From IWU Magazine, Winter 2013-14 edition
Eash's coaching legacy extends to alumni
By STEW SALOWITZ '76
Coach Norm Eash has inspired many of his players to pursue their own coaching careers.
(Photo by Marc Featherly)
Quick to point out that topping the victory total among Titan football coaches is
much more than a one-man accomplishment, Norm Eash lavishes credit to the hundreds
of players as well as his assistant coaches. Following in Eash’s footsteps, many of
those players and coaches have gone on to prestigious head coaching positions at other
colleges and high schools.
Among them is Rob Zvonar ’94, who as head coach at Frankfort (Ill.) Lincoln-Way East
High School led his teams to the 2005 Class 8A state championship and a second-place
finish in Class 7A in 2012.
Having spent 20 years in the coaching profession himself, Zvonar appreciates the fact
that Eash has a “relentless work ethic” and passion for the game. “I know that 16-
to 18-hour workdays are typical for him, often being seen at the Shirk Center before
5 a.m. and still in his office well after 10 at night.”
Zvonar, a three-time all-conference linebacker and two-time team captain, knows from
experience that achieving longevity in the coaching profession has become increasingly
more difficult throughout the years.
“Coach Eash not only has accomplished that,” says Zvonar, “but his career has really
been marked by longevity with excellence as year in and year out Illinois Wesleyan
football has competed at the top or near the top of the conference and is a regular
in the national rankings.”
Zvonar points to a quote of Eash’s that he will use himself for his team on a regular
basis: “Inspect what you expect.”
The alumni coaching tree stemming from Eash has produced a number of high school head
and assistant coaches, including Tom Monken (assistant at Casey-Westfield, Ill.),
Howard Rub ’93 (head coach at Astoria, Ore., HS).
Among Eash’s coaching assistants who have moved into coaching titles elsewhere are
J.B. Wells (Endicott), Jim Collins (Saginaw Valley State), Jared Williamson (Robert
Morris-Chicago) as well as IWU alums Mike Murray ’84 (former head coach at Dubuque
and Benedictine, now defensive coordinator at North Central) and Jeff Fisher ’93 (Lindenwood-Belleville,
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