Lawrence Boles went from Northwest Ohio to Northeast Ohio as a football coach.
His success followed him, making him a legendary figure on both sides of the state.
Boles grew up in the Westboro area and attended Blanchester schools. He graduated BHS in 1901. His collegiate days were spent in Delaware at Ohio Wesleyan University just north of Columbus.
There was no information found on Boles as an athlete at either BHS or OWU. Considering he graduated from Blanchester in 1901 and Ohio Wesleyan in 1906, that’s not terribly surprising.
But once Boles landed at Fostoria High School in Northwest Ohio, his involvement in sports blossomed. And so did his meteoric rise to the top of the coaching profession.
Boles was noted for being the football coach at Fostoria for six seasons. At that time, most schools had an athletic director and that person took care of all sports as the coach.
So it’s likely Boles coached more than just football.
However, the exploits of the gridiron team at the Seneca County school are well documented. Boles led Fostoria to a 47-4-2 record in six seasons.
The 1912 team is still among the greatest in Ohio football history. In fact, one note found regarding that team claimed it was the best in high school football team in the nation that year.
Hard to argue.
Fostoria was 8-0 in 1912 and averaged 74.5 points per game – totaling 596 points. The 74.5 average remains an OHSAA single season record.
In addition to a potent offense, the Bolesmen were stingy on defense. None of the eight opponents were able to reach the end zone in any fashion.
74.5 to 0, the average score.
The Boston Transcript gave the Fostoria team its best in the nation declaration following a 74-0 win over Buffalo (N.Y.) Central, a team said to be the champion of New York state.
After Fostoria, Boles landed at East High School in Cleveland. He was successful there, too, but stayed just two seasons.
In 1915, Boles went to the College of Wooster. From 1915 to 1939, Boles coached football, baseball, golf (he started the Wooster program), basketball and track/field.
Football is the only sport where his success is documented with any detail. Wooster was 134-50-19 in 24 seasons with Boles as football coach.
In Boles bio for induction into the Wayne County Sports Hall of Fame in 1978, it was said Wooster football was 52-4-3 from 1917 through 1923. Incredibly, Wooster outscored opponents 1,179 to 10 in those 59 games. A total of 43 ended with the opponent failing to score a point.
The most memorable game, the WCSHOF bio notes, was a 7-7 tie with Ohio State in 1924.
Boles became athletic director at Wooster in 1939. He died in 1945. Boles was instrumental in fund-raising for the construction of a nine-hole golf course on the Wooster campus. The L.C. Boles Memorial Golf Course, which opened in 1940, was named after Boles following his death.
Following his death, a News Journal report indicated his parents were still living in the Westboro area.
Boles was inducted into the Ohio High School Football Coaches Association Hall of Fame in 1990.
EDITOR’S NOTE: This is the first in a series of profiles on the 2019 class of the Clinton County Sports Hall of Fame. The Hall of Fame induction ceremony and announcement of the winner of the 2019 Wilmington News Journal Clinton County Scholar-Athlete Award is 6 p.m. June 26 at the Expo Center on the Clinton County Fairgrounds. Reservations and payment can be made at the News Journal office. Cost is $25 per reservation. UP NEXT: Angela Bahr.