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Waller to receive OHSAA Naismith Award

Jim Walker

COLUMBUS — The focus from Thursday through Saturday at the Ohio State University Schottenstein Center will be the boys’ annual state basketball tournament.
But the spotlight will fall on some other individuals who will receive several special awards.
One spotlight will shine brightly on former Coal Grove coach and administrator Dave Waller.
The Ohio High School Athletic Association will make several special award presentations and one such honor is the OHSAA Naismith Awards that will be presented to two people for their meritorious service to the sport of basketball or interscholastic athletics, named Waller and Joe Petrocelli.
“I was totally shocked. It’s a great honor, a great award,” said Waller.
The award will be presented on Friday afternoon following the first quarter of the 5:15 p.m. game.
Waller personifies the prerequisite for the Naismith Award.
A graduate of Coal Grove who earned his B.S. degree from Morehead State while playing on a baseball scholarship, Waller taught at Coal Grove from 1967 until he retired in 1999.
During his career, Waller served 22 years as the school’s athletic director and was elected to the Ohio High School Athletic Directors’ Hall of Fame.
Waller also served seven years as the boys’ head basketball coach and won the 1974 Ohio Valley Conference title, one of only four titles in the program’s history.
He was the head baseball coach for 17 years and the cross country head coach for 22 years, a program he started in 1977. He also was an assistant football coach for four years.
Besides his work at Coal Grove, Waller served three years on the Southeast District Athletic Board.
Dave and his wife, Carol, had a son, Michael, and two grandchildren.
The other recipient is Petrocelli, the legendary Kettering Archbishop Alter boys’ basketball coach who won 831 games from 1964-2013. His teams won three state titles, eight regionals and 24 district championships.