Busty Ashbaugh

Russell G. “Busty” Ashbaugh Sr. was a long time South High Football Coach. He coached Dike Beede, Fred Beede,"Curly" Johnson, and Al Davies. He was also the first person to run a football camp at Camp Fitch. The camp for players from South and Warren High Schools started on August 18, 1924 and ran two weeks.[1] His success with the program is probably a big influence on Dike's, his former player, decision to bring Youngstown College to camp for the first time in 1938.[2]

Busty played football at Rayen High School and Brown University. At Brown, he was on the same team as Russell McKay, future President of Home Savings and Loan and future President of the Youngstown YMCA. Busty graduated from Brown University in 1914 and was hired to coach South High School for the 1914 season and teach math, succeeding Perle Denman. He took a hiatus from Youngstown in 1919 to fight in the first world war.[3] Busty was diagnosed with diabetes in 1925, but continued to coach until he thought he could no longer give 100% to the team.[4] He retired from coaching the January after the 1938 season with a 135-36 record, but continued to teach math the rest of his life. He was succeeded by John McAfee. He passed away of a sudden heart attack on Saturday, November 21, 1953 while preparing to listen to the day's football games on the radio. He had taught his sophomore math class the previous day and appeared healthy to everyone present.[3]

Busty's first football camp must have been successful. The 1925 year enrollment ballooned to 86. South, Warren, Boardman, Girard, and Conneaut all sent boys to camp for one or two weeks. David M. Williams accompanied his Girard team to camp. Busty became ill shortly before camp and sent assistant coach Karl J. Soller in his stead. The staff for the two week session was made up almost entirely of current or previous college football players, including: Paul Davies, Dike Beede, and Curly Johnson.[5][6]


1. a Youngstown Vindicator, August 16, 1924. Ashbaugh to Conduct Trip to Camp Fitch. Vindicator Printing Company, pp.10.
2. a Youngstown Vindicator, August 19, 1938. Coach Beede Issues Call for Gridders. Vindicator Printing Company, pp.13.
3. a, b Youngstown Vindicator, November 21, 1953. Noted Coach Succumbs to Heart Attack. Vindicator Printing Company, pp.1.
4. a Youngstown Vindicator, January 11, 1939. Ashbaugh Resigns Coaching Berth at South after 24 Campaigns. Vindicator Printing Company, pp.8.
5. a Youngstown Vindicator, August 23, 1925. South to Send Boys to Camp. Vindicator Printing Company.
6. a Youngstown Vindicator, August 23, 1925. Girard Hi Football Team Faces Its Hardest Schedule. Vindicator Printing Company.