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May 22, 2012
By BETTY J. POKAS - Times Leader Area Editor ( , Times Leader

MANY individuals have served as coaches in Eastern Ohio, and three of them are pictured.

Don Ault, who is in the Hilltopper Athletic Hall of Fame at West Liberty, coached at Bellaire High School before serving as a coach at Marshall University, Bethany College and Slippery Rock State University.

While at Bethany, he was named Coach of the Year by the Eastern Intercollegiate Football Officials Association. At Slippery Rock, he was selected as Coach of the Year by the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.

Article Photos

WITH two of his football players from Bellaire High School is former Bellaire head football coach Don Ault before he joined the collegiate coaching ranks. This photo and the pictures of the other coaches, Kara Bright and the individual believed to be C. Duane Burton of Woodsfield, were taken prior to 1966. Bright had a dream, which resulted in the Brightway Center near Smithfield. Ault and Burton are retired, and Bright is deceased.

Also pictured is a coach believed to be C. Duane Burton. A Clarington High School graduate, Burton served as Woodsfield High's head basketball coach and also coached football. A teacher and a principal, he later became Switzerland of Ohio superintendent of schools.

The late Kara Bright, a graduate of Smithfield High School before earning two college degrees, coached in Virginia and North Carolina before becoming Smithfield's head basketball coach. He declined a head coaching job at Buckeye Local High School, but did coach a Buckeye Central Junior High team.

Known for his work with the Fellowship of Christian Athletes, Bright also donated 170 acres of land for the Brightway Center, a non-denominational Christian camp for youth near Smithfield. His dream was to develop a "Christian retreat community for anyone looking for a place of safety, encouragement, and Christ-like love."

Pokas can be reached at



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