Jerry White, born in Ludlow, Massachusetts, on October 12, 1950, to Gerald and Edna White has one sister, Fay LaBrecque (Brownie) who lives in Ludlow with his mother, an active 90 year old. After meeting Lillian Tamm on a blind date, while they were both students attending Bowling Green State University, Jerry and Lillian married on June 11, 1972. They have three grown children: Lea (Nick) DiBartolo of Salina, Kansas, and Pete (Andrea) White and Sarah (Scott) Cyders, both of Ashland. In addition, they have four grandsons: Mark, Parker, Anderson, and Hunter.
During his high school years, Jerry played three seasons of varsity hockey. In his senior year the Ludlow Lions won the Division II Wright Division a 15-4 record, establishing a Western Massachusetts record for most consecutive wins (12). After graduating from Ludlow High School in 1968, Jerry played hockey for the BGSU Falcons from 1968-1972.
Upon graduating from BGSU in June 1972, with a Bachelor’s Degree in Education K-12 in Industrial Arts, Jerry began his teaching career at Ashland High School. In addition to officiating high school hockey games, Jerry coached junior varsity baseball under Herb Carr and served as varsity head coach during the 1979 season. That 1979 Conference Champion team included two ACSHOF members as players – Jackie Purtell and Brian Hanson. After that season, Jerry and Lillian moved back to Massachusetts for two years.
When the Whites returned to Ashland, Jerry coached freshman baseball for a few years and locally also coached his daughter’s softball and son’s baseball teams. In 1984, AHS Athletic Director Ev DeVaul hired Jerry to become Ashland High School’s first varsity boys soccer coach. Having grown up on the east coast where soccer was the most popular fall sport and having a high school program that won state soccer titles, Jerry had more experience with this relatively new sport than most of his Midwest peers.
During the early years, soccer wasn’t even a league sport, for only Lexington, Madison, and Wooster High Schools fielded varsity teams. Through his 13 seasons as the boys head coach, Jerry’s teams accumulated a 144W-76L-36T record. In 1997, Jerry switched to the girls program, coaching the girls team for 11 seasons to a 150W-44L-18T record, good enough for Jerry to rank 13th among all-time coaching victories for Ohio High School Athletic Associations varsity girls soccer. Jerry’s combined high school varsity record, 294W-120L-44T ranks 15th for all-time varsity wins.
Jerry’s soccer teams won 10 conference championships, 10 sectional titles, six district titles, and two girls regional titles. He was named Conference Coach of the Year nine times and several times was named the District Coach of the Year. Numerous boys made all-league and all-district teams, and in addition to the many female players who were named to the all-league and all-district teams, several made the All-Ohio First Team, Second Team, and the All-Ohio Honorable Mention team. His players, both male and female, consistently made the All-Ohio Academic teams.
In the late 1990’s, Jerry was instrumental in establishing the North Central Ohio Scholastic Soccer Association, a division of the Ohio Scholastic Coaches Association. Since the inception of NCOSSCA, Jerry has served as an officer–initially as Treasurer and Secretary and currently as President. NCOSSCA strives to honor the best high school soccer players in the north central Ohio area.
In addition to coaching baseball and varsity soccer, Jerry also coached seventh and eighth grade football, ninth grade football, seventh and eighth grade wrestling, and JV softball. Jerry played fast pitch softball for Peace Lutheran in Ashland Church League and slow pitch softball for both the Elks and the Pedagogues.
For all the help he has received throughout the years, Jerry would like to thank his assistant coaches, the parents, and his players – who truly played their best win or lose – for making the soccer programs at AHS the success that they have become. He would also like to thank the community; especially those involved with the youth leagues, for the support they have provided the Arrows throughout his coaching career. And finally, Jerry would like to thank his wife, Lillian, and his children for allowing him to be a coach for all of those years.
Nominator: Pete White