Fairland’s Wilgus named to prep golf coaches’ HOF

Published 11:58 pm Saturday, April 30, 2011

Tribune Sports Editor

PROCTORVILLE — Ed Wilgus was always partial to a quote from the famous sports writer Grantland Rice, “It’s not whether you win or lose but how you play the game.”
For Wilgus, the quote that best describes him might be, “Nice guys don’t always finish last.”
The Fairland Dragons head golf coach admits he doesn’t have one of the most outstanding win-loss records during his coaching career, but his career went beyond the wins and losses.
And because of his body of work, Wilgus has been selected to a choice group that will be inducted into the Ohio High School Golf Coaches Association Hall of Fame during the annual group’s meetings Sunday and Monday at Ohio State University.
“I never thought this would ever happen. To say I was surprised would be an understatement. It blew me away,” said Wilgus when informed of his selection. “There are a lot of big names in (the coaches’ hall of fame).”
Wilgus said West Union golf coach Carl Schneider told him “it’s not all about records.”
During his 38 years as a golf coach including 26 at Fairland, Wilgus has won 10 Ohio Valley Conference championships and the same number of  “Coach of the Year” awards.
But Wilgus also founded and ran the Tri-State Junior Golf Tour to benefit young golfers from ages 10-18 for 20 summers as well as the Mid-States Middle School League for the Huntington area.
Wilgus also took a group of golfers to Scotland for three weeks and served as an official at the state tournament on seven occasions.

“It’s been quite a trip. I’ve had a chance to influence a lot of lives in 38 years,” said Wilgus. “It’s fun to watch kids develop and see how they get better at their game.
“The Tri-State Junior Golf program was a stage for youngsters to develop their game. To me, that’s very gratifying.”
When talking about the quote by Grantland Rice, Wilgus has strong opinions.
“That (quote) is often lost on a lot of coaches and kids. They forget how the game is supposed to be played with honesty and integrity. We all know winning is a whole lot more fun than losing and we let that override everything else too much of the time,” said Wilgus.
Besides golf, Wilgus also coached three years of varsity basketball and baseball at Rock Hill. He spent two years as a golf coach at North Canton Hoover before returning to Lawrence County.

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