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

Jack PurtelJack Purtell
Nominated by Jack Purtell Sr.

Jack Purtell was born to John (Jack) and Linda Heddleson Purtell in Ashland, Ohio on March 29, 1961 at Samaritan Hospital. Sister Jill (1963), and brothers Jim (1965), and Jeff (1968) soon joined the Purtell family.

Growing up practically in center field of Diamond #2 in Brookside Park, all the Purtell children had access on a daily basis to swimming, baseball, fishing, basketball, miniature golf, shuffle board, and golf. Growing up in the 'Park' was idyllic and Jack was never at a loss for things to do.

He began participating in baseball at 8 years old, striking out his first time up in t-ball for the Blackhawks. After that, it was on to Reither & Harter in Major League for Coach Dean Bartosic. The team was then sponsored by Farmer's Bank his last three years of Little League. The 'Bankers', coached by big Jack, began a 10- year run of excellence and fundamentals in Ashland Youth League. Some teammates were Brian Hanson, Kenny Norris, Greg Straits, Jeff Snook, Gregg Brelsford, Mike Foster, Jeff and Rocky Stubbs, Robbie Knowlton, and Denis Bowers. He participated in the All-Stars for three years. Many 'Bankers' went on to star at AHS and participate in athletics beyond high school. Jack played on several Major League and Pony League All-Star teams.

After playing on Red Barn in Pony League for Harry Hanson, it was on to American Legion. His greatest thrill in his American Legion career happened when Post #88 scored 6 runs with 2 outs and nobody on in the finals of the District in Elyria against a tremendous Sandusky team. The Dave Metcalf coached team had to defeat Sandusky twice to advance to the Legion State Tournament when he was 16. Teammates included Keith Imhoff, Timmy Thomas, Kevin Weis, Dan Phillip, Danny Householder, Tom Marquette, Bob Conrad, Marty Schmitt, Bob Schirmer, and Jeff Harpster.

At Ashland High School, he was All-Cardinal Conference in golf, basketball, and baseball and was named AHS Male Athlete-of-the-year in 1979. Jack's teams won the Cardinal Conference in basketball in his junior year and baseball his senior year. He then accepted a scholarship to Ashland College to play both baseball and basketball. In his senior season, he was named 1st Team Great Lakes Valley Conference in baseball.

Jack accepted a job with Ashland City Schools as a teacher and coach. As an assistant coach, the AHS baseball team made their first Regional appearance since 1956. He also was assistant golf coach of Hall-of-Famer George Valentine for two years and Head Golf Coach for six years, winning five Ohio Heartland Conference Championships. Jack led the team to one state golf tournament appearance. He was named OHC Coach of the Year five times and Northwest District Coach of the Year once. He was also fortunate enough to assist Coach Walter Harrop in basketball for six years. Longtime Zanesville head coach Scott Aronhalt was also part of the staff before departing for Tiffin University.

Jack moved his family from Ashland in 1991 as he accepted the head basketball and head baseball jobs at Doylestown Chippewa High School near Akron. While the basketball program needed to be built from the bottom up, his baseball teams went 40-14 in his two years and won a District Championship, Wayne County League Championship, and a Regional Runner-up. He was Wayne County Baseball Coach-of-the-Year and Akron Beacon Journal Wayne County Coach-of-the-Year.

The Purtell clan, which now included two young daughters, relocated to Coshocton in 1996 as he accepted the head basketball job with the Redskins. His wife, Laurel, gave birth a month after the move to their third daughter. Former player and native Ashlander, Grant Fauver, made the move to Coshocton from Mapleton as a math teacher and assistant for Coach Purtell. This duo inherited a 2-19 team and immediately went to 11-9 the first year and won 15 the second season. He coached in the District 12 All-Star game and won over 100 games while at Coshocton.

Jack then accepted the Head Girl's basketball job at Reynoldsburg High School, in 2002. He is also an American History teacher at Reynoldsburg High School. His teams have compiled a record of 132-57 in his 8 years. He has been selected the District 10 All-Star coach, Ohio Capital Conference Coach-of-the- Year, and most recently, the 2010 Columbus Dispatch Metro Coach-of-the-Year. In 2010, the Lady Raiders advanced to the OHSAA Final Four in Division I for the first time in school history, losing to Canton McKinley in overtime.

Jack and his college sweetheart, Laurel, have been married for 25 years. They are the very proud parents of three daughters: Kelsey (20), a sophomore at The Ohio State University, Kenzi (16), a junior at Reynoldsburg High School, and Courtney (13), an 8th grader at Reynoldsburg. Laurel is also a teacher at an elementary school in Reynoldsburg.

Jack is very grateful for all the support over the years from his family, teammates, coaches, players, and parents. He wishes to express a special thank-you to his Mom and Dad and his wife and daughters for all the encouragement and unwavering support and love throughout his career.

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