Jim Ashwell, Herndon High School coach

November 8, 2012

Jim Ashwell, 83, who retired in 1984 after coaching football, track and tennis for 28 years at Herndon High School, died Oct. 31 at Capital Caring hospice in Arlington. He was a Herndon resident.

He had cancer, said his son, General District Court Judge J. Gregory Ashwell.

Mr. Ashwell began teaching at his alma mater, Herndon High School, in 1956. He was head football coach for 20 years and coached five district championship teams. He also coached the track-and-field team to a state championship. He also taught physical education at Herndon.

Mr. Ashwell had previously taught physical education at the old Marshall High School in Fauquier County and Mount Vernon High School in Alexandria.

In 1998, Mr. Ashwell was inducted into the Fairfax County Football Hall of Fame.

James Berry Ashwell was born in Huddleston, Va., and grew up near Herndon, where he was a 1947 graduate of Herndon High. He lettered in football, basketball and baseball and was named to the school’s all-century baseball team.

At the University of Virginia, Mr. Ashwell played football and was a state collegiate champion in the 100-yard dash. Known as “the Herndon Flash,” he set a U-Va. record for longest kickoff return — 95 yards — in 1951.

Mr. Ashwell graduated from Virginia in 1952 and served in the Navy during the Korean War. He received a master’s degree in education from U-Va. in 1969.

His hobbies included golf, and he shot a 76 in his final round at age 83.

Survivors include his wife of 60 years, Lorraine Blevins Ashwell of Herndon; three children, Linda Soller of Oakton, J. Gregory Ashwell of Warrenton and Kimberly Wilkoff of Charlotte; and six grandchildren.

— Megan McDonough

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