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

Class of 2020

'Brent Barr
'James Deppen
'Marcus Fuller
'Joseph “Bud” Halada
'Jacob Howell
'Bill Linder
'Jeffrey Miller
'Ann (Burns) Tolliver
'Andrea (Bardy) White
'Tom Williams


'Ed Fulton*

Great Teams:
'1991 Mapleton Football

Selection Committee
'Randy Emmons, Chairman
'Paul Dienstberger
'Dave Gray
'Shawn Grundy
'Tom Herron
'Gaylord Meininger
'Ron Whitehill





Jacob Stephen HowellJacob Stephen Howell

Jacob Stephen Howell was born in Muncie, IN, on September 24, 1983, to Stephen and Heidi Howell. He is a 2002 graduate of Ashland High School and continued his education at The Ohio State University where he graduated cum laude in 2007 with a degree in Strategic Communication. He went on to earn a Master of Science in Teaching degree from Pace University (NYC) while teaching 5th grade in inner-city Brooklyn, NY with Teach For America. He now works as a dental sales consultant and helps his doctors integrate equipment and technology solutions to increase clinical efficiency and the patient experience.
Jacob was born into a loving family where sports were a part of a well-rounded childhood. As a child his parents encouraged him to try lots of different sports. He enjoyed tennis, golf and basketball (Jacob has fond memories of being coached in 8th grade by then-future Dallas Cowboys kicker Tim Seder), but from a young age Jacob gravitated toward baseball.
Toward the end of Jacob’s freshman year at Ashland he was called up to varsity by Coach Jeff Burnett for the OHC tournament. Over the next few years he learned to develop his speed while playing centerfield and set the career stolen base record for the Arrows (51). He was a three-time letter winner for Ashland, a three-time All-OHC selection and a two-time Division I All-Northwest District selection. Jacob’s years under the leadership of AHS coaches Jeff Burnett, Harley Eichhorn and Rick Gough were deeply formative for his years at Ohio State and he deeply appreciates their mentoring.
While he was a solid high school player, Jacob was far from a standout in the way many Division I college athletes are in high school. When considering colleges his junior year (he had a few offers from DII and DIII schools), Jacob told his parents that if he could go to the Ohio State Baseball summer hitting camp (at Bill Davis Stadium in Columbus) and spend a few days on the same field the Buckeyes play on, it would be a dream come true. His parents encouraged him to go, and the coaches liked what they saw in his swing and especially liked his “coachability”. Head Coach Bob Todd began recruiting Jacob and made him an offer to come play outfield for the Buckeyes on a scholarship. Jacob stayed with Nick Swisher, future MLB All-Star, on his official visit to campus, and decided OSU was where he would spend his college career.
In Columbus and wearing #11, Jacob redshirted his first year (2003) and used the time to develop physically and mentally, coming out strong his freshman year (2004). He knew he had to work harder than anyone on the team and arrived early and stayed late, often hitting until his hands bled. One of the strongest memories of his career came in his first at bat as a Buckeye, at Minute Maid Park (Houston Astros) vs. Kansas State. He hit a standup triple down the left field line and subsequently earned a starting position for the Buckeyes.
Jacob went on to be named a Freshman All-American and the Big Ten Freshman of the Year in 2004. That year he also set the all-time record for hits in the Big Ten Tournament, with 12.
Over the course of his career at Ohio State, the four-year letterwinner struggled with recurring hamstring and shoulder injuries but developed resilience. Jacob was selected Team Captain twice by teammates (2006 and 2007). He was a three-time champion of the Big Ten Tournament and participant in the NCAA Tournament. He was named to the All-Big Ten Team in 2004 (2nd Team) and 2006 (3rd Team).
Jacob was named to the 2007 NCAA Regional All-Tournament Team (Outfield, College Station, TX) and was featured with his sister Hannah in Sports Illustrated, recounting her incredible story surviving a ruptured brain aneurysm.
He was a two-time member of the Big Ten All-Tournament Team (Outfield, 2004 and 2007), won the 2007 Big Ten Sportsmanship Award and was also named:
2007 Academic All-American Third Team
Two-Time Co-SIDA Academic All-District
Four-time Academic All-Big Ten
Five-time Ohio State Scholar-Athlete
Jacob finished his career as a Buckeye with a .333 batting average. Upon graduation, he held the Ohio State all-time career record for triples (13), ranked 7th all-time in stolen bases (47), 12th in at-bats (693), 13th in hits (231) and 25th in runs scored (140).
Let the record state that Jacob beat the Michigan Wolverines the last time he ever played them.
Jacob married Pami in 2007 and they have 3 children: Judah (10), Piper (8) and Gabriel (5). They live in Westerville, OH and attend Vineyard Columbus church where Jacob leads groups that help people slow down to live emotionally healthy lives. He spends much time singing and playing piano, wrestling his children and riding bikes. He is forever grateful to his family for their endless sacrifices, love and support throughout his career.

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