Immediately preceding last Thursday evening’s Big Walnut High School Girl’s Varsity Volleyball game against visiting Groveport Madison, a gathering of coaches, students, volleyball fans and family members recognized 27-year head volleyball coach Ron Lehman for his 500th Big Walnut win on September 29 at Newark.
Lehman’s total career record is 595 wins and 291 losses, for a 67 percent career winning percentage.
Also during his tenure at Big Walnut, Coach Lehman’s teams earned 18 league titles, 16 district titles, six regional titles, and twice were state-runners up.
Coach Lehman was inducted into the Big Walnut Athletic Wall of Fame in 1996. Other honors include: 1995 Division II Coach of the year, 2002 OHSVCA Lifetime Achievement Award, 2010 Division II Coach of the year, and 2012 NFHS State Coach of the Year.
Noting that Coach Lehman’s strong family is one of the reasons he has been able to create his Big Walnut legacy, he was surprised when he was joined by his family, who had been hiding the high school’s auxiliary gym until the recognition ceremony. Present were his wife Sally, son Josh (wife Kim, children Ryan and Kate), son Greg (wife Leigh, children Jack and Sam), son Mark (wife Jen, children Kate and Anna), and brother Mark and his wife, long time Assistant Coach Janet Lehman.
Coach Lehman was also joined on the floor by his entire Big Walnut Coaching Staff, all of whom had played volleyball on teams he had coached during his tenure at Big Walnut — 7th Grade Coach Ashley (Bennett) Kurena, 8th Grade Coach Eleni Lourgos, Freshman Coach Brittany Paxton, JV and Varsity Assistant Coach Nicole (Whetnall) Casner, and Varsity Assistant Jazmine Reed.
As if that were not enough, 16 former varsity volleyball players joined Lehman, his family, coaching staff, and current team members on the floor as Big Walnut High School Athletic Director Brian Shelton presented Coach Lehman with a plaque commemorating his 500th win as a Big Walnut High School Head Volleyball Coach.
Reporter Lenny C. Lepola can be reached at 614-266-6093.