Ashland County Sports Hall of Fame
Ashland County Sports
Hall of Fame

Dave SmalleyDave Smalley
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 championships.

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 Championship Meet.

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 2010.

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.

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