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Hall of Famer to attend tilt at Ironton

One of Ohio's great coaches plans to attend a great game.

Former Ashland College football coach Dr. Fred Martinelli will attend the Gallipolis at Ironton high school football game Friday night at Tanks Memorial Stadium.

Martinelli, who was recently inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame during ceremonies in South Bend,Ind., will be the guest of former Irontonian Fred Lavender at Friday's game.

Martinelli had a 217-119-12 record at Ashland, an NCAA Div. II school. His win total is the second most in Ohio collegiate history behind only the legendary Ohio State coach Woody Hayes.

He was the head coach at Ashland for 35 years.

Several former area players attended Ashland and played for Martinelli including ex-Ironton standout Joe Rowe, now the girls track coach at Coal Grove High School.

Martinelli began at Ashland in 1959 after a successful high school career at Bellville and Bryan. Ashland went from being a struggling NAIA program to a Div. II powerhouse.

The former Eagles coach is 23rd all-time in wins at all levels in the NCAA and is 15th all-time in wins at one school in the NCAA.

He led Ashland to the 1986 playoffs and eight Top 20 poll finishes. His teams won 18 straight games during the 1967-68 seasons. He guided Ashland to 10 league championships and coached 72 All-Americans.

Ashland was unbeaten in 1967 (8-0-1) and 1972 (11-0). Jim Walker/The Ironton Tribune