Nominated by Dave Honaker
Joey Brightbill was born to parents Denise Brightbill and Hall Brightbill and brothers
Rick and Dan in Ashland, Ohio on December 30, 1982. A 2001 graduate of Hillsdale High School and a 2005 graduate of Ashland University, Joey's commitment, perseverance and determination in basketball and track earned him much success in high school, college and beyond.
Joey's earliest recollection of sports came at age five playing T-ball with a broken arm and swinging his bat one handed at Kendig Park (in Hayesville,
Ohio). Not even broken bones could stop this ambitious and determined young athlete.
As a Hillsdale Falcon, Joey earned a total of eight varsity letters including four letters in Track and Field and three letters in Basketball. Joey served as captain of the boys basketball team his junior and senior year and the track and field team his sophomore through senior year.
Over the course of Joey's basketball career, he broke five school records including Most Points in a Season (432), most free throws made in a game (15), most assists in a season (189), most steals in a season (76) and best free throw percentage (84.3%). Joey finished his career with 967 points and a career record of 51-12. He was the recipient of several notable awards including Second Team Wayne County Athletic League (WCAL) (1998), First Team All-District (1999, 2000), First Team WCAL (1999, 2000), Honorable Mention All-Ohio (2001), Hillsdale's Most Valuable Player (2000, 2001), District Four Player of the Year (2001), The Ashland Times-Gazette Player of the Year (2001), and the Wayne County Athletic League Player of the year (2001).
Joey's senior basketball season (2000-2001) was a season to remember. The Hillsdale Falcons finished the season with an overall record or 23-1 and undefeated league record of 20-0 to earn the "Wayne County Athletic League (WCAL) Championship title under Coach Dave Honaker. The Falcons met their match in the Regional Semi-finals losing 58-76 to St. Vincent St Mary's (Akron, Ohio) and a freshman basketball player named LeBron James.
Season after season, Joey would step off the basketball court and into the
sand pit as a long jumper and member of the Hillsdale Track and Field team under the guidance of Coach Kevin Smith. As a freshman, Joey qualified to Regionals and jumped a personal best of 20 feet 8 inches. As a sophomore, Joey managed to break the oldest Hillsdale High School track record set in 1972, with a jump of 21 feet 1 inch. Joey continued to improve as a long jumper well into his senior year as he earned the WCAL Long Jump Champion honors three years in a row (1999, 2000, 2001) and was State Runner-Up
in 2001. Joey still holds the Hillsdale High School long jump record with a jump of 22 feet 9 1/2 inches (a jump made at the Bob Valentine Invitational in 2001).
In 2001, Joey "jumped" on the opportunity to compete at the collegiate level when Ashland University Coach Bill Gallagher offered him a Track and Field scholarship. He quickly learned what it would take to be competitive at the collegiate level from Coaches Jud Logan and Sean Robbins. Joey found success at Ashland University as he earned four varsity letters, became a 5X All-American, was the 2003 (Indoor) National Runner Up, a 2X All-Ohio Champion (2003, 2004) and improved his personal best jump to 24 feet 11 3/4 inches.
Joey continued his commitment to Ashland University after graduation when he accepted an assistant coaching position and assumed responsibility for the AU jumps program. Joey coached 11 All-Americans and one National Champion (high jump) before "retiring" from Ashland University Track and Field in June 2010.
Joey has been with Hillsdale Local Schools since 2007 teaching Physical Education at Hillsdale Middle School. He currently serves as a volunteer coach for the Hillsdale Boys Basketball Team where during the 2009-20010 basketball season, Joey helped coach the team to their first league title since his senior year in 2001 under the direction of Head Coach Chris Shenberger. In 2006, Joey developed the Brighbill Speed, Power and Agility Camp to motivate the younger generation of athletes and empower them to be successful by focusing on the fundamentals.
Joey would like to acknowledge his family, teammates, fans and Coaches Dave Honaker, Kevin Smith, Bill Gallagher, Jud Logan and Sean Robbins for contributing to his athletic success as well as his wife, Ashley, her parents, Steven and Patty Meeks and their family for their continued love and support.