Fry returning to Ironton to take Flyers’ basketball helm

Published 3:22 pm Friday, April 7, 2023

By Jim Walker

Ed Fry is coming home and he’s found a new house.

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Fry once coached the the Ohio University Southern men’s basketball team and spent his free time watching his son Roman play football for the Ironton Fighting Tigers.

Coach Ed Fry

After coaching stints in South Carolina, the University of Rio Grande, Meigs High School and Wahama (W.Va.) High School, Fry is returning to Ironton to be the new boys basketball coach of the St. Joseph Flyers.

“Angel (his wife) and I are so looking forward to being a part of the Ironton community again. We have so many great memories and can’t wait to make more,” said Fry.

A former head coach at Huntington (W.Va.) St. Joseph, Symmes Valley and Ohio University Southern, Ed and Angel moved to South Carolina to watch their son Roman who signed with Clemson where he was an All-SEC lineman and named All-American before a knee injury ended his career and chance to play in the NF.

Fry was the instructor of Athletic Leadership coaching class at Clemson University in 2004 and still works in that same capacity at the college.

He was the head coach at Crescent High School in Iva, S.C., from 2005-09 where he took over a program that won a total of 3 games the previous 2 seasons and made the playoffs for the first time since 1995 as he guided the team to 3 winning seasons in 4 years with 3 playoff appearances.

He was hired as associate head coach at the University of Rio Grande in 2009 and then was hired as the head coach at Tamassee-Salem High School in Salem, S.C., from 2012 to 2014 leading the team to back-to-back playoff appearances for the first time since 1989.

Only the top 4 teams in a region qualify for the basketball playoffs in South Carolina.

Due to some family health issues, Fry accepted a job closer to home when he was hired as the head coach at Meigs from 2014-19.

A struggling programs with 6 coaches in 9 seasons and no more than 10 wins in any season over 20 years, Fry took Meigs to an 18-5 record in his second second which were the most since 1986.

Meigs went 14-9 the following season for the first back-to-back winning seasons in 30 years. He was named the Ohio Valley Publishing Regional Coach of the Year for the 2017 season.

In 2016, Fry was voted by his peers to coach the Ohio team in the BACF Ohio-West Virginia All-Star Game.

His 54-40 record  is the best winning percentage in school history.

Fry took over at nearby Wahama, W.Va., High School in 2019 and led the team to the school’s first sectional championship since 2005. The 2021-22 team had the school’s first winning season and most wins since 2014.

Fry was forced to return to Huntington to help assist in the care of his mother-in-law who was gravely ill and left Wahama and a team that went on to reach the state tournament this past season.

“I had a great run in South Carolina. We were doing things at the schools that hadn’t been done at those places in years,” said Fry.

“I was driving an hour and a half to Wahama and it was just killing me, so I had to resign last spring. We are living here in Huntington, so to get my coaching fix in I helped at Grace Christian.

“But I wanted to get back as a head coach. I feel I have plenty left in the tank to offer. When I heard about Ironton St. Joe, I thought about how I pretty much started at Huntington St. Joe and loved it. I was there 7 or 8 years.”

Having been coaching for 42 years and 32 as a head coach, Fry saw the Ironton St. Joseph head coaching job was available and perked his interest.

“I feel like coaching has been my calling in life and I needed to get back to be a head coach again. I felt like I’m a good fit for St. Joe because of my unique skill set and experience and they’re just a great fit for me at this point in my career,” said Fry.

“I want to go in and establish a program there that can be a model for programs in Southeastern Ohio. I want to put all my experience to work at Ironton St. Joe.”