Daily Independent (Ashland, KY)

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May 26, 2013

MARK MAYNARD: Marsh prepares for Sports Day moment

ASHLAND — Vic Marsh won a lot of big games during a successful football coaching career at Ashland.

He led the Tomcats to 112 victories – more than any other coach in school history – and the 1990 Class AAA state championship. Marsh’s teams were always prepared and they showed it on the field.

Preparation was the Vic Marsh trademark.

But he has found there’s no preparation for what’s about to happen in two weeks when he takes his place on the Elks Sports Day Wall of Fame with so many of Ashland’s other sports legends.

That happens the weekend of June 14-15 on the 39th annual Elks Sports Day celebration.

Vic Marsh, the master of cool and preparation as a coach, is already wringing his hands.

“I am really nervous, I hate to admit it,” he said. “There are so many people up there who have been a big influence in my life. To be up there with them is quite a humbling experience.”

Marsh never sat out to become the winningest coach in Ashland Tomcat history but it happened anyway. He had his share of talent including Juan Thomas, generally regarded as maybe the greatest Tomcat of the modern era.

But Marsh said it was the underachievers who tugged at his heartstrings.

“There were kids who had very little talent who made themselves starters and good players,” he said. “That’s what high school football is all about, watching them develop as players. Those are the kids I always loved.”

Not that he wouldn’t take a dozen like Thomas, who was the centerpiece of the 1990 championship team.

“There’s only one Juan Thomas,” Marsh said. “Juan and I stay in contact; I love him to death. He was a worker.”

Maybe Marsh liked the underachiever because that was him. He wasn’t big enough or good to challenge athletes like Bill Lynch and Bill Swimm for playing time in the backfield at Coles Jr. High, so he became a 125-pound guard.

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