NILES - In an effort to raise funds to renovate Bo Rein Stadium, the REIN Committee is offering area businesses the opportunity to purchase naming rights to structures such as the scoreboard, press box and locker rooms.
However, money cannot buy the rights to rename the stadium itself.
"Bo Rein represented everything that is good about Niles," said REIN Committee chairman Tim Parry. "Bo epitomized the Niles student-athlete. His name is so deeply-tied to this community, I can't ever see a time when his name is removed from the stadium.
"When the stadium was renamed in Bo's honor, it wasn't done on a whim. The decision wasn't taken lightly, and I seriously doubt there was a single person in town who objected to the decision."
Robert "Bo" Rein was a three-sport standout at Niles McKinley, where he earned All-Ohio status in football and baseball. Following graduation in 1963, Rein went on to become a starting at halfback at Ohio State. He was the Buckeyes' leading receiver as a sophomore and junior, and the Buckeyes' top rusher in 1966.
Rein also played baseball at OSU. He was a shortstop and outfielder for the OSU College World Series championship team of 1966. Following his senior year, Rein was drafted by both the NFL's Baltimore Colts and baseball's Cleveland Indians.
Rein was playing for the Portland Beavers, the Indians' Triple-A farm team, when Achilles tendon and hamstring injuries curtailed his baseball career. He turned to coaching football, where he became an immediate success.
Rein began his collegiate coaching career under Lou Holtz at William & Mary College. When Holtz was hired by North Carolina State in 1972, Rein followed, and became an offensive backfield coach for three years. He was then named offensive coordinator at Arkansas in 1975.
Following the '75 season, Holtz became head coach of the New York Jets, and N.C. State turned to Rein to guide its football program. At age 30, Rein became the nation's youngest major-college head coach.
The Wolfpack finished 3-7-1 in Rein's first year. But State went 8-4 and 9-3 the next two years, then won the ACC title in 1979, going 5-1 in league play and 7-4 overall. The '79 league championship remains the school's last football title.
Soon after the 1979 season, Rein took over the LSU program. However, he would never coach another game.
In January 1980, Rein took a recruiting trip to Shreveport, La. He was on a private plane back to Baton Rouge when the plane suddenly veered off course, climbing to 40,000 feet. The twin-engine Cessna flew more than 1,000 miles in a northeasterly direction before it ran out of gas and crashed into the Atlantic about 100 miles east of Norfolk, Va.
Military search and rescue pilots sent to the area spotted debris, but no wreckage was ever recovered. The bodies of Rein and his pilot were never found.
Shorty after his death, Niles' Riverside Stadium was renamed Bo Rein Memorial Stadium.
The Ohio State football program annually presents the Bo Rein Most Inspirational Player Award. The North Carolina State football program features an annual Bo Rein Memorial Award, given to players who provide a "vital contribution in an unsung role."