Chadwell, Ray


Ray Chadwell did almost everything as a four-year athlete at Otterbein, ultimately earning a total of 10 varsity letters across three sports. He was a defensive end on the football field, a forward in the basketball arena and a pitcher when taking the baseball diamond.


An education major from Hamilton, Ohio, Chadwell would have compiled 12 letters in college had he not left school for two quarters being recruited into the Army, where he was on a goodwill tour in the U.S. with the basketball team and was also a Golden Gloves boxer.


Chadwell graduated in 1950 and spent two years as a pitcher in AAA for the Philadelphia A’s farm system. When they could only offer him $350 for a third season with the possibility of moving him up to the Major Leagues, he decided to retire and remain in his coaching/teaching job at Fredericktown that paid $500.


A decorated career at the high school ranks would soon commence. He was the head basketball coach and assistant football coach Fredericktown 1951 and 1952.  He started with London High School in 1953, serving as head basketball coach for 20 years, head baseball coach for 10 years, assistant baseball coach for eight years prior to that, and also an assistant football coach for 17 seasons.


Chadwell delivered his most success overseeing the basketball program, winning 222 games to go along with three league championships, two sectional titles, and a central district crown in 1971 where they eventually advanced to the Dayton Regional Finals. London would drop a narrow two-point game with Tipp City. He also guided the baseball program to a district championship in 1969 after two years as finalists.


His 1964-65 basketball team finished the campaign 20-2 overall, marking the best record in school history, and Chadwell ultimately compiled a 61-20 mark on London’s home floor from that 1964 season through 1973. He mentored a long list of accomplished athletes that went on to play Division I and achieve famous professional careers, including Pro Football Hall of Famer Dick LeBeau, Jim Hackett, the current CEO of Ford Motor Company, and Roger “Red” Reynolds, who played for the Dallas Cowboys. 


Chadwell also became a father figure for a pair of well-known figures Dick and Gary Reynolds, whom he helped direct to Otterbein where they enjoyed Hall of Fame careers. Dick won 653 games leading the men’s basketball program, making the NCAA Tournament 13 times, earning nine OAC Coach of the Year awards, winning a slew of conference titles and claiming the 2002 national championship while also serving as director of athletics. Gary captured 12 varsity letters across football, basketball and track, receiving multiple awards and being named a team captain in each sport.


Chadwell was a physical education teacher from 1953 to 1969 and was the middle school principal at London from 1970-1980. He is in the London High School Hall of Fame, was inducted into the Central Ohio Basketball Coaches Hall of Fame in 1992, and had the London gymnasium named after him in 2007.


Always active within the community, Chadwell managed the local municipal pool for a decade and used his own money to enhance local parks. He installed horseshoe pits and was responsible for the paving, lighting and construction of basketball courts. Chadwell also spent Saturday mornings during basketball season providing one-hour instruction to grades 1-2, 3-4 and 5-6 each.


Ray, who eventually passed away in 2007 at the age of 80, and his wife, Ruth, who passed away one year later, had five children together: Linda, Mike, Steve, Paul and Craig.