Don “Red” Edwards (April 8, 1938 - September 28, 2023)
About Don “Red” Edwards
If you ever attended the annual Track & Field Clinic in Columbus, you probably spoke with Red Edwards at his historical display. Red was a 1956 graduate of Sunbury Big Walnut High School, and one year later in 1957 he began his 66 year coaching career at his alma mater. Red was idolized throughout his community. He was a Sunbury historian, a Big Walnut school district historian, and a track & field historian. Red converted a house on his property into a track and field museum with hundreds of thousands of memorabilia. The entry fee was your visitor signature in his log book. The Sunbury populace affectionately called this the “TRACK HOUSE”. Don started the Eagles boys’ cross country program in 1967, the girls in 1976, and the middle school team in 1985. He originated the Golden Eagles Track Invitational in 1978, with the meet being named after him in 2007. He coached the women’s division of the Ohio Track Club from 1967-1975. Red was inducted into the Big Walnut Hall of Fame, the Ohio Capital Conference Hall of Fame, the Big Walnut Alumni Hall of Fame, and in 2012 he received the OATCCC Ed Barker Award. An interesting life note about Red is that he never missed a day from 1953 of making a written entry into his diary. Don Red Edwards was truly an icon and a very dedicated man. Don “Red” Edwards died at age 85 on September 28, 2023.
Herb Hartman (January 16, 1941 - September 7, 2023)
About Herb Hartman
Herb Hartman from Troy High School passed away on September 7, 2023 at age 82. Herb taught for 30 years and coached for 55 years at his alma mater. Herb is best remembered as the Meet Manager of the OHSAA State Cross Country Meet for more than 20 years with the meet attendance growing to over 10,000; perhaps the largest spectator attended cross country meet in America. He also managed many track & field and cross country invitationals, together with League, District, and Regional Meets on an annual basis. Herb served as President of the OATCCC from 1980-81. Through his leadership skills and direction, Herb transformed the OATCCC from an adversarial relationship with the OHSAA into a role of positive teamwork for the improvement of our sport. He was the Track & Field Clinic Director from 1984-91. During this tenure, the Clinic attendance rose to more than 1,400; becoming one of the largest track & field clinics in the United States. Hartman was recognized with the Ed Barker Award in 1984 and inducted into the OATCCC Hall of Fame in 1993. Herb Hartman became known as an excellent pole vault coach in Southwestern Ohio. He was truly a great leader of the coaches’ Association, having promoted many progressive ideas for our sports of track & field and cross country.
Bob Hollen (September 1, 1955 - July 31, 2023)
About Bob Hollen
Ohio’s Track & Field and Cross Country Coaching world recently lost a good friend, Bob Hollen, former coach at Granville High School. Bob passed away on July 31st in Myrtle Beach where he and his wife, Sonie had moved in 2020 to pursue his other daily passion—playing golf. Throughout his 36-year coaching career, Bob served many prominent leadership roles in the OAT&CCC. Beginning in 1994 as a District Representative, Bob began assisting Craig Whitmore with compiling our sports’ statistical information. He used his art teaching talent to help design and administer the early years of the Association’s webpage and Coach of the Year and All Ohio certificates. Bob was Ohio’s Girls’ Head Coach for both the MidEast and MidWest Championship Teams. He served as the official photographer at many of the OAT&CCC events and was actively involved in assisting with the Annual Track & Field Clinic. During his tenure at Granville, Bob coached many All-Ohio and State Champion athletes. His teams earned multiple titles at all levels of competition. Coach Hollen was awarded the Fred Dafler Career Coach of the Year Award—TWICE—once in 2002 for Girls’ Track & Field and again in 2012 for Boys’ Cross Country. Bob served as Association President in 2000, was inducted into the OAT&CCC Hall of Fame in 2014, and was acknowledged in 2020 with the Ed Barker Award, the Association’s most prestigious recognition. A memorial service for Bob Hollen will be in Granville. Announcement details will be forthcoming in the near future.
Fred Dafler (January 5, 1928 - May 10, 2023)
About Fred Dafler
The 1983 Ed Barker Award Recipient, Fred was also inducted into the OAT&CCC Hall of Fame in 1973. While at Pittsburg Franklin Monroe HS, Dafler taught a variety of subjects and also spent time as the principal and superintendent in addition to coaching both Cross Country and Track & Field. Fred served as assistant and then associate commissioner of the OHSAA. While there, he supervised the OHSAA officiating program and chaired the Sportsmanship, Ethics, and Integrity Committee. A true icon in our great sports, our association Coach of the Year Award is named in his honor.
Jim Emory (April 30, 1948 - March 21, 2023)
About Jim Emory
Inducted into the OAT&CCC Hall of Fame in 1997, Jim coached at John F. Kennedy HS and East Tech HS before spending 26 years at Beaumont HS in Cleveland Heights. During his time at Beaumont, Emery is credited with 18 State Titles and his 1995 cross country team set a record for the lowest score (34) of any team in any division in the Ohio State Meet. A mentor and a friend to many, Jim will be missed.