Daily Independent (Ashland, KY)

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May 26, 2013

MARK MAYNARD: Marsh prepares for Sports Day moment

(Continued)

ASHLAND —

Marsh played three years at Ashland from 1963-65. It was the last three years of Rex Miller’s tenure as head coach. He grew up in the Central Avenue neighborhood where that gang of kids played sports on the playgrounds of the area, like Coles Hill.

“It was a pretty tough neighborhood,” Marsh said. “You learned to get tough or how to run fast.”

Marsh was one of those players in high school like he loved to coach. He had to work for every second of playing time he earned. He was a student of the game, always interested in how the game worked, although coaching never entered his mind until late in college.

“It (coaching) never entered my mind in high school,” he said. “Certainly it never occurred to me that I’d have the opportunity to coach at Ashland. I have been totally blessed. The good Lord blessed me from the get-go.”

Marsh had a rude introduction to coaching after he got out of college. He was hired as the first head coach at West Carter in 1973 and the Comets weren’t ready. They finished 0-11, being outscored 461-94.

“I was looking for a job and I was pretty cocky,” he said. “I got humbled real quick.”

West Carter started the program without the benefit of a youth league. Marsh said the late Jack Fultz was his principal at West Carter and his mentor.

“People thought he was against starting the program but he really wasn’t,” Marsh said. “He just wanted to make sure it was done right. They wanted too much too fast. It was a mess.”

And so was Marsh’s confidence. He resigned at West Carter and returned to Ashland with wife Karen, leaving coaching in the rear-view mirror. Marsh went to work in a home improvement store when he learned there was a coaching opening at Coles Jr. High.

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