Slapnik won nine state championships in his 17 years as Collinwood’s girls track coach. He also won the Jesse Owens Cleveland City championship every year he coached. His nine state titles rank third in Ohio history, and is the most by any coach in Cleveland history.
Slapnik—called “coach Slap” by his students—was inducted into the Ohio Association of Track and Cross-Country Coaches Hall of Fame in 2012. In his career, his athletes won 41 individual events in state championship meets. Prior to coaching Collinwood, Slapnik spent nine years coaching at Patrick Henry Middle School, where his teams won eight MS Cleveland City Championships.
Slapnik grew up in Cleveland and went to St. Joseph High School and Ashland University, where he pitched on the baseball team. He spent 32 years teaching physical education in the Cleveland Metropolitan School District. Athletes coached by Slapnik have talked about his emphasis on classwork and team. Collinwood’s Athletic Complex is named after him.