Guy Rowland Strong, 93

Published 9:04 am Tuesday, May 21, 2024

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Guy Rowland Strong, 93, retired Educator, Coach, husband of the late Aleen Noland, wife for 64 1/2 years, died Sunday, May 18, 2024, at the VA hospital in Lexington Kentucky. Born in Irvine, June 15, 1930, he was the son of the late Ed and Joanna Strong. He graduated from Irvine High in 1948, leading them to the Sweet Sixteen tournament. He was one of about 50 athletes invited to tryout for the legendary Adolph F. Rupp at the University of Kentucky. He made the 2-day tryout, along with Bill Spivey and attended UK from 1948-51. He was part of the 1951 NCAA Champions. He also played baseball, alongside teammates Babe Parilli and C. M. Newton and was the leading pitcher and pinch hitter on the team that qualified for the NCAA playoffs. Strong transferred to EKU in 1951-52, enlisted in the Army and received his commission in field artillery and went on active duty in the Korean War from 1952-54. Upon discharge he returned to EKU for the 1954-55 season, playing for Paul McBrayer and his team won the 1955 Conference Championship. He lettered in basketball and baseball at EKU graduating in 1955. His first coaching job was at Madison Model in Richmond. He stayed one year, moved to Louisville, and became the head basketball coach at Male High, coaching 6 seasons. 1963 took Strong to Kentucky Wesleyan University. He won the schools first of 8 NCAA Division 2 titles in 1966 and was named the NABC National coach of the year. He took that team to West Africa and led clinics and competed against some of their National Teams. He then returned to his Alma Mater, EKU from 1967-73, leading the Colonels to the 1972 OVC Championship and an appearance in the NCAA tournament, and OVC coach of the year. A staunch supporter of the Fellowship of Christian Athletes, he was involved in many functions, camps, clinics, and prayer groups helping lead many young people to Christ. 1973 found Strong at Oklahoma State as coach of the Cowboys. He left Stillwater in 1977 and landed at his destination, George Rogers Clark High School in administration. He began coaching at Clark County in 1983-90 and again from 1995-2001, he had three KHSAA State Tournament teams, 1986-89 and one final 4 team in 1990. His overall record for the Cardinals was 254-120. He was also Principal, and assistant as well as an administrator for Clark County Schools. His overall coaching record of all schools was 541-355. An avid golfer he also had 9 holes in one. Strong was a member of eleven Hall of Fames.

Preceded in death by his parents as well as sister Mary Jo Gould and brother Charles Edward “Speck” Strong. He leaves behind daughters Mina (Ross) Seymour, Nancy (David) Buffkin and Marla Strong. Seven grandchildren, Lauren, Ashley, David Jr., Donald, Daniel, Cole, and Carter. Eight great-grandchildren Char, Faye, Graham, Smith, Eve, Hope, Teal, and Jonathan. Coach Strong would also like to recognize his many sons, players, coaches, and managers that held a special place in his heart. Beloved companion, Samson “Mayor of Stoneybrook.”

Visitation Saturday, May 25, from 4 to 6:00 pm at the Leon Pace Memorial Chapel, Scobee Funeral Home. Funeral Services Sunday, May 26 at 2:00 pm. By Tony Cecil. Burial will follow at the Oak Dale Cemetery, Irvine KY. Pallbearers will be Ross Seymour, David Sr., David Jr., Donald, and Daniel Buffkin, Cole and Carter Simon, and John Stocker. Honorary pallbearers will be John Mahanes, Chris Conley, Mike “Bear” Rogers and his Stoneybrook neighbors and friends who looked after him and helped with Samson.

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Memorial donations are suggested to the Guy Strong Memorial Scholarship Fund located at Stock Yards Bank in Winchester Kentucky. EIN # 99-3110436

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