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Ashland University track and field coach, 4-time Olympian Jud Logan dies at 62

The Stark County native was a decorated athlete in the hammer throw before winning three national championships leading the Eagles men's team.

ASHLAND, Ohio — *EDITOR'S NOTE: The above video is from last July, when 3News' Jay Crawford sat down with Logan during the Tokyo Olympics.

Jud Logan, one of the greatest athletes and coaches in Northeast Ohio history, has died at the age of 62.

Ashland University, where Logan had led the track and field program for most of the 21st century, announced his passing Monday afternoon. No official cause of death was given, but the coach had been receiving chemotherapy treatment for B-Cell Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia since 2019, despite being in remission.

School President Dr. Carlos Campo released the following statement:

"Jud Logan personified our mission and vision at Ashland University. We promise a transformative experience for students, and Jud delivered that every day in his interactions with student-athletes. His legacy at AU is extraordinary. Countless lives were touched for the better due to his unconquerable spirit and love for others.

"His passing is just shattering news for our campus and beyond, and our prayers are with the entire Logan family."

Born in Canton, Logan graduated from North Canton Hoover High School and Kent State before gaining international fame in the hammer throw. He participated in every Summer Olympic Games from 1984-92 and again in 2000 at the age of 41, and at one time held the American record for longest throw at 268 feet, 8 inches. His crowning achievement came with a gold medal at the 1987 Pan-American Games, and later finished 19th at the 1988 Seoul Olympics.

"I never grew up wanting to be an Olympian," Logan recalled recalled in a 2019 commencement speech to Ashland's graduating class, noting he actually wanted to play football at Ohio State like his father and brother before him. "I had to have somebody shine that light and tell me I could be an Olympian. Find your light giver."

In 1994, with his athletic career still in full-swing, Logan became an assistant coach at Ashland, and in that role helped develop numerous All-American hammer throwers and 2004 Olympian Jackie Jeschelnig. He was promoted to head coach of both the men's and women's programs that year, and in his 18 seasons led the Eagles to three men's Division II NCAA championships (two indoors and one outdoors) while earning four different men's national coach of the year awards. His squad swept the 2019 outdoor and indoor titles while he was in the thick of his cancer battle, and had been preparing to defend their 2021 indoor crown this coming March.

In addition, Logan was named the 2008 U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association Women's Outdoor Coach of the Year, and helped guide Olmsted Falls native Katie Nageotte to indoor and outdoor national championships in the 2013 women's pole vault. Seven years later, Nageotte would win an Olympic gold medal in the same event.

Logan also won numerous Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference championships and was a combined nine-time GLIAC Men's Coach of the Year in the indoor and outdoor categories. He was inducted into the Ohio Association of Track and Cross Country Coaches Hall of Fame in 2002 and the National Throws Coaches Association Thrower's Hall of Fame in 2015.

"When you become successful, you have to be willing to mentor someone else's dream," he said in his commencement speech. "If you're not willing to share your journey, if you're not willing to share mentorship, if you're not willing to become a light giver for somebody to push people that you now have an influence over to be explorers, to go out and find that gold standard challenge them, then your journey is incomplete."

Logan is survived by his wife Jill and their three children, Nathan, Jenna, and Kristen. The family plans to hold a private funeral but "will make an announcement about a celebration for Jud's remarkable life at a later date."

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