Tom Williams, head football coach at nearby Jeromesville Hillsdale High School and Ashland University alum, will receive the 2015 Martinelli Award at halftime of the annual Purple & Gold Spring Game on April 18.
Williams is 76-51 in 12 seasons guiding the Falcons, a tenure which also includes three Wayne County Athletic League championships (2010, 2011 and 2014) and four Ohio High School Athletic Association postseason appearances (2009, 2010, 2012 and 2014). The 2010 Hillsdale squad advanced to the state Elite Eight.
Included among the individual honors Williams has earned at Hillsdale is Associated Press Division V Ohio Coach of the Year in 2007, Northeast District Coach of the Year in 2007 and 2010 and three WCAL Coach of the Year citations (2010, 2011 and 2014).
Williams has a B.S. degree in Elementary Education, an M.S. in Educational Administration and Principal's Certification from AU. The Purple & Gold run deep in Williams' family, as his wife of 18 years, Tammy, has a Marketing and Accounting degree from Ashland, and his father, Tom, and sister, Teri, also are Ashland grads.
The Martinelli Coach of the Year award is one of two presentations that will be made at the spring game. Rod Schag will receive the Gridiron Club's Golden Helmet Award for 2015.
Also on April 18, the annual Football Alumni Golf Outing will tee off at 10 a.m. at Brookside Golf Course. The full day of events includes a silent auction at 6:30 p.m. at the Troop Center, followed by the game at 7 p.m. Included in the festivities on April 18 is the opportunity to get autographs from Ashland's two current National Football League alumni defensive linemen, Jamie Meder (Cleveland Browns) and Jeris Pendleton (Indianapolis Colts), who also will be the game's honorary coaches.
At halftime, the team's scholar athletes will be recognized, and the Gridiron Club will announce the team's athlete of the year, based on on-field and off-field achievements.