL Cleveland Browns
  • Ron Chismar – Coach: Head football; would go on to coach at Wichita State University
  • Harry Hazlett – Coach: Head football and basketball; Head coach of the Pro Canton Bulldogs; during World War II was a Major General and commanded the 86th Infantry Division
  • Dewey King – Coach: Asst. football; became head football coach at San Jose State, Wheaton College (Illinois), and AD at Carroll University (Wisconsin)
  • Harry March – Coach: Head football; involved in Pro-Football, President of American Football League (1936), co-founder and administrator for the NFL New York Giants
  • Thom McDaniels – Coach: Head football; USA Today 1997 High School Coach of the Year
  • Don Nehlen – Coach: Head football; became head football coach at West Virginia University, College Football Hall of Fame inductee
  • Dwight Peabody – Coach: Head football; former early NFL player with the Columbus Panhandles and Toledo Maroons
  • Bob Rupert – Coach: Head basketball; became head basketball coach at the University of Akron
  • Ben Schwartzwalder – Coach: Head football; became head football coach at Syracuse University, College Football Hall of Fame inductee


Notes and references[edit]

  1. ^ U.S. News & World Report. "McKinley High School". Retrieved 2017-07-06.
  2. ^ a b Cite error: The named reference Ohio High School Athletic Association member directory was invoked but never defined (see the help page).
  3. ^
  4. ^ Yappi. "Yappi Sports Football". Retrieved February 12, 2007.
  5. ^ OHSSCA. "Ohio High School Swim Coaches' Association-Boys Swimming State Champions". Archived from the original on June 22, 2006. Retrieved March 8, 2007.
  6. ^ Yappi. "Yappi Sports Basketball AAA". Retrieved February 12, 2007.
  7. ^ Yappi. "Yappi Sports Basketball D1". Retrieved February 12, 2007.
  8. ^ a b c d OHSAA. "Ohio High School Athletic Association Web site". Retrieved December 31, 2006.
  9. ^ Yappi. "Yappi Sports Baseball". Retrieved February 12, 2007.
  10. ^ "School Board Unanimously Approves "One Community, One School"". Canton City School District. Retrieved 2015-02-26.[permanent dead link]

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 40°49′07″N 81°23′54″W / 40.81861°N 81.39833°W / 40.81861; -81.39833