Russell "Busty" Ashbaugh

Infobox Person
name = "Busty" Ashbaugh


image_size = 160px
birth_date = birth date|1889|9|12|mf=y
birth_place = Youngstown, Ohio
death_date = November 20, 1953
death_place = Youngstown, Ohio
occupation = Football Coach

Russell G. "Busty" Ashbaugh, Sr. (September 12, 1889 – November 20, 1953) was a celebrated football player at Brown University who went on to coach competitive teams at South High School, in Youngstown, Ohio, United States."The Youngstown Daily Vindicator", Youngstown, Ohio, November 21, 1953.] He played an important role in the formation of several future coaches, including collegiate legends such as "Dike" Beede and Wesley "Wes" Fesler."The Youngstown Daily Vindicator", Youngstown, Ohio, November 21, 1953.]

Playing career

Ashbaugh was born in the industrial hub of Youngstown, to W. N. and Clara Butler Ashbaugh. His father served as a clerk for the city's Board of Education for 40 years."The Youngstown Daily Vindicator", Youngstown, Ohio, November 21, 1953.] Ashbaugh gained early recognition as a football standout at Youngstown's Rayen School."The Youngstown Daily Vindicator", Youngstown, Ohio, November 21, 1953.]

Upon graduation from Rayen, he went on to Brown University, where he won second-team recognition on Walter Camp's All-America squad as team captain. Ashbaugh played for Brown between 1909 and 1914."The Youngstown Daily Vindicator", Youngstown, Ohio, November 21, 1953.] After graduating from Brown, Ashbaugh returned to his hometown and played professionally for the Youngstown Patricians."The Youngstown Daily Vindicator", Youngstown, Ohio, November 21, 1953.]

Coaching career

In 1914, Ashbaugh replaced Perle Denman as coach of South High School, and as his obituary notes, "the team started to make gridiron history"."The Youngstown Daily Vindicator", Youngstown, Ohio, November 21, 1953.] During Ashbaugh's tenure, South High teams scored 135 wins while suffering only 36 defeats."The Youngstown Daily Vindicator", Youngstown, Ohio, November 21, 1953.] His coaching career would be interrupted only briefly by World War I, when Ashbaugh served as a gunner in a machine gun unit. He returned to his coaching position in 1919."The Youngstown Daily Vindicator", Youngstown, Ohio, November 21, 1953.] While dividing his time between coaching and teaching, he also studied law at Youngstown's YMCA night school and was admitted to the bar in 1922."The Youngstown Daily Vindicator", Youngstown, Ohio, November 21, 1953.]

Beyond his contributions as a mentor to All-American football players, Ashbaugh trained many coaches who went on to lead winning high school and collegiate teams. As his obituary notes: "The coaching game in the area is filled with his proteges such as "Dike" Beede, Youngstown College; Ches McPhee, Chaney (High School); Dick Barrett, East High athletics director and for 25 years a coach; Jack Cramb, North (High School); Cyril James, formerly of Ursuline (High School) and Sharon (High School); Howard Hartman, assistant at Colgate (University); Wes Fesler and others"."The Youngstown Daily Vindicator", Youngstown, Ohio, November 21, 1953.]

Ashbaugh retired from coaching in 1938, and was replaced by John McFee."The Youngstown Daily Vindicator", Youngstown, Ohio, November 21, 1953.]

Later years

Following his retirement from coaching, Ashbaugh retained his position as a math teacher at South High School and remained active as a booster of the Warriors football team."The Youngstown Daily Vindicator", Youngstown, Ohio, November 21, 1953.] In the Youngstown area, his contributions to coaching were widely recognized, and on May 17, 1953, he was the guest of honor at a testimonial dinner held at Youngstown's Tippecanoe Country Club."The Youngstown Daily Vindicator", Youngstown, Ohio, November 21, 1953.] His obituary notes: "More than 200 former South High footballers, members and coaches of opposing teams attended. Mr. Ashbaugh was presented with a television set"."The Youngstown Daily Vindicator", Youngstown, Ohio, November 21, 1953.]

On the afternoon of November 20, 1953, Ashbaugh suffered a massive heart attack, "as he was sitting in a chair preparing to follow the afternoon football games on radio and television"."The Youngstown Daily Vindicator", Youngstown, Ohio, November 21, 1953.]

His funeral services were held at the Shriver-Allison South Side Funeral Home. Besides his wife, the former Thelma Ross, whom he married on February 5, 1919, Ashbaugh left behind his son, Russell Jr., of Edwardburg, Michigan; a brother W.B., of Youngstown; and two grandchildren. A daughter, Mrs. Thelma Action, died in 1950."The Youngstown Daily Vindicator", Youngstown, Ohio, November 21, 1953.] Ashbaugh's obituary described him as follows: "...a great athlete, 'Mr. Football' to the Youngstown district and, in his coaching days, one of the nation's outstanding scholastic football tutors"."The Youngstown Daily Vindicator", Youngstown, Ohio, November 21, 1953.]

Legacy

As a coach, Ashbaugh mentored athletes who went on to both collegiate and professional careers, notably Bob Dove, Harvey Brown, and son Russell "Pete" Ashbaugh, who were football standouts at the University of Notre Dame. In addition, "Busty" Ashbaugh trained celebrated coaches such as Wes Fesler (Ohio State University, Wesleyan University, University of Pittsburgh, and University of Minnesota) and Dwight "Dike" Beede (Youngstown State University)."The Youngstown Daily Vindicator", Youngstown, Ohio, November 21, 1953.]

References


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  • Youngstown Patricians — The Youngstown Patricians were a semi professional football team based in Youngstown, Ohio. [McClellan (1998), p. 98.] In the 1910s, the team briefly held the professional football championship and established itself as a fierce rival of more… …   Wikipedia

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