Molly Kiplinger Riley
Molly was born in Ashland, Ohio to the parents of Jim and Betty Kiplinger. She attended Edison Elementary School, Ashland Middle School and graduated from Ashland High School.
Sports were always Molly’s first love. She got her start at sports growing up with her brother Gary and many other boys in the neighborhood. She was always looking for an action packed game in the backyard.
During Molly’s younger years, Brookside Park was one of her hangouts during the summer months. She enjoyed swimming, and playing in the City Parks and Recreation girls softball league and tennis league. On the weekends she would spend time with her family watching men’s fast pitch softball and shagging foul balls and throwing them back.
Another one of Molly’s sports hangouts during her younger years was the Ashland YMCA. She could always be found taking a swimming class, participating on the gymnastics team or hanging out in the gym, playing a game of dodge ball or floor hockey. It was an awesome place to spend her time.
Her favorite thing to do at the Y was to play basketball. Molly was not able to play on a league at the Y, because it was for boys only. But her dream finally came true. One day Molly and her Mom were walking past the front desk and the Executive Director, Lee Johnson, stopped and asked why wasn’t she signed up for the basketball league. We told him it was just for boys, and he said that was nonsense and signed her up that minute. Molly was the first girl to bust in to the boys action and played for years to come. Ed McGinnis was the lucky coach to put up with her.
As a sophomore Molly received MVP for junior varsity in basketball and the team was Cardinal Conference Champions.
As a junior Molly received best passer award and All-Cardinal Conference first team in volleyball and the team was Cardinal Conference Champions. She received the leading rebounder award and leading free throw percent award for basketball and All-Cardinal Conference Second Team.
As a Senior Molly received in volleyball, the Co-best Server Award, Best Passer Award, All-Cardinal Conference First Team, and was selected for the All-Star Volleyball Team. In basketball she received the top field goal and free throw shooter award, leading scorer award, MVP award, All-Cardinal Conference Second Team and was selected for the All-Star basketball team.
By the time Molly graduated from Ashland High School, she had earned three varsity letters in volleyball, two varsity letters in basketball, and three varsity letters in softball. She also received Female Athlete of the Year her Senior year.
After high school, Molly attended Ashland College and graduated in 1983, with a Bachelor of Science in Education in Recreation and Minor in Business. While at Ashland, Molly participated in basketball. She was a four-year letterman and Co-Captain her Senior year. After graduating from Ashland College, Molly started working as Physical Education Director at the Ashland YMCA. She now holds the title of Senior Program Director and has worked 19 years at the Ashland YMCA. She is President of the YMCA North East Ohio Gymnastics Network and Secretary of the YMCA Great Lakes Zone Gymnastics Committee. She is active with the PTO at Edison Elementary School and the First Christian Church.
The YMCA has been very good for Molly. She grew up at the YMCA, has worked there for 119 years and she actually met husband Doug at the YMCA, and was married in June of 1988. They have one daughter, Morgan who is fifth grade at Edison Elementary School. Morgan has also found the YMCA to be a great place to grow up. She attended the Ashland YMCA Preschool and Childcare, and is enjoying the gymnastics and volleyball programs, and has been on the Aqua Ace Swim Team for the past five years. Now Morgan is bringing home the ribbons and the trophies and Mom is giving her advice and cheering her on.
Molly credits her family, teammates, coaches, and fans for her success. A special thanks goes to her Mom and Dad for all the time, support and encouragement. She couldn’t have done it without them.
Nominator: Jill Noble Ashton