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Kiwanis Club honors Gash with Glenn Marlow award

Eric Gash thanks the Hendersonville Kiwanis Club after receiving the Glenn C. Marlow Award. Eric Gash thanks the Hendersonville Kiwanis Club after receiving the Glenn C. Marlow Award.

Eric Gash, a Hendersonville High School prep all-star who went on to play football for four years at UNC, was honored Thursday with the Glenn C. Marlow Achievement Award by the Hendersonville Kiwanis Club.

Established in 1999 to honor the memory of the longtime Henderson County educator, superintendent and Kiwanis member, the award recognizes someone for outstanding athletic achievement, community service and serving as a role model for the youth of Henderson County.

A native of Hendersonville, Gash grew up near Hendersonville elementary and middle schools with his mother, Betty, and brother, Sam.

In his youth Gash played all sports. While in high school he played three sports and was a member of the Bearcats' 1987 state championship basketball team. He was named to the NC Shrine Bowl Football Team his senior year and was recruited by many of the top football programs in the United States before choosing to attend UNC. He started as a freshman and went on to letter all four years. After he graduated from UNC he went straight to the Washington Redskins camp where unfortunately he was injured and never got his chance to play in the NFL.

After that he moved to Barbados and opened his own company.  He met his wife, Katy and they had three children; sons, Kelan and Jacob, and daughter, Maya. He started his own church where he was and still is a minister.

"Fortunately for the Hendersonville community, in 2007 Eric and his wife decided to move back to Hendersonville to raise their family," Rick Wood said in introducing Gash. "He got a job at HHS as a teacher assistant and the next year he took over as a math teacher and coach."

Gash was named the head women’s basketball coach in 2012 and then the head football coach in 2014.

"He was successful in these positions by establishing an environment of hard-nosed love and high expectations no matter what obstacles were placed in his way," Wood said.

In 2016 he was named assistant principal and athletic director at HHS.

"Eric is great individual who makes our school and community a better place each day," HHS principal Bobby Wilkins said.  “I respect and love him as my own brother or should I say son!"

Gash returned the admiration.

"I truly see it as a privilege and honor to come back here and work side by side with you every day," he said. "We came back because I wanted my kids to experience the family atmosphere, the camaraderie. This is a great community. We joke around, we play but in the end we're all one."