Russ Gregg, who won more than 400 games during his basketball coaching career and was a beloved member of the Whitehall-Yearling High School community, died March 18 after a long illness.

He was 91.

Gregg was an educator at Whitehall from 1968-89, teaching drivers education and physical education and also coaching the boys basketball and baseball teams.

He finished with a 439-233 record during his basketball coaching career, including earning six OCC titles and three district championships at Whitehall.

The Rams were the state poll champion in 1983-84, the same season Gregg was named Class AA Coach of the Year. He also was a six-time OCC Coach of the Year and a one-time Central District Coach of the Year.

In 1984, Gregg was awarded the Ohio High School Basketball Coaches Association Paul Walker Award, which is presented to someone who has made a significant contribution to prep basketball in the state.

He was inducted into the Ohio High School Basketball Coaches Hall of Fame in 1992 and the OCC Hall of Fame in 1999.

In 2005, Whitehall renamed its basketball gym the Russ Gregg Gymnasium.

A celebration of Gregg’s life will be held at 2 p.m. Saturday, March 23, in the gym.

Superintendent Brian Hamler, a 1977 graduate of Whitehall, played basketball and baseball under Gregg.

“It’s a big loss,” Hamler said. “Russ has been retired for some time now, but he’s never been forgotten. This community loves Russ Gregg. He treated you the same whether you were an athlete or non-athlete. He always saw the best in people. That’s how he lived his life. He saw the positive and the good in everybody.”

Gregg graduated from Ashville Harrison High School in 1945 and Ohio State in 1955. He signed a professional baseball contract with the Brooklyn Dodgers in 1948 and also coached basketball at Jackson Township, Harrison and Teays Valley.

Gregg’s son, Van, played basketball for his father at Whitehall and later coached the Rams. Another son, Rex, also played for his father and later coached basketball in Georgia.

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