James R. Minnich
In the fall of 1958 the Ashland Times-Gazette published an article about a speedy young lad on the Montgomery “Mounties” junior high football team. His name was Jim Minnich.
Jim was a three-sport athlete for Ashland High from 1960 to 1964. He was a four-year member of the football, basketball, and track teams for the Arrows.
In 1962, as a junior, he set the tone of things to “come” for Arrow football. He was the leading rusher, scorer, best offensive back and All-Cardinal Conference.
In 1963, the first year of the $80,000 Community Stadium, the running back duo of Minnich and Robinson set Arrow football history. Not only being a part of the undefeated 9-0 team that “speed lad” set a school rushing record of 1,087 yards and a scoring record of 128 points. To no one’s surprise. Jim was named first team All-Ohio his senior year.
In high school track Jim was a member of the 1963 Mansfield Mehock Relays distance medley team and set the AHS record in the 220-yard dash in 1964 at 22.5 seconds. He was also on the two record setting mile and medley teams his senior year.
The outstanding athletic high school career was properly recognized by the coaching staff, as Jim was the first “Athlete of the Year” award in both his junior and senior years.
In the fall of 1964 Jim went to Purdue University on a full athletic scholarship. Finding Ashland to be a special place, Jim returned home after his freshman year to attend Ashland College and participate in football and track. Probably the Ashland Community was certainly pleased Jim “came home” because they were able to watch his outstanding contributions to Eagle football and track for three more years. He was the leading rusher for Coach Martinelli in 1967 and received the outstanding back award. In track Jim held the 300 and 60-yard dash records and qualified for the national track meet in California in two relay events.
After receiving his degree from Ashland College Jim was employed by the Ashland City Schools. He has held several positions with Ashland as a teacher and counselor. He presently is the Montgomery Elementary School Principal.
In 1963 the Ashland Times-Gazette had an article on Jim’s speed as “moving like greased lightning.” From those early days of little league to his outstanding organization and leadership skills as a coach, Jim Minnich has proceed to a speed that makes him a truly outstanding inductee for the Ashland County Sports Hall of Fame.
Nominator: Dave B. Gray