A nonprofit publication of the Kentucky Center for Public Service Journalism

NKY’s premiere sports family? Let’s start with Dick Maile, CovCath and LSU standout. . .

By Andy Furman
NKyTribune reporter

Let’s see.

There’s the Larkin family.

Barry, the Hall of Fame former shortstop for the Cincinnati Reds – he does color on their TV home game schedule these days.

Then, there is Byron Larkin – the all-time leading scorer in basketball at Xavier University with 2,696 points.

In fact, this Larkin is a Xavier Hall of Famer who led the Musketeers to their first NCAA win in 1987.

Dick Maile

His number – 23 – is retired.

And don’t forget the third brother – Michael – he played football at the University of Notre Dame in 1984.

And how can you forget the Wolf Family when it comes to Cincinnati-area sports?

Are you ready?

Charley, the family patriarch coached the NBA’s Cincinnati Royals (1960-63) and the Detroit Pistons (1963-64).

But there’s more – much more.

Son Steve played one year of collegiate basketball at North Carolina State, then transferred and played three more seasons of basketball at Xavier.

Brother Marty held the Xavier tennis record for most wins (100), which includes 50 career wins each in singles and doubles, until recently. He won six Cincinnati Met singles titles. Brother Jeff won seven.

He lettered in tennis (1976-79) and basketball (1975-78).

And he’s in Xavier’s Hall of Fame.

Brother Greg played at Spring Hill (Alabama); and Jeff, Daniel and David – yes, they, too are brothers – all played at Rollins College in Florida.
Steve’s son Chase is a senior quarterback at Wisconsin; sister Sabrina, a three-time letter winner at Mount Notre Dame and three-time Ohio state champion (2013, 14,15) plays volleyball at the University of Cincinnati.
Add older cousins Kelsey and Margo Wolf (Greg’s daughters), and Wolf girls have seven MND state volleyball championships since 2011.

And don’t forget J.J. Wolf, Jeff’s son – he’s a professional tennis player and achieved a career-high ATP singles ranking of world No. 120 in September, 2020. He played collegiately at The Ohio State University.

But what about Northern Kentucky?

Where’s the premier sports family?

Look no further than Dick Maile.

He was a standout basketball player at Covington Catholic (1961) averaging 19.5 points-per-game as a shooting forward.

“One of the greatest thrills I had,” he told the Northern Kentucky Tribune, “Was getting a visit to LSU.”

Dick Maile, at home in Northern Kentucky

He not only visited LSU, but played (1963-65) for the Tigers.

He led them in scoring and rebounding for three consecutive seasons, became a two-time first team All-Southeastern Conference selection and was named to the Look Magazine All-America team in 1965.

As a member of the first team All-SEC Maile joins an elite group of ten LSU players including Bob Pettit, Pistol Pete Maravich and Shaquille O’Neal who have all done the same.

He is a member of the Louisiana Basketball Hall of Fame, as well as the Northern Kentucky Sports Hall of Fame.

He finished his Tiger career with 1,284 points, 17.4 average, and 722 rebounds, 10.4 average.

Maile said he was thrilled to play for LSU, “because Bob Pettit was my idol. I loved to watch the St. Louis Hawks and when I got a chance just to visit LSU, it was a tremendous thrill.”

He only got to play in Kentucky as a collegian once, he said. “It was in my junior year, we played Kentucky in Lexington. Cotton Nash and I were going head-to-head for the (individual scoring) championship.”

Maile finished behind Nash’s 24.0 average.

As a senior, he played in the All-College Tournament in Oklahoma City. By chance, LSU met Xavier and Maile torched the Muskies for 38 points.

Following his senior season at LSU, Maile was drafted by the NBA’s Cincinnati Royals in the 11th round. They wanted him to switch to a guard position.

“I just wasn’t quick enough,” said the 79-year-old Maile some 57 years later.

But the tree grows in Northern Kentucky.

His grandchildren have all made the grade as Covington Catholic athletes – and beyond.

Luke Maile is a catcher for the Cleveland Guardians of Major League Baseball and previously played for the Tampa Bay Rays, Toronto Blue Jays and Milwaukee Brewers.

Jake Leinhart is a catcher for Shawnee State in Portsmouth, Ohio; A.J. Mayer, former standout quarterback at CovCath, has since transferred from Miami University to Arkansas State – Mayer led CovCath to a state championship in 2017.

He threw for 3,114 yards and 40 touchdowns as the Colonels finished with a perfect 15-0 record. They scored at least 35 points in every game while never giving up more than 17 Ryle managed in the season-opener.

Michael Mayer was the Gatorade Kentucky Football Player of the Year after recording 49 receptions for 970 yards and 15 touchdowns at CovCath as a senior in 2019.

As a tight end at the University of Notre Dame, Mayer had 71 receptions as a soph last season with seven touchdowns.

The Mayers and Mailes have good – make that – great sports genes.

The best in Northern Kentucky? Perhaps.

“Everything is a gift of God,” Dick Maile said, “my children all were blessed with a great work ethic; and all married children with great sports backgrounds. I’m a blessed man.

“Northern Kentucky,” he said, “is one great place to live.”

And one great place for this family to call home.

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  1. John Mirlisena says:

    You missed a few Wolfs! Just to name a few:

    Marty’s children all played Div 1 sports: Kristen (XU Tennis), Martin (XU BB), Jonny (XU BB), and Nick (Rollins BB). Their Mom, Mary Beth, played tennis at XU too. Steve’s other daughters, Stevie and Shaye, play V-ball at XU and MND, respectively. Jeff’s Daughter Danielle played tennis at OSU…and more Wolfs are on the way to Div 1 very soon.

  2. Andy Furman says:

    John Mirlisena — Got it — but the story was on Dick Maile….Thanks, Andy Furman

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