The Star Beacon; Ashtabula, Ohio

Sports

June 25, 2013

A Don McCormack column: Meyer never forgets his roots

Paying another visit to the variety store...

Home fires

Urban Meyer will be back in his hometown Monday to run his second annual Youth Football Clinic at the Spire Institute.

As expected, with luminaries such as Meyer, a 1982 St. John graduate and now the head coach of the Ohio State Buckeyes, and fellow Ashtabulan, Dean Hood, a 1982 Harbor High School graduate and the head coach at Eastern Kentucky University, the camp — named in their honor — was sold out before this week kicked off.

The camp is staged with the support of ESPN 970 WFUN and Dr. William A. Seeds.

Meyer was the featured speaker at the 15th annual Lou Holtz/Upper Ohio Valley Hall of Fame induction banquet at St. Florian Hall in Wintersville on Monday night and though he expressed much admiration for Holtz, who gave Meyer his start in coaching, he traced his journey toward becoming a football coach to his days as a St. John Herald, where he played for head coach Paul Kopko and his staff.

“My experience in Ashtabula, on my high school team, if you watch the way we practice, the way we handle our players, the way we love our players, the way we push our players, it's the same thing I learned in 1981-82 at Ashtabula St. John High School with the great coaching I had,” Meyer, who was a star wingback and defensive back for Kopko & Co., who went to the playoffs in his senior season in 1981, finishing 8-3, told Warren Tribune-Chronicle correspondent Mike Mathison.

“It was also the Woody Hayes Era,” Meyer told the audience. “The way he treated his players, the way a premium was placed on education, how he loved his players, how he pushed  them very hard to be excellent, not only in football, but off the field as well.”

Meyer spent two seasons at Illinois State, six more at Colorado State and then answered Holtz’s call when offered him the receiver’s coach position at Notre Dame.

“When Coach Holtz asks me to do something, I don’t say no,” he told the crowd Monday night in Wintersville.

In 2001, Meyer became a head coach, taking over at Bowling Green and staying there for two seasons and going 16-6 before moving on to Utah, where he spent the 2003 and 2004 campaigns, posting a 22-2 record, before taking over at the University of Florida.

He coached the Gators from 2005 through 2010, winning a pair of BCS National Championships and putting up a record of 64-15 before resigning because of health issues. Meyer spent the 2011 season as a color commentator for ESPN before taking over as head coach of the Buckeyes and leading them to a 12-0 season in 2012.

Meaning it’s all come full circle for Meyer as his first coaching job was at Ohio State in 1986 as a graduate assistant.

And he and tag-team partner Hood will continue to pay their hometown back Monday, when they, with help of other coaches, put on the second Urban Meyer-Dean Hood Youth Football Camp at Spire.

Help wanted

Mike Castrilla, honcho over at Softball City, is putting together a 50 years of slowpitch in Ashtabula package and needs some help, Loyal Readers.

He is looking for information such as league champions, etc. from the following summers:

  • 1995.
  • 1996.
  • 1997.
  • 2001.
  • 2002.
  • 2005.
  • 2007.
  • 2008.

Anyone with any information is asked to contact Mike at 998-4129.

McCormack is the sports editor of the Star Beacon. Reach him at donmac@suite224.net.

1
Text Only
Sports
  • Kaydee Vaulting to The Rock

    When Jefferson’s Kaydee DeVivo first started pole vaulting as a freshman for the Falcons, she knew it was the event for her.

    July 26, 2014 1 Photo

  • run VanHoy racing on

    Geneva track star Hailey VanHoy had a near unbelievable run of success during her final months running for the Eagles.

    July 25, 2014 1 Photo

  • Danielle Zip-ing along

    Just minutes after Geneva’s Danielle Nicholson holed out on the 18th green at the Gray Course at Ohio State University during her freshman year to win the 2011 Division I state championship, the recruitment process of where she would go to college began.

    July 24, 2014 1 Photo

  • Maruna headed for Mount

    LeeAnn Maruna never really expected to play collegiate golf. She was so taken aback when the opportunity presented itself, she didn’t know how to respond. After all, the Grand Valley graduate had only been playing the game for a few years.

    July 23, 2014

  • Crate Late Models featured

    The Evergreen Lake Park Campground Crate Late Models, the premier class at Raceway 7, will be featured Friday night as they race for $1,000 to win.

    July 23, 2014

  • Norm He’s the Norm

    In the early part of the 20th century, as golf was taking off in popularity, it was not uncommon for boys to take up the game after becoming caddies.

    July 21, 2014 1 Photo

  • Don A Don McCormack column: The journey is what’s most important

    Unless you’ve been living under a rock the past couple of weeks, you’ve heard over and over and over how it’s been a half-century since one of Cleveland’s big three professional sports teams have won a championship.

    July 21, 2014 1 Photo

  • Murdick wins as Big Block Modifieds return

    The BRP Big Block Modifed Tour returned to Raceway 7 with 21 of the region’s fastest Modifieds turning out for the scheduled 35-lap event, the first for the Modifieds at the northeast Ohio speedplant since 2005, an event won by Todd Burley.

    July 21, 2014

  • Dale Outdoors Insider, with Dale Sunderlin: Chances for controlled waterfowl hunting

    Waterfowl hunters are invited to participate in special drawings for controlled hunting opportunities, according to the Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR), Division of Wildlife. The drawing dates and times are as follows:

    July 21, 2014 1 Photo

  • Kingsville gets it done

    In a rematch of a previous softball clash between the Kingsville 9-10-year-olds and those from Conneaut, Kingsville had settled thing quickly and decisively in a mercy-rule triumph.

    July 20, 2014

Little League All-Stars July 1 to 12
AP NASCAR Lastest News
AP NASCAR Sprint Cup Schedule
AP NASCAR Sprint Cup Standings
AP Auto Racing Photos
West Side Shootout 2014
Ashtabula County at State Track Meet
Jefferson vs Akron St. Vincent St. Mary Regional Softball
District Track 2014
Jefferson District Softball Tournament
Bob Walters 50 Years
Geneva vs Perry Division II District Semifinal
Sports Week in Review May 12 to May 17
Sports Week in Review May 5 to May 10 2014
Sports Week in Review April 28 to May 3
Sports Video Archive
House Ads
AP Video