Reports: Former UHS coach Ray DeCola has died

Staff report

According to posts on social media on Tuesday, former Urbana High School football coach Ray DeCola has died.

DeCola graduated from Shady Side High School in 1949. He attended West Liberty State College in West Virginia where he played football. DeCola was a two-way player earning all-conference honors two years and even earning all conference on both sides of the ball his senior year as an offensive and defensive lineman.

DeCola came to Urbana High School from Johnstown High School in 1971. He was hired at Urbana as the head football and head tennis coach.

As head football coach, DeCola took over a program that didn’t win a game in 1970 to become the winningest coach in Urbana football history with a record of 100 wins, 31 loses and 3 ties. He coached 4 undefeated teams and 3 teams that had only one loss. He coached 8 league championship teams, took the 1982 team to the state final four and coached the 1983 team to the state runner-up.

He was named the Ohio Football Coach of the Year in 1982 and was inducted into the Ohio High School Football Coaches Association Hall of Fame in 2006.

He was also a very successful tennis coach at UHS.

During his 13-year stint as tennis coach, DeCola led the team to 7 League championships, had 4 All-Ohio players and coached his son David to a state finals third-place finish in doubles.

In all, DeCola won 100 or more games in five different high school sports as a head coach – football, basketball, track, baseball and tennis.

After stepping down as football coach at UHS, DeCola took over as the first football coach at Urbana University in 1985. UU had discontinued football 50 years earlier.

Staff report