The arrival of Rex Warner, Norm Ashworth and Paul Martin within one year of each other coincided with an unmatched run of athletic success at Beavercreek High School.
Warner and Ashworth both left Bradford at the same time and landed at Beavercreek in 1959. Martin would join them a year later from New Lexington in Perry County. The impact those three had on Beavercreek football, wrestling and boys basketball was immediate and prolonged.
“That was probably one of the best jobs I ever had because it was only two coaches and we did everything,” Ashworth said on Monday of teaming with Warner at Bradford. “We won the league in all four sports (football, basketball, baseball and track). You know when you’ve done that at a school the size of Bradford the boys are doing it.”
Warner, Beavercreek’s longtime athletic director, died last Saturday at Miami Valley Hospital. He was 87.
A Milton-Union graduate, Warner was an offensive lineman at the University of Louisville. As a senior, he blocked for emerging underclass quarterback Johnny Unitas.
Warner’s easy-going and polite manner belied a fierce competitiveness that was enhanced by an imposing stature. After leaving Bradford, he would find more football success at Beavercreek. His first team in 1962 was 9-1, followed by a 9-0-1 season the next year. Both those teams won Mid-Miami League titles. Beavercreek’s football coach from 1962-66, he gave that up to become the school’s AD and was succeeded by Martin in football.
Martin’s first three teams were a combined 26-4 from 1967-69, including the 10-0 Western Ohio League champs in 1968. Also the school’s successful and founding wrestling coach, he died in the spring of 1973 from stomach cancer. He was 44.
Ashworth had a long run as Beavercreek’s boys basketball coach, winning several WOL titles and producing many outstanding players, including his sons Doug and Mark Ashworth.
Warner oversaw all that success as AD and helped usher in soccer and girls sports in the mid-1970’s.
“He was such a mentor,” said Ed Zink, a 1970 Beavercreek grad whom Warner talked into accepting the girls basketball coaching position. Still active, forty-two seasons later Zink is the state’s all-time winningest coach.
“He was probably one of the most respected gentlemen I’ve ever known. He was a great, great person.”
Warner has been inducted into multiple athletic hall of fames. He was succeeded as AD in 1984 by Bevan Garwood, also deceased.
A showing for Warner is from 4-8 p.m. Tuesday at Tobias Funeral Home in Beavercreek. A funeral will be held at 11 a.m. Wednesday at Peach Lutheran Church, also in Beavercreek. Warner is survived by his wife of 67 years, Gloria, daughter Melinda Robbins and son Robert Warner.
• Brookville baseball coach Scott Broerman has been promoted to succeed Mike Lindsey as the school’s AD. Lindsey held the position the past 13 years. He also was Brookville’s football, boys basketball and baseball coach during a career that began in 1974.
“Mike Lindsey has been an outstanding leader of our athletic program,” Superintendent Tim Hopkins said in a release. “We believe Mr. Broerman brings the same level of dedication and potential longevity to this position.”
Broerman is a Versailles grad.
• Several area ADs were recently honored by the Southwest Ohio Athletic Directors Association as award winners: Dale Creamer (retired), Rob Dement and Duane Pullins (Centerville), Robin Spiller (Northmont), Chris Weaver (Fairmont) and Craig Eier (Tecumseh).
All will represent the Southwest District as nominees for state and national recognition during the Ohio Interscholastic Athletics Administrators Association state conference at Columbus in November.
• Steve Blackledge (Columbus Dispatch, Division 1), Aaron Dorksen (Wooster Daily Record, D-2), Rob McCurdy (Marion Star, D-3) and Todd Stumpf (Medina Post, D-4) have been chosen the Ohio Prep Sportswriters Association writers of the year for 2016. OPSWA membership is 157 writers and photographers throughout the state, the most in its 45-year history.
FACEBOOK: For more high school sports you should like Marc Pendleton
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