Dr. Fred Martinelli
Recognized as one of the outstanding college football coaches in the nation, Martinelli guided the Ashland University gridders for thirty-five years. During his tenure the Eagles won 217 contests, lost 119 and tied 12 and makes Martinelli the second winningest coach in the National Collegiate Athletic Association, Division II. He stands as the 17th winningest football coach in all collegiate competition. He has won more games than all of the other ten Ashland University football coaches combined.
A graduate of Otterbein College, Martinelli has a Master’s and Doctorate from Ohio State University. His teams copped the Mid-Ohio Conference Championships in 1960, 1963, 1964, and 1965. Heartland Conference crowns were captured in 1980, 1982, 1984, 1985, and 1986. His 1986 eleven played in the NCAA Division II National Playoffs. The 1967 and 1972 teams were undefeated and between 1967-68 the Eagles won 18 consecutive games.
A tribute to his coaching were the 72 All-American Awards received by his players and six Tony Hinkle awards. Three of Martinelli’s gridders received NCAA Post Graduate Scholarships and one received a National Football Foundation and Hall of Fame Scholarship.
Martinelli started his football coaching career at Bellville High School and then at Bryan High School before joining the Purple and Gold.
On the Ashland Campus Martinelli has been Director, Division of Health, Physical Education, Athletics and Intramurals and Director of Athletics. He saw the integration of women’s athletics into the Ashland program and hosted three NCAA national events as well as the AIAW national basketball tournament. He is also President of the University Senate.
Martinelli was extremely active in the formation of the Heartland Conference and the Midwest Intercollegiate Football Conference. He has served on many NCAA committees including the chair of the NCAA Division II Football Committee.
Martinelli, who holds the rank of professor on the Ashland campus, and his wife Ruth reside in Ashland and four children.