Wable led Mount’s first playoff team

ALLIANCE — Ken Wable — who led the Mount Union football team to its first undefeated regular season, first Ohio Athletic Conference championship and first NCAA playoff appearance in his final season as head coach in 1985 — died Wednesday at the age of 91.

He is one of only three head football coaches over the last 57 years at Mount Union.

Wable was head coach from 1962-85, winning 123 games and was the OAC coach of the year in 1982 and 1985. The OAC presents the Ken Wable Award every year to the conference’s outstanding offensive lineman.

“Don’t get me wrong, your primary job is to win games when you are a coach,” Wable said. “But you also have to remember you are a teacher and a leader of young men. I always stressed building accountability and responsibility. If it meant sitting down one of your better players before a big game because he broke a team rule, so be it. If it meant calling a player in and letting him know he wasn’t holding up his end of the bargain in the classroom, that’s part of teaching and coaching as well.”

Wable also served as head men’s golf coach and as a faculty member that helped establish what is now the sport business major at Mount Union.

Wable was a multi-sport athlete at Van Wert High School, where he graduated in 1945. He went on to Muskingum College, where he was a football and track standout.

Wable began his coaching career as head football coach of New London High School in 1952. In 1954, he became an assistant coach at Massillon Washington High School for two seasons (1954-55) before taking his first position in the college ranks as an assistant coach at Wake Forest University.

After two years at Wake Forest (1956-57), he returned to Muskingum as an assistant coach for three seasons (1958-60) before spending a year (1961) as an assistant coach Cornell University.

A Navy veteran, Wable earned a bachelor’s degree from Muskingum and a master’s degree from Kent State University.

Calling hours will be from 5 to 7 p.m. Sunday with a memorial service at 11 a.m. Monday at Cassaday-Turkle-Christian Funeral Home, 75 S. Union Avenue.

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