Earl Hersh, 80, of Hanover, Pa., died Monday, March 18, 2013, at home in Homewood at Plum Creek.
Born May 21, 1932, in Ebbvale, Carroll County, he was the son of Walter and Hilda Barnhart Hersh. He was the husband of Janet Marie Leese Hersh, his wife of 61 years.
He was a 1949 graduate of Westminster High School, where he was an athlete in football, soccer, basketball and track. He graduated from West Chester State College in 1953, where he played in the National Blue/Gray Game, scoring a touchdown on a pass from Ted Marchibroda. He was named all-state and Little All-America in football, and was drafted by the Philadelphia Eagles. Rather than pursue a professional football career, he signed with the Boston Braves and played baseball in the Braves' minor league organization from 1953 until 1958. He played briefly with the Milwaukee Braves of the National League in 1956, once having batted in the clean-up position behind Hank Aaron. He played for the Toronto International League from 1959 until 1960.
He began his full-time teaching career in 1961 at Manchester High School, where he also coached the soccer and basketball teams to county championships. He was an assistant coach to the Westminster High School football team, serving under his mentor, Herb Ruby. He took over as head coach of the Owls in 1962. In 1967, he became the supervisor of physical education and athletics, K-12 for Carroll County Public Schools and retired from that position after 25 years.
From the 1960's to the 1980's, he coached football, basketball, soccer, track and baseball on prep and recreation levels. While serving as supervisor he worked to enhance the girls' athletic program in the county, oversaw a significant expansion of the K-12 physical education and high school athletic programs, made coaching a paid position, and started the Sportsmanship in Athletics Award.
He was inducted into West Chester University's Golden Ram Football Hall of Fame in 1982 and into their Baseball Hall of Fame in 1992. He was an inaugural inductee into the Carroll County Sports Hall of Fame in 1994. In 1999, he was selected as Carroll County's Greatest Athlete of the 20th Century.
He was an active member of Westminster United Methodist Church. He enjoyed golfing, traveling, trivia/puzzles and sports, and especially enjoyed time with family and friends. He was known for his outgoing personality, his concern for others and his cheerful outlook on life.
Surviving are daughter Michele Hildebrand and husband Carl, of Adamstown, and Patti Heacock and husband Steve of Westminster,; son Larry Hersh and wife Lisa, of Taneytown; brother Richard Hersh and wife Joann, of Waynesboro, Pa.; nine grandsons; one granddaughter; 11 great-grandchildren; and one great-great-grandchild.
He was predeceased by a sister, Arlene McDonald Myers.
A memorial service will be held at 2 p.m. Sunday at Westminster United Methodist Church, 162 E. Main St., Westminster, with the Rev. Dr. Laura Easto officiating.
Pursuant to his wishes, his body has been donated to Humanity Gifts Registry for medical research.
In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be sent to Westminster United Methodist Church, 162 E. Main St., Westminster, MD 21157; or to a charity of your choice.
Arrangements are by Kenworthy Funeral Home in Hanover.
Online condolences may be offered at http://www.kenworthyfh.com.
Sign this guest book online at http://www.carrollcountytimes.com.