THORNVILLE – Ohio High School Football Coaches Association Hall of Fame 2014 inductee Paul Culver Jr. is retiring as Sheridan’s football coach following an illustrious 35-year career with the Northern Local district. He announced his retirement to his team following the Generals’ victory over New Lexington. “Of course, Mr. Culver retiring is a huge loss to our program, our high school and our district,” said Treasurer Liz Arnold. “But he established a tradition, a strong work ethic, and obviously a determination and a will to win attitude that will carry on. He will be incredibly hard to replace in more ways than we have even thought of yet.”
“It’s hard to believe that after 35 years of excellence, we will be celebrating Coach Paul Culver, Jr. and his recent retirement from football,” said Northern Local Superintendent Thomas Perkins in the district’s just published newsletter. “You have undoubtedly read numerous newspaper articles surrounding all of Coach’s accomplishments and successes, but they pale in comparison to the positive influences he’s had over hundreds of young men over the past three decades.
“Sheridan football is respected throughout the state as a top-notch program and that it a great compliment to the lifetime dedication of Coach Culver and his staff,” Perkins said. “We will sorely miss Coach Culver and we wish him and his wife a wonderful retirement filled with time with their grandchildren.”
Arnold said the interview process for filling Culver’s position would begin late winter or early spring. And, it won’t be easy. “He is truly an icon-a champion of courage and perseverance,” she said. Arnold said a short list of Culver’s accomplishments at Northern Local include:
• 35 years at Sheridan;
• 272 wins;
• 14 Muskingum Valley League (MVL) titles;
• 17 playoff appearances;
• 1 AP State Poll Champion in 2008
• 2 Regional championships in 1987 and 1996
• 1 State runner-up in 1987
According to WOUB Digital, Culver began his head-coaching career at Trimble in 1973, where he coached for six years before a short stint at Buckeye North from 1979 to 1980. In his final season at Trimble, Culver led the Tomcats to a TVC Championship victory and finished his tenure at Trimble with a 37-18-4 record.
He began coaching at Sheridan in 1981. Culver accumulated an impressive amount of awards and records throughout his coaching tenure. In 1996, Culver won the Southeast Ohio Regional School Board Outstanding Program Leader Award. Culver won the Southeast Ohio District Div. III Coach of the Year Award in 1994, 2008, and 2010. He won the OVAC Coach of the Year Award in 1980 before earning the MVL Coach of the Year award 14 times throughout his career. The Sheridan Paul Culver Jr. Stadium is named for him.
Culver could not be reached for comment.