CHS remembers legendary coach

| August 18, 2015
Sign: Water Street in front of Stewart Field is now also known as Sky Wharton Way. Beacon photo by Josie Sellers

Sign: Water Street in front of Stewart Field is now also known as Sky Wharton Way. Beacon photo by Josie Sellers

Ceremony: Richard “Dick” Wharton, the son of legendary Coshocton High School football coach Schuyler “Sky” Wharton addressed the crowd at the school meet the team on Aug. 17 at Stewart Field.  After the event a sign was unveiled dedicating a portion of the street in front of the field to Sky. Beacon photo by Josie Sellers

Ceremony: Richard “Dick” Wharton, the son of legendary Coshocton High School football coach Schuyler “Sky” Wharton addressed the crowd at the school meet the team on Aug. 17 at Stewart Field. After the event a sign was unveiled dedicating a portion of the street in front of the field to Sky. Beacon photo by Josie Sellers

COSHOCTON – Coshocton High School athletes were introduced to a legend after their annual meet the team.

After all athletic teams were introduced at the Aug. 17 event at Stewart Field a sign was unveiled in front of the football field that dedicated a portion of Water Street as Sky Wharton Way.

The late Schuyler “Sky” Wharton came to Coshocton in 1927 to be the head coach for football, men’s and women’s basketball and baseball. According to his obituary, his basketball teams went to the state semi-finals twice and during his 26 years as a football coach (24 of which were at CHS) he recorded 164 wins, 68 loses and 13 ties. His Redskins also had six Central Ohio League titles and were runners-up in the conference for six years.

“He had all kinds of chances to go other places, but he fell in love with Coshocton,” said Richard “Dick” Wharton, one of Sky’s children.

Sky became the high school’s athletic director in 1948 after he retired from coaching and held that position until 1964. He also taught science and officially retired from the public schools in 1968 when he became mayor of Coshocton.

“Everyone knows him for coaching football, but he did much more than that,” Richard said. “He was a father, teacher, mayor and also parks and recreation director in Coshocton. He was a great teacher. I go to reunions and hear people say, ‘Your dad was the best teacher I ever had.’ He was very interactive with the students and that’s how he was as a coach too.”

Richard said Sky was famous for his pep talks before games.

“He showed great emotion,” Richard said. “If he would have told those guys to run through a wall they would have.”

Sky also loved the underdog.

“He was always helping the kid that didn’t fit in,” Richard said. “He had the first black player in the league in 1929 and in 1945 he got a letter from him because he wanted to let him know how he was doing.”

Years later that gentleman’s son then stopped by Sky’s home to thank him for everything he did for his father.

“Dad also got Pooch Blackson back in school,” Richard said. “He was always looking for the kid he felt needed athletics.”

As parks and recreation director, Sky also got athletic fields built for area youth to use and started a softball program for females.

His dedication to serving others was recognized in 1975 when he was inducted into the Ohio High School Coaches Hall of Fame, in 1981 when he was named a Distinguished Alumnus of Ashland University and in 1983 when he was selected as the Honorary Marshall of the Coshocton Canal Festival.

Richard still has the congratulations letter that legendary Ohio State University Coach Woody Hayes sent Sky.

In the letter Hayes says, “I am very happy to know that you are being taken into the Ohio High School Football Coaches Hall of Fame. My only question is, why didn’t it happen sooner? I have known you for many years not only as a great coach and teacher, but also as the outstanding man in the Coshocton community.”

Sky passed away in 1996 and Richard was honored when some of his former players contacted him about memorializing his father. The timing was perfect because Coshocton City Council was working on rules for honorary street naming.

“This came at exactly the right time,” Richard said. “I was really glad that we were able to do this at meet the team so the parents and kids could see the tradition that is here in Coshocton. “

[email protected]

Editor’s note: Coshocton High School fans contributed to this gallery.

 

 

 

Tags: , ,

Category: High School, Multimedia, Photo Galleries, Sports

About the Author ()

I started my journalism career in 2002 with a daily newspaper chain. After various stops with them, I am happy to be back home! I graduated from Coshocton High School in 1998 and received a Bachelor of Arts in Communication in 2002 from Walsh University. I also earned several awards while working for daily papers, including being honored by Coshocton County’s veterans for the stories I wrote about them. I am honored and ready to once again shine a positive light on Coshocton County. I also am the proud mother of a little girl named Sophia!

Comments are closed.