New shelters to memorialize the late Danny Krispinsky


Zach Read

Danny Krispinsky coaching during the 2017 women’s soccer season

Dean Paolucci, Reporter

While the 2019 campaign is underway for both the Ashland University men’s and women’s soccer teams, AU is looking towards the future with the announcement of the Danny Krispinsky Memorial Shelters.

The shelters were named to memorialize AU’s former head women’s soccer coach Danny Krispinsky, who passed away following a battle with cancer in early January of 2019.

The Danny Krispinsky Memorial Shelters include three shelters located at Ferguson Field, with two shelters to be in place for the bench of each team, and a third between the two for the officials.

“The best explanation I have for them is that they are dugouts and are hard plastic,” said Associate Director of Athletic Development Kyle Vaughn. “When it’s raining, when it’s windy, the student athletes can sit underneath it and it keeps them out of the elements.”

According to Vaughn, AU is “the only school in the GLIAC that does not currently have (shelters).”

“It’s super exciting for us,” current women’s soccer head coach Taylor Clarke said. “It’s a way that we can make the field feel more professional and give off an atmosphere of playing at the top level, and in a top level environment.”

While the Athletic Department at Ashland University worked alongside the Krispinsky family to create an endowed scholarship for the late Krispinsky, the family stated interest in having a tangible memorial for him.

In doing so, the Athletic Department partnered with the Krispinsky family again to create a donation web page powered by the website The goal was to raise $40,000 in funds by the Aug. 31 deadline to order the shelters in memory of Krispinsky. According to Vaughn, the shelters were something Krispinsky always wanted to add to the field while at AU.

The web page was able to accumulate the amount of funds necessary to order the shelters from an outside distributor. There were a total of 231 donors that donated.

“It was a very humbling moment. You are able to step back and really think about what he’s done for this program, for this university and for this community,” Clarke said. “It’s important to be able to have something substantial to see and it helps you to feel it on a deeper level.”

Danny Krispinsky was a 2006 Ashland University alumni prior to being named the head coach of the Ashland women’s soccer team in 2013. The seven years before Krispinsky was named head coach, the Eagles had only one winning season.

With Krispinsky at the helm for five seasons, the Eagles won at least 10 games in each season, as well as a GLIAC Tournament berth each season. In total, Krispinsky amounted 58 total victories, the third best winning percentage for a head coach and helped in coaching 18 All-GLIAC selections in his time at AU.

Some of the current players on the Ashland women’s soccer team were on teams that Krispinsky coached. Following the announcement of the memorial shelters, Clarke said some players felt a great pride for their late coach.

Danny Krispinsky memorial shelter

“It was definitely a proud feeling for the players more than anything, to be here while there is something being placed on the field for him,” Clarke said. “It is something they can use as a reminder to fight for him everytime we are out on Ferguson Field.”

Kyle Vaughn, a former teammate of Krispinsky at Ashland, reflected on moments in the past with Krispinsky.

“I remember walking into my first practice thinking, ‘What am I doing?’ It was a pretty intimidating situation for me at first,” Vaughn said. “I’ll never forget Danny being so welcoming. He just made you feel comfortable and that is how he always was. He had this unbelievable ability to make you feel like you’re the most important person at that moment.”

Vaughn explained that there is no exact date to when the shelters will be put in their proper location, but did say that the shelters will not be installed in the 2019 season.

“I do not think it will be this season, just because the company said 8-10 weeks. That timeframe will put us past this season,” Vaughn said.

The shelters added to Ferguson field will be the second major improvement to the AU athletics facilities this year. Back in July, a new layer of astroturf and fresh paint were added to the Fred Martinelli football field.

“We feel like it’s a great place to play and a great environment for the fans, the players and everyone else that is able to host games up there,” Clarke said. “Not only that, it’s a great place to train. It’s one of the best facilities in the conference, so we are lucky to call it home.”