Trustee Achievement Award
Paul R. Dienstberger was born in Delphos, Ohio April 24, 1936. He graduated from Jefferson High School (1954), Bowling Green State University (1958), and Xavier University with a master’s degree in 1969. He has been involved in sports as a player, coach, and historian.
As a player he always considered himself just a journeyman athlete, which helped him in coaching most athletes, who faced a similar circumstance. His best skill was hitting, and on most teams he batted 3rd or 4th. His most memorable feats were leading BGSU in MAC batting (.314) in 1957 and the Ashland Church league (.507) in 1976 at 40 years of age. He was on the CL All-Star team five times between 1976-81. Although not a serious golfer until almost 50, he won the Brookside 1st Flight club championships in 1992 and 1999.
He has coached for over 30 years and 26-seasons as a head coach. As a football coach he won back-to-back Division I league championships twice at Trotwood-Madison and Ashland. He was coach of the year in 1967, 1968, 1971, and 1972. Also, in the renewal of the Mansfield Senior rivalry, his teams never lost to the Tygers in the five years. At Trotwood he scheduled the Massillon Tigers, which was the first Dayton area team to play them in three decades. His records were: at Trotwood (46-31-3) and at Ashland (28-23-3). Plus, he introduced the Cruise Party to Ashland in 1972.
Since 1991 he has been the JV coach in the successful Ashland golf program, and all but three varsity lettermen (52 of 55) started on the JV squad. During that time the JVs have lost only one conference match and presently have a streak of 100 consecutive league wins. The 15-year JV record is 303-22. In the Brookside Junior Golf program he initiated the Range Course in 1994.
Perhaps his best legacy is the nine sports histories, especially the AHS football and basketball records as they move toward their 100th season. He has written the Looking Backward column in the game programs for football since 1981 and since 1990 the basketball history. While the Arrow Addendum covers 829 years of AHS’s 19-sports up to 2003, his 70-years of Lincoln Highway Leagues (NCO, Cardinal Conference, and OHC) is in the libraries and schools of the 17-members. The LHL web site (www.3lhloh.com) is available to everyone on the Internet. His latest and largest work is the Century of Ashland Arrow Football. It is, also, available on-line at (www.CenturyArrowsfb.com.).
Paul is a member of Grace Brethren Church where he has served as a Sunday school teacher, Elder, and Building Committee member. He was on the school board at Ashland Christian School. He was chairman of the Ashland Billy Graham films, and since 1980 President of the Ashland County Bible-in-the-School organization. He, also, wrote The American Republic: A Nation of Christians, a 10-chapter supplement textbook for Christian Schools, which has been available on-line since 2000.
He has been married to his college sweetheart Jan since 1956. In September they celebrate their 50th Wedding Anniversary. They have two children Kris Eighinger and son Kyle. They have four grandkids: Niki Sponsler, Carly Eighinger, Tyson and Ryan Dienstberger; plus, two great-grandchildren: Aiden Baker and Livi Sponsler. A third great-grandchild is due in September.
Nominator: Doug Denbow