Pat Diulus was a force in girls basketball for many years in Northeast Ohio. Sadly, he died after a brief illness at age 67 on Tuesday. Diulus guided two different schools to a total of nine state championships over a storied 25-year career.
His Trinity high teams were the class of Ohio, winning four state titles and producing such talents as Semeka Randall and Vonda Ward. He was forced to resign from that school in 1998, but in a matter of days he took on the dual duties of coach and athletic director at Regina. His teams then won five state titles before the school closed in 2010. His final season there, the team had to forfeit a playoff game and the Royals were disqualified from the tournament for using an ineligible player.
His rival at powerhouse Hathaway Brown, Paul Barlow, told me on Wednesday night that Pat “meant a lot to girls hoops in Northeast Ohio, the entire state of Ohio, and on a national level, as well.” Barlow added, “He was a great rival and we had a lot of mutual respect for one another.”
Diulus was well-known on the national hoops scene and was on a first name basis with many of the sports big names, including Pat Summit, of Tennessee, who coached a few of his former players.
Calling hours are Friday from 4-8 p.m. at Fortuna Funeral Home on Brecksville Road. At 10 a.m. Saturday morning, there will be a burial mass at the Church of the Assumption in Broadview Heights.