Nominated by Jud Logan
David Edgar Smalley was born in Ashland, Ohio on June 23, 1942. Still living in
Ashland, he is the elder son of Edgar and Sadie Smalley. He married his high school sweetheart, Holly Paxton, on July 3, 1961. They have four children, Scott of Ashland, Steve of Wadsworth, Staci of Ashland, and Stephanie of Lexington, Kentucky; along with nine grandchildren and two great-grandchildren.
David graduated from Ashland High School in 1960 and Ashland
College in 1964. While in high school he participated in basketball and
track for four years earning six varsity letters. He set the 120 yard low hurdle
record for the Arrow track team in 1960. During his college career at
Ashland College, he played basketball one year, and was a member of the
Eagle track team from 1961-1964 earning varsity letters all four years as a
high jumper and hurdler. He also volunteered as a track coach at Ashland
High School for then head coach Doug Diercks.
Upon graduating with a Bachelor's degree in secondary education, he
began his teaching career at Mapleton High School. While at Mapleton,
David coached freshman basketball and was an assistant track coach under
head coach Jim Reynolds. David entered the Ashland City School system
in the fall of 1965, teaching science and math, while coaching freshman
basketball and track at the junior high. Four years later he moved
on to Ashland High School to become the head cross country coach and
assistant track coach.
David coached cross country for the next 22 years. He compiled an
overall record in dual and tri meets of 126 wins against 56 losses. He won
seven conference championships with four runners-up teams. He started
the first girls cross country program in 1980 and led them to an overall
record of 57-4 in the next 12 seasons, which included eight conference
He became the boys head track coach in 1973, and over the next 11
years had a record of 73-17-1, with two conference championships and three runners-up. During this time, his boys set 14 individual and relay
records many of which still stand. He sent eight individuals to the State
In 1984, he became the Ashland girls head track coach. In the next
eight years his teams amassed a 68-1 record in dual and tri meets. They
won seven conference championships, were District Champions twice,
district runners-up three times and regional runners-up once. The girls
participating during his eight years still hold nine of the Ashland High
School records in track and field. In 1986, he led the 400m relay team to
a State Championship, the first ever in AHS history for girls track. In all
eight seasons, at least one member of the girl's team represented Ashland
in the Ohio High School State Meet in Columbus. During his tenure, they
set 13 of the possible 16 school records and eight of these still stand in
In 1990, David Smalley was named Ohio High School Girls Track
Coach-of-the-year by the state track coaches association. In 1997 he received
the Coaches Longevity Award from the coaches association for
having 60 seasons of high school coaching. In 1998, he was inducted in
the Ohio High School Track Coaches Hall of Fame.
After retiring from Ashland High School in 1992, he was enticed to
stay in coaching by then Ashland University track coach Bill Gallagher.
After agreeing to try it for a couple years, he found it to his liking, and is
still there almost two decades later.
During these past 18 years at Ashland University, he has worked with
sprinters, hurdlers, and jumpers producing 37 individual All-Americans
including seven national champions as well as 13 All-American relay
teams. One athlete, Sean Robbins, still holds the NCAA outdoor national
meet record in the long jump and another, Shami Vanhook held the NCAA
indoor 200meter record for a number of years. Athletes at Ashland University
that worked under him now hold 38 varsity school records in the
sprints, hurdles, relays and jumps. In 2008, he was named Assistant Coach
of the Year in track for the Midwest region of the United States Track and
Field Coaches Association for Division II universities and colleges. David
is about to complete his 50th consecutive year of track coaching in the
Ashland area and has now joined the Ashland University Athletic department
as their NCAA Compliance Officer for all sports.
David and his wife, Holly (a true track widow), will be celebrating their 50th wedding anniversary in 2011.