Former Southeastern football coach West, who led team to playoffs in 1983, dies at 85

John West
John West

He coached the Trojans to a 10-0 regular season in his final year

John West, the first Clark County football coach to take a team to the state playoffs, died Sunday at 85 at the Dayton VA Medical Center.

West coached Southeastern High School from 1975-83. His ninth and last team finished 10-0 and qualified for the playoffs.

“It’s just like a movie,” he told the Dayton Journal Herald. “Maybe I can sell the TV rights to it or something.”

The Trojans lost 26-21 at Middletown Fenwick in the first round. He was 49 that year and had been in coaching for 25 years. He was the Southwest District Class A Coach of the Year that season.

"It's been the best offensive year we've had around here," West told the Dayton Daily News that year.

According to his obituary, West was born in 1934 in Deep Valley, Pa. He graduated from Mannington High School (W.Va.) in 1951. He served in the Navy and later graduated from Fairmont State College. He then received a master's degree in education from Xavier in 1974.

West began his teaching and coaching career in Pruntytown, W.Va., in 1959 and then moved to Ohio to teach Amanda-Clearcreek, Thornville Sheridan and finally Southeastern. After retiring from Southeastern, according to his obituary, he coached at Wilmington and Wittenberg and helped start the football program at Urbana University with Ray DeCola, who was the program’s first head coach when it was reborn in 1985.

West is survived by his wife of 61 years, Jean, three children — Brenda (John) DeWine, Glenda (John) Radel and Dave (Rhonda) West — eight grandchildren and seven great grandchildren.

Visitation will be held from 4-7 p.m. on Thursday at Richards, Raff, and Dunbar Memorial Home in Springfield. Services will be held at 1 p.m. Saturday at the Masters Funeral Home in Mannington, W.Va. with visiting hours from 11 am. to 1 p.m. A burial will follow at Mannington Memorial Cemetery.