Daily Independent (Ashland, KY)


July 3, 2013

Marvin “Coach” Meredith 1927-2013

ASHLAND — Marvin “Coach” Meredith, 85, passed away in the early morning of July 2, 2013, in Community Hospice Care Center in Ashland with his family by his side.

Marvin was born Nov. 23, 1927, in Catlettsburg, the son of the late Powell and Emma Copley Meredith. He grew up in Catlettsburg and attended Thomas R. Brown High School, where he met the love of his life for more than 60 years, Lenora Belle Chapman Meredith. While attending Thomas R. Brown High School, Marvin won All-State Honors in football, set a school scoring record in basketball and won the 100-yard dash in track. He also played center field on the baseball team, won 12 varsity letters and was named a National Star Athlete.

Marvin first attended Ashland Junior College, where his track skills were developed with the help of Ernie Chattin. According to Mr. Chattin, Marvin was watching the track team and commented, “Is that the fastest guy you have? I could outrun him barefoot!” Chattin accepted the challenge and put his fastest runner up against Marvin in a race. When Marvin took off his shoes and proceeded to beat the guy in the 100- and 220-yard runs, Chattin asked the team manager to get some track shoes for Marvin and put him on the team.

While Marvin played football at Morehead State, basketball and track were his true loves. He received scholarships from Marshall University, where he ran track and played basketball under the famed Cam Henderson. While running track in 1951 at Marshall, he won the 100-yard dash and set an Ohio Valley Conference record, allowing Marshall to win the OVC title that year. He also ran in the Penn Relays at Madison Square Garden against the fastest man in the world at the time and he came in third, getting beaten by .03 of a second.

Marvin started coaching the Russell Junior High and Junior Varsity basketball teams in 1953 and had a record of 85-1. In 1955 he began coaching at Russell High School. During his 32 years at Russell, he won 677 games total and had 24 seasons where teams won 20 or more games. His teams have won 14 NEKC Conference Tournaments and he was voted “Coach of the Year” 10 times. His teams also won three regional basketball titles and were runners-up four times. His 1967 team holds the state record for scoring 100 points or more in six straight games.

Although he loved basketball, Marvin also coached golf and track at Russell. In the more than 18 years of coaching golf, his teams made it to the state tournament as either winners or runners-up 13 times, and his record upon retirement was 520-84. He coached the track team for 15 years and won eight NEKC Conference Track Championships with a record of 126–22.

The total record for all sports Marvin coached during his 32 years at Russell is 1,335 wins and 320 losses.

For winning his 600th game while coaching, Marvin was honored by the Kentucky governor, the Senate and the House of Representatives, as well as the U.S. Senate and the national magazine Sports Illustrated. The total number of wins by the end of his coaching career, 677, put him in the Top 20 in the history of Kentucky High School Basketball’s All-Time Winners list.

In 1987, he was named coach of the Kentucky All-Star basketball team, competing against the Indiana All-Star basketball team.

 In 1989, he was chosen as coach of the 16th Region All-Stars in the Annual Mountain Shoot-Out, and a few years later he was the Ashland Elks Sports Day Honoree of the Year.

In 1993, Russell’s Elementary Boys and Girls Basketball League was named the Marv Meredith Youth Basketball League, a huge honor for him. Russell later inducted him into the Russell High School Hall of Fame, and he was the first recipient in the 16th Region to be awarded the Coaches Court of Honor in recognition of his contribution to Kentucky High School Basketball.

Because of his love for basketball and Russell High School, in 2003 the Russell High School gymnasium was named Marv Meredith Gymnasium in his honor. This was one of the highlights of his life.

Although sports were a very large part of his life, his main focus was his love of God and his ministry. He served as a Sunday school superintendent, Sunday school teacher, song leader and church board member for many years at Twin Fork Church of the Nazarene, then later at Catlettsburg First Church of the Nazarene. He also served on the Eastern Kentucky District Advisory Board and Sunday School Board for the Church of the Nazarene. He sang in a gospel quartet for most of his life and traveled to many churches to share his faith. He and his wife, Lenora, traveled to Peru and Equador on mission trips with the church.

In 1997, he received the Distinguished Service Award from the First Church of the Nazarene and was awarded the Robert Raikes Sunday School Superintendent of the Year Award from the Church of the Nazarene in Kansas City.

After retiring, Marvin served 12 years as a Boyd County commissioner.

Marvin had many other interests in addition to basketball. He was an avid golfer and spent many summers traveling and fishing. His favorite place to be was Middle Bass Island on Lake Erie.

Along with his parents, Marvin was preceded in death by brothers Orville (Mildred) Meredith and Lucian Meredith and sisters Alene (Ellis) Harmon and Juanita (June) Huff.

He is survived by his loving wife of 60 years, Lenora Belle Chapman Meredith; a son, Terry (Terri) Meredith; a daughter, Silesia (David) Damron; grandchildren Adam Meredith of Catlettsburg, Heather (Brian) May of Ashland, Brandon (Nicole) Meredith of Palm Coast, Fla., Allison (TJ) Pettrey of Lexington, Lauren Damron of Catlettsburg and Chase Meredith of Flatwoods; and a very special great-grandchild, Kylee May. Along with his immediate family, Marvin was blessed to have many wonderful nieces and nephews as well as numerous close friends.

 His funeral will be at 11 a.m. Saturday, July 6 in the Russell High School gymnasium by Pastor Norman Potter, Harold Brown and beloved nephew Frank Hulett. A brief eulogy will be given by former players Dewey Scott, Rick Roberts and Larry McKenzie. Visitation will be from 6 to 9 p.m. Friday at the high school.

Since his passions were education and basketball, in lieu of flowers he would be honored if you made a donation to the Marvin Meredith Scholarship Fund so his legacy will continue through well-deserving student athletes.

Donations may be sent to the Marvin Meredith Scholarship Fund, c/o Russell High School, 709 Red Devil Lane, Russell, KY 41169.

Neal Funeral Home in Catlettsburg in charge of arrangements.

Condolences may be sent to kilgorecollierfuneralhome.com.

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