Jack was born and raised in Ashland. Since his father died when Jack was age seven, his older brother, Bob, became his father figure and the one who had the greatest influence on him, especially in the area of sports.
Jack was born with a clubfoot, and at nine months of age he contracted polio. He did not walk until about age two and a half. Fortunately, God gifted Jack with exceptional eye-hand coordination as well as a very competitive heart. He is still an inspiration to those who watch him play.
As a youngster, Jack participated in summer city recreation programs under the leadership of Bud Plank, Hall of Fame Class of 1992. Jack excelled in all sports and was captain of softball and baseball teams from the South End. He was regularly chosen for All-Star teams. He won the City Junior Tennis Championship, defeating Jimmy Roseboro (HFC 1998). In the fall he played Kid League and freshman football.
In the winter, Jack “lived” at the YMCA under the tutelage of Stu Martin (HFC 1990). Jack learned the fundamentals of basketball, volleyball, gymnastics, marching, swimming, table tennis, you name it, Jack played it. The most important lesson Jack learned from Stu was self-discipline.
Captain of his Grant Street basketball team, Jack would later play for Bully Rader’s (HFC 2002) Whiz Kids. In high school he played freshman, junior varsity, and varsity basketball.
As a senior playing under Cloyce Taylor (HFC 1986), Jack was playmaker and assist leader. The 1953-54 team was one of the best in AHS basketball history (20-2) and third in the state AP rating. They defeated Mansfield Senior twice that season.
As the AHS table tennis champion, Jack played the Canadian National champion before an all school assembly, losing 11 to 15.
At age fifty, Jack took up tennis and has been winning many singles and doubles tournaments in the area of both Mansfield and South Florida.
Jack’s major accomplishment, however, came in golf. His interest began in 1945 at age nine, a caddy for his grandmother Miller and later his uncle Dick Daniels. His career in competitive golf spanned fifty years, achieving local, state, and national recognition. He won over sixty tournaments and was runner-up in over twenty-five, before his retirement from competitive golf in 1996.
While in high school, Jack earned a varsity letter as a freshman. He qualified twice for the Junior of Chamber State Tournament, and the National Caddy Tournament.
Finishing fifth in the nation in 1953, he won a one-year college scholarship. In the same year he was runner-up at the Country Club of Ashland Club Championship, losing to Mel Woelfling (HFC 1996).
In his college years, Jack played on the Wake Forest freshman team; won the Canton Brookside Club Championship; was runner-up in the Ohio Golf Association Junior Amateur; and qualified as a “rabbit” for the 1955 PGA Firestone Rubber City Open, finishing as second low amateur.
He transferred to Ashland College in the NCAA Golf Tournament in 1956. Two years later he was runner up in the Ohio Inter-Collegiate Golf Tournament in Columbus. He played in the PGA Rubber City Open 1956, 57, 58 (second low amateur in 1957).
He also won the Country Club of Ashland Club Championship in1956, and 1958, defeating Bob Castor (HFC 1990) in the finals in 1956.
Jack’s accomplishments from 1958 until his retirement from competition in 1996 include several highlights. He played an exhibition with 1958 PGA Champion Dow Finsterwald, was runner-up in the 1988 Ohio Senior Open, and won the Ohio Senior Open the following year. He also won the inaugural Ohio Hall of Fame Golf Tournament in 1992, He qualified for three USGA National Senior Amateur Championships in 1991, 92, and 93. Two of those years he was sectional medalist, and in 1991 and a993 he qualified for match play, reaching the final 32.
Jack was Richland County Champion ten times seven consecutively. At Westbrook Country Club has was champion five times and was the Invitational Club Champion fifteen times in the years between 1963 and 1993. He set the modern day Westbrook course record in 1979 with a nine under par 63, which stands twenty three years later.
Jack won the Shelby Invitational Championship four times and the Twin Lakes Club, as well.
Nominator: Douglas S. Denbow