Andrew Jackson “Jack” Fultz (1926-2007) Mr. Andrew Jackson “Jack” Fultz, 81, of Olive Hill, Ky., passed away Wednesday afternoon, Dec. 5, 2007, in Central Baptist Hospital in Lexington, Ky. Mr. Fultz was born Jan. 15, 1926, in Carter County, Ky., a son of the late Waldo Fantley Fultz and Mae Logan Fultz. Jack was a Christian and an active member for the past 11 years of First Baptist Church of Olive Hill. Of all his accomplishments in life, he was proud of when he turned his life over to the Lord and helped lead his friends to the Lord. He was employed by the Carter County Board of Education for the past 60 years, where he served as teacher, assistant principal, principal, assistant superintendent and supervisor. He coordinated the Carter County annual spelling bee and art fair, was EKC commissioner, a KHSAA Board of Control member, a KHSAA Hall of Fame inductee in 1991 and an Ashland Elks Hall of Fame inductee in 2007. In addition to his parents, he was preceded in death by two brothers, Waldo Fultz and infant brother Raymond Fultz; and five sisters, Alice Mae Stewart, Louise Tabor, Jessie Istock, Leta Jo Biggs and Dorthy Withrow. He is survived by his wife of 60 years, Jean Jesse Fultz; two daughters and sons-in-law, Suzanne and Randy Steele of Morehead, Ky., and Andrea and Dan Cornett of Morehead, Ky.; three grandchildren, Randal Lacy and Connor Jackson Steele and Andrew Daniel Cornet; and a host of other family members who will sadly miss him. Funeral services will be at 11 a.m. Saturday, Dec. 8, 2007, at First Baptist Church in Olive Hill with Brother Mike Blankenship officiating. Entombment will be in Jr. OUAM Cemetery in Olive Hill. Friends may call after 3:30 p.m. today, Dec. 7, 2007, and after 9 a.m. Saturday at the church. Globe Funeral Chapel in Olive Hill is in charge of all arrangements for Andrew Jackson Fultz. Grandchildren, family, close friends, former ballplayers and former students will serve as honorary pallbearers.
Area sports icon Jack Fultz dies By MARK MAYNARD - The Independent OLIVE HILL — The area has lost one of its sports legends. Jack Fultz, whose basketball coaching and playing career at Olive Hill High School were filled with successes, died Wednesday after a brief illness. Fultz, 81, was part of state semifinal Olive Hill teams in 1944 as a player and in 1959 as a coach. He also led two other Comet teams to 16th Region championships in 1955 and 1956. “He reaches across the state,” said former East Carter boys basketball coach Charles Baker. “He was a link to the past but he was up to date on things around here. “He was a good spokesperson not just for basketball but the good way of life. He spoke that directly with everybody. Jack wasn’t concerned with where you were from or what school you went to. If you did a good job, he would recognize it. This state lost a good ambassador for basketball and lost a good friend. He was a walking history book of basketball.” Fultz coached the Comets from 1951-68 when he dueled some of the best basketball teams in Ashland history, including the 1961 state champion Tomcats, along with powerhouse Clark County and many strong Russell teams. Of course, the game many Ashland fans remember the most came in 1953 when the Comets held the ball and nearly pulled off a monumental upset before losing 25-19. The 1959 Comets, led by fabulous scorer Bert Greene, reached the final four of the Sweet Sixteen before injuries to both guards handed them a bitter defeat. It was much the same in 1944 when Fultz was a player, helping the Comets to an upset of top-ranked Brooksville and then losing in the semifinals after illness and injuries depleted the team. Even though he had many opportunities to coach at other bigger schools in his career, Fultz stayed true to his Carter County and Olive Hill roots. He worked in the Carter County school system for 60 years as a teacher, coach and administrator. Home was always Olive Hill for Fultz and Jean, his wife of 60 years. They had two daughters, Suzanne and Andrea, and three grandchildren. Fultz was a member of the Kentucky High School Athletic Association Hall of Fame and was the recent Ashland Elks Sports Day honoree. It was something he treasured deeply, calling it “the Ashland Hall of Fame.” “We did the right thing, we absolutely did,” said Sports Day chairman George Stout of recognizing Fultz. “He was very, very deserving. I think the Elks did a tremendous job on that when they selected him.” The large turnout from the Carter County area for the Sports Day banquet was proof enough, Stout said. “It tells me he was well thought of in Olive Hill and throughout Carter County,” he said. “But it wasn’t just Carter County. People all over the state knew Jack Fultz.” Fultz also did things away from basketball, including starting the Comet Reunion and writing a 794-page history book called “The Comets Tale” that chronicled Olive Hill High School athletes in exact detail from beginning to end. He was instrumental in the development of many coaches in Carter County, including Baker and the late John “Hop” Brown, who led the West Carter girls basketball team to the state title in 2000. After the game, Brown dedicated the championship to Fultz, Greene and others in Olive Hill who had blazed the trail. “Hop had a lot of Jack Fultz in him,” Baker said. Baker spent time with Fultz, too, when he was a young coach. He listened mostly and learned that basketball was as much about the Jimmys and the Joes as the X’s and the O’s. “He just knew people,” Baker said. “He knew what make people tick, what makes players tick. I learned so much listening to stories about situations he had with players, so many learning lessons.” J.D. Kiser played on Fultz’s first team at Olive Hill in 1951 when he was an eighth-grader. He went on to spend five more years under him. “He had a desire to win and instilled that in you,” Kiser said. “He’d never give up.” Kiser played on some undersized Comet regional championship teams that overachieved. “We were really small,” he said. “I think our biggest starter was 6-1. We had two or three good years there.” Kiser became adult friends with Fultz later, attending UK football and basketball games and Cincinnati Reds baseball games. Many of Fultz’s former players and managers came back later in life to thank him for all he had done. They turned out in force for the Sports Day activities this summer, singing the praises of “The legend.” “We called him ‘Legend’ and he truly is,” Baker said. “That label was truly him.” Fultz was a competitor. In the early days of coaching, he was known to raise his voice and stomp his foot with thunderous force. But in the end, Kiser said, that wasn’t him underneath. “He’d come on boisterous, but he was really a pussycat,” he said. Fultz always said what was difficult for him was learning when one of his “boys” had died. “I don’t think the players realize how much he cared for them, even 30 years later,” Baker said. “He talked about those boys. Of course, he loved his family. He loved the Comets and he loved basketball. The last 10 years he got his life in order and was very proud of it. He talked about that, too.” MARK MAYNARD can be reached at email@example.com or (606) 326-2648.
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Submitted by: Mike Barker