Ashland Mourns Passing of Former Basketball Coach, Athletic Director Stokes

Ashland Mourns Passing of Former Basketball Coach, Athletic Director Stokes

Ashland University is mourning the passing of former legendary men's basketball coach and athletic director Robert Stokes.

Arrangements are being made with Denbow-Gasche Funeral Home & Crematory.

Stokes, 88, was the Eagles' men's basketball coach for seven seasons from 1958-65, compiling a career record of 87-63. He led the program to five NAIA district tournaments, including a district championship in 1962. Stokes was named the Mid-Ohio Conference Coach of the Year as the Eagles won the conference title.

In 1965, Stokes returned to his alma mater, Muskingum College, to guide the men's basketball program. He later became the head football coach at Muskingum.

Stokes returned to Ashland College in 1970 to serve as the director of athletics, a role he served until 1975. He was also an associate professor of sport sciences and was the director of the graduate program in sport science.

The Eagles won at least 13 games in five of seven seasons under Stokes, who was also an assistant football coach at Ashland.

Prior to the 2017-18 men's basketball season opener at Kates Gymnasium, the AU athletic department recognized Stokes for his contributions to the men's basketball program and the university.

He attended Ashland University men's and women's basketball games regularly through last season, and was a frequent visitor at men's basketball practice at Kates Gymnasium.

Stokes was inducted into the Ashland University Hall of Fame in 1992 and into the Ashland County Sports Hall of Fame in 2002.