Jerry Seiter was born to Don and Jean Seiter on September 30, 1954 in Mt. Gilead, Ohio. He is a 1973 graduate of Northmor High School and a 1977 graduate of Marion College, now known as Indiana Wesleyan University.
Jerry was a three sport athlete in high school. He played on the football and basketball teams and ran track. He was a three letter winner in football, two year letter winner in basketball and a four year letter winner in track. He high jumped in the OSHAA state track meet his senior year.
He was recruited to run track at Marion College, they wanted him to be their high jumper. With his football background and playing quarterback in high school the college coach saw him as a good fit for the javelin throw. The javelin was not thrown in Ohio high school track and field so this was a new event for Jerry, something he looked at as a new challenge; Jerry's track and field career was now as a high jumper and javelin thrower. Over his four year career he set the outdoor javelin record as well as the indoor high jump record for Marion College.
He graduated in 1977 with a degree in Physical Education and Health, he had big plans to teach and coach. Unfortunately at that time there were not many teaching jobs available. He heard of an opening for a Physical Director at the Newark YMCA, he was qualified so he applied. In the fall of 1977 he moved to Newark, Ohio beginning his long career with the YMCA.
In 1979 he married Sue Graf from Galion; they had their first daughter, Misti in 1981. In the spring of 1983 he applied for the position of Executive Director of the Ashland Family YMCA. In June he loaded up the family and moved to Ashland. The Ashland YMCA had been under the leadership of Lee Johnson for the past 8 years and he was stepping down from the Y leadership. For the next 29 years as Jerry and his staff would lead the YMCA through four major building campaigns to move the YMCA forward on Miller Street. Thousands of children over the 29 years were helped by the Partner With Youth Membership drive, the PWY families were near and dear to Jerry's heart, he met with each and every family and has maintained relationships with many of his PWY kids over the years. The Ashland YMCA was a huge part of his life!
Shortly after moving to Ashland his second daughter, Brittany, was born, then came Tiffany and then came Benjamin. The kids spent a lot of time at the Y, the girls competed on the summer swim team when they were young and they competed on the gymnastics team through high school. Benjamin was a student of the first YMCA Pre-school class.
When Misti was in the seventh grade she decided to run track, she wanted to be a high jumper like her Dad. There was no one to help the kids with high jump so Jerry volunteered to be the boys and girls high jump coach in 1995. In 1997 he moved to the high school where he continued to coach the boys and girls high jumpers. He was able to coach Misti 6 years and then Brittany also high jumped for him, not always easy coaching your own kids but they all survived it. Sue thought track would end when Brittany graduated in 2003, but no, he just couldn't give it up. After 17 years as a volunteer coach in 2013 he became the head girls track coach following a long line of very good coaches at Ashland High School and he still makes time to work with high jumpers.
After retiring from the YMCA in May of 2012, Jerry works for the Ashland Samaritan Hospital Foundation as the Major Gifts Officer, referees high school volleyball in the fall and coaches track in the spring. He enjoys riding his Harley, fishing and hunting. He loves spending time with his family; he enjoys making trips to Indy to visit Misti, Josh and their beautiful granddaughter Olivia, and spending time with Brittany and Jake and Tiffany and Kurt who reside in Ashland.
Nominator: DAVE GRAY