For Greg Moviel ’03, playing sports opened doors – to a Division I college scholarship at Vanderbilt University, a Major League Baseball pitching role, and a thriving coaching and business career.
It all began with brothers Daniel, Paul, and Scott. “Four animals in the house, tackling each other and playing ball in the backyard,” recalls Greg. It was followed by years of travel ball, long hours of practice and parents devoted to investing time and money into the best teams and tournaments – not to be seen by scouts, but to enjoy it as a family and appreciate the demands and rewards. “Without the hard work and value system set forth by my parents, Mark and Susan, I wouldn’t be the man I am today,” says Greg.
After attending St. Adalbert School in Berea, Greg’s parents gave him the opportunity to attend a private high school, knowing he’d put his heart into the challenge. “At Saint Ignatius, your athletic prowess meant nothing in the academic realm. There were no excuses given,” says Greg, recalling the time he was to pitch in a state championship game and Mr. Howard wouldn’t excuse him from a U.S. History exam – though he could take it early.
Greg’s athletic achievements at Saint Ignatius proved to be legendary, earning him seven varsity letters. He was a key player on Brian Becker’s 2001 basketball team that won the school’s first-ever state title, and team captain his last two seasons. But it was on the pitching mound where Greg earned fame, with wins and strikeout records ranked among the top in Ohio baseball history. He posted a career record of 36-1, including 10-0 marks in his final two seasons and the school’s first baseball championship in 2002. Cleveland Plain Dealer sports writer Eddie Dwyer wrote, “Every baseball purist refers to pitching as the ‘name of the game’ If you stand by that theory, there is no question which player goes down as the most impressive in Saint Ignatius' baseball history – 6’6” left-hander Greg Moviel.”
Greg remembers basketball coach Brian Becker ‘77 with a deep respect, as well as team pastor, Fr. Tom Weber. “He helped guide me and kept me interested in my Catholic faith. He took prayer down to a high school athlete’s level, and I started going to the chapel every morning. The Sophomore Service and religious aspect of the school helped me in life and kept me grounded.”
After college, Greg pitched three seasons with the Seattle Mariners, and became a baseball instructor, head coach and mentor. With brothers Scott and Paul, he founded Moviel Baseball, providing instruction and consulting to novice and professional athletes. Greg’s been a guest coach at the University of Texas and Air Force Academy, and Director of Sales and Operations for The Farm Sports in Colorado Springs. He recently transitioned into sports medicine as a sales representative for Stryker medical devices.
Greg’s wife Madeline played Division I basketball at Yale University and recently completed her second nursing degree. In May, the couple welcomed their first child, Mack Robert. While Greg and Mady continue to build careers in health care, they still have a passion for coaching and mentoring athletes. “If I was living in Cleveland, there’s no doubt my son would be going to Saint Ignatius,” says Greg. “My experience there stayed with me the rest of my life.”