George J. Valentine
A graduate of Pittsburgh’s Westinghouse High School in 1941 George earned two letter in basketball and captained the team, had three track letters and one soccer. A fighter pilot in World War II, in 1946 he enrolled in Muskingum College, lettering all four years in basketball and track. With a B.A. degree in physical education he came to Ashland High School in ’49 as track coach and assistant football. He later became head coach in cross country, basketball, and golf.
Valentine coached three state champions in track and had an undefeated team in 1950. He got his Master’s degree from the University of Pittsburgh in ’52, and was named Athletic Director at the high school, serving from 1954 to 1967. From ’54 to ’61 he was head basketball coach, his ’60 team setting the best offensive record in Ashland history.
Elected to the state track relay board in ’54, he then founded and was first president of the Ohio High School Golf Coaches Association in’64, and was elected in ’82 to the OHSAA Golf Hall of Fame. George coached golf at the high school from’63 to ’67 when he left to take a job with the National Golf Foundation in Chicago as director of marketing and research. The next year he returned to Ashland as associate director of admissions at Ashland College, where he coached golf and cross country for five years.
In 1978 Valentine was hired as manager of Brookside Golf Course where he oversees the maintenance and operations of the 18-hole layout, serves as Pro, and conducts golf classes and lessons. His junior golf program has involved and developed many fine golfers, a number of whom played for him as he again coached the high school team from ’77 to ’85. George is an active member of the National Golf Foundation Educational Division and conducts golf clinics for the foundation each year. With other professionals he has taught at Duke University’s golf summer program about the last fourteen years.
In the ‘50’s George played basketball with the Myers Pump team in the Industrial League and later in the YMCA Slow-Break League. The Cardinal Conference, which he helped found, saw him win four golf championships. In his career he had been named All-District Coach of the Year in basketball, track, and golf.
Valentine was a member of the steering committee that spearheaded the fund raising drive for Community Stadium. He has published articles for the Coaches Clinic, Ohio High School Athlete, and National Golf Foundation’s Coach’s Guide.
The Valentine family consists of wife Peggy, daughters Ellen and Kit, and sons Kevin and Terry. There are five grandchildren.
Nominator: Jess Larry Hamilton