Edward Bud Plank
Sports have been a motivating force in Bud Plank’s life since he was a youngster growing up on College Avenue near the college where was an avid attendant at practices and games. The first organized participation in sports was at Grant Street School under the direction of Sidney Boyd. Touch football, basketball, and softball games were played against other city schools, and a track field day was held each spring.
Seventh and eighth grade years saw many hours spent at the YMCA playing basketball in gym classes and on church league teams under “Y” director Stu Martin. Summer playgrounds saw softball leagues and tennis tournaments organized.
Bud participated four years in high school sports earning four jayvee and eight varsity letters. He served as team captain in both football and basketball and was named to the North Central Ohio League first team. In basketball sectional finals in 1935, he placed on the all Tournament team and was a member of the 1936 team, which played in the 16-team finals in Columbus. When there was no baseball game scheduled, he played on the tennis team.
High School year summers saw participation in the first American Legion Junior baseball program in Ashland, an activity he later resumed as coach and manager for ten years.
In college at Ashland, he played football, basketball, and baseball from 1937 through 1941, captaining football in 1940. He was honored by Bluffton College players that year when he was chosen on their all-opponents team as captain.
Bud played on various softball teams in the YMCA industrial and church leagues, on independent baseball teams, and Faultless basketball team.
Three years military service included softball on Air Force teams in Connecticut, Florida, and Hawaii, before going to the Philippines. After the war he was a graduate assistant in three sports at Ashland College for a year.
He then started his teaching and coaching for Ashland High School. There for 33 years he coached baseball 22 years, as an assistant in basketball for 18 years, and football one year. He was faculty manager for athletics his last ten years. At his retirement, the ball diamond was named “Bud Plank Field.”
His fellow teachers honored him in 1979 when he was named Teacher of the Year.
He has served as a deacon and elder in the First Presbyterian Church and is a member of the Ashland Evening Lions. He also avidly pursues his interest in the music of the Big Band era.
In 1952 Bud married teacher Betty Hood, whose interest in researching local history led her to write articles for the Ashland Times-Gazette. They raised two nieces after the deaths of their parents. Sue Callison Mathern resides in Wapakoneta, OH and has a son Jimmy. Chris Callison Durham makes her home in Riverside, CA and has a son Michael and a daughter Harmony.
Nominator: Mervin Sheriff