First Fort Loramie football coach remembered for love of family, football

The man who was at the head of the creation of Fort Loramie’s football program died unexpectedly last week.

Jon McCumber passed away on Thursday, July 4 at his home at the age of 48. He will be remembered by many as the first football coach in Fort Loramie history, and current Fort Loramie head coach Spencer Wells said he’ll also be remembered for the affection he had for his children.

“Jon loved his family and football,” Wells said. “Those were the two priorities in that order.”

Born on August 23, 1975 to Mary “Kathy” (Love) McCumber and Jack A. McCumber in Mechanicsburg, Ohio, Jon McCumber held many different titles in his life. Teacher, son, friend, coach and dad.

McCumber graduated from Bellefontaine high school in 1994, before furthering his education at the University of Toledo where he graduated in 1998 with a degree in Middle Childhood Education.

He got his first experience coaching in 1999 when he first came to Shelby County to teach and coach football at Anna in the first year of its football program, where he coached their junior high team for two seasons.

Following his time with the junior high team, McCumber became a varisty assistant for two more years.

In March of 2003, McCumber was hired to help start Fort Loramie’s football program. He coached through two seasons of junior varsity before the program’s inaugural varsity season in 2005.

McCumber spent three seasons as Fort Loramie’s first varsity head coach and compiled a record of 20-10 before resigning the position.

“His pregame speeches are always fun memories to look back on with former teammates,” current Fort Loramie athletic director Mitch Westerheide said of his time playing for McCumber. “Intensity was never questioned with Coach, even when an axe hit the table!”

While he was teaching, McCumber furthered his own education, receiving a K-12 education masters degree from the University of Toledo.

Wells reached out to McCumber for some assistance with the team and McCumber was happy to help out. Over the course of the last two seasons, he did more than assist.

“Jon was as passionate of a coach as I’ve ever been around,” Wells said. “I don’t think anyone loved this program as much as Jon did. His passion for the players was second to none.”

McCumber has three children: Brock, Alyece and Braylen. Brock graduated from Fort Loramie this past spring where he also played football.

McCumber had unique relationships with each of his children.

“He was so proud of Brock,” Wells said. “Brock was a captain for us on the team and is so polished and mature beyond his years.

“Alyece and he would take father-daughter vacations together and he absolutely loved having those bonding experiences with her. He was really proud of how independent and competitive she is.

“Braylen’s a freshman now, he had a special bond in that they are very similar. Jon had an ornery side and Braylen has some of that.

”If he wasn’t talking about football, the conversation was about his three kids.”

Westerheide and Wells said McCumber is dearly missed, and his impacts are being felt all through Fort Loramie and the surrounding areas.

“I know I will miss seeing him on the sidelines barking about a missed tackle, hanging along the baseball field fence and sitting in the gym bleachers,” Westerheide said. “More importantly, I will miss his stories, jokes, advice and friendship.”

Jon McCumber’s visitation will be held from 3-7 p.m. on Tuesday and from 8:30 to 10 a.m. on Wednesday at Gehret Funeral Home in Fort Loramie. His memorial service will take place Wednesday at 10:30 a.m.

Reach Sidney Daily News assistant editor Ryan Harless at 937-538-4651.