Everett “Ev” DeVaul
Everett “Ev” DeVaul grew up in LeRoy, Ohio (now known as Westfield Center) where his love for high school sports began because there was nothing else to do. He became a basketball team manager in fifth grade and served in that capacity for all sports for six years at Westfield School. In 1960 the Cloverleaf School District was formed and “Wink” (lifelong nickname) continued as the manager/student trainer until his graduation in 1962. He lettered four years in golf only because they only had four players on the team.
He enrolled at Bowling Green State University and continued his love for athletics. In his senior year, he was tapped as the Falcon’s Mascot – Freddie Falcon. He performed at all home and away football and basketball games and his identity was kept a secret until his unveiling at the last home basketball game.
He began teaching at Ashland High School in 1967. His passion to be an educator was quickly realized when he was recognized as the Young Educator of the Year by the Ashland Jaycees in 1969.
In 1971, he was appointed Interim Athletic Director and Vocational Director after the unfortunate passing away of Sam Marchio that held those positions. The following year he was selected for the new administrative position of Director of Athletics, Vocational Director and Assistant Principal.
In 1972, in his first leadership role for the district he was responsible for eight male sports. Twenty seven years later, in the same position, he retired having added 11 new interscholastic sports brining the total offerings of 19 athletic opportunities for both males and females at AHS.
In the early 1980’s, with the addition of several new sports for girls and the traditional revenue sports of football and basketball struggling in the win columns, Ev developed unique marketing techniques to help increase attendance and revenue. The giveaways and promotional theme ideas caught on and many other schools across the country began using his marketing concepts. He was encouraged by his athletic colleagues to put his ideas on paper and in 1985, he wrote a marketing guide for Boosters Clubs and athletic departments called $Sports$. He quickly became a featured speaker at state and national athletic events.
In 1993 he was tapped as Athletic Director of the Year in Ohio and in 1996 he entered the Ohio Athletic Director’s Hall of Fame.
During his 27 years at the helm of Arrow Athletics Ashland won 53 Cardinal Conference titles, 67 Ohio Heartland Championships, and 10 straight OHC All-Sports Awards. He was one of the founders of the Ohio Heartland Conference and established one of the first Scholar-Athlete programs in Ohio sponsored by the All-Sports Booster Club.
Upon his retirement in 1998 he became the Marketing Director for Betlin Athletic Uniforms and in 2006 was selected as Executive Director of United Way in Ashland County. Because of caring donors and hundreds of volunteers. Ev has helped lead the efforts to having United Way achieve five consecutive years of going over their projected goal. His personal emphasis on youth has helped bring about early childhood initiative to prepare children for kindergarten and the “Crunch Out Obesity” project with all the schools in Ashland County. Ev enjoys serving on numerous committees that help improve the community of Ashland and Ashland County. Ev is a member of the Ashland Rotary and was selected as a Paul Harris Fellow in 2010 and was tapped as the Ashland Elks Citizen of the Year in March of 2012. He and his lovely wife Judith are blessed with four granddaughters through the marriages of daughter Kirstin to Marty Fuller and Kerre to Steve Paramore. Ev has served a master of ceremonies for the Ashland County Sports Hall of Fame Banquets since 1986.
Nominator: Bob Valentine