Jess Larry Hamilton
Larry was raised in Ashland and became very active in all phases of athletics from elementary school through senior high school. Football, basketball, and softball plus all YMCA activities made up his elementary career and he even found time to deliver the Ashland Times-Gazette.
In high school, Hamilton was an integral part of the 1951 undefeated Junior Varsity Football Team, but it was in track and cross-country that he gained his fame at Ashland High School.
He was not possessed great speed and natural running ability, however he actually made himself into a champion by his outstanding work habits, plus his complete dedication to his running and his superb ability to never give up on any task he undertook.
Larry started from scratch his sophomore year in track at Ashland High School, and three years later, as a senior, he won the mile run in Columbus at the State High School Track Championship. The year was 1955.
Even more remarkable was his cross-country record at Ashland High School. Participating in cross-country for the first time, he was undefeated in every cross-country meet as a senior; climaxing the season by winning the State High School Cross Country State Championship in Columbus. This dual state championship is a feat no other athlete at Ashland High School has achieved to this date in the sports of track and cross-country. Larry is the only two time state champion in Ashland High School history.
While attending Ashland College (Ashland University) he ran on the college cross-country team and later coached at Ashland College and Ashland High School during his college career. His education at Ashland College was interrupted in 1959 to 1961 by enlistment in the United States Armed Services, and again in 1962 he was recalled for enlistment in the Berlin Crisis.
Hamilton served the City of Ashland as a councilman and participated in various community functions. He is married to the former Janet Zimmerman and they are the parents of two children, Neil and Paula.
If anyone evoked Winston Churchill’s creed of “NEVER GIVE IN – NEVER, NEVER, NEVER, NEVER, it is Jess Larry Hamilton.
Nominator: Jon Bon & George Valentine