By Brandon Shrider
A hall of fame induction caps off 40-year-career at the Sentinel Tribune for 1974 Bowling Green State University journalism alumnus Jack Carle.
Carle was selected as an inductee into the Ohio Prep Sportswriter’s Association Hall of Fame the same year he retired – 2014.
“I’d like to find out who nominated me in the first place…to give them hell,” Carle said jokingly. “I was totally surprised. I couldn’t believe it.”
With the ceremony at the Ohio High School Athletic Association boys basketball tournament in March, Carle got the chance to reflect upon the highly regarded and well-respected career.
“When I reflect out there it’s kind of humbling,” Carle said. “But it wasn’t all me, it was everybody else.”
First beginning to write while at BGSU for The BG News, Carle ultimately became sports editor for the 1971-72 school year. At the same time, he worked part time for the Sentinel-Tribune, Carle eventually became full time in 1978 as the assistant sports editor.
Growing, improving and perfecting his work over this time, he said it was more than just him. He said he had a lot of great help at both places alongside some people who went on to do great things.
Carle, however, did great things too.
Among his many accolades, Carle was named the “Best Ohio Sports Writer” in 2003. Carle never made it a priority to let everyone know of his accomplishments though.
Thomas Schmeltz, current sports editor at the Sentinel-Tribune, said, “Any awards he’s ever won never get brought up. You wouldn’t know the awards he’s won over the years because he doesn’t talk about it, it doesn’t affect him one way or the other.”
Schmeltz, who worked alongside Carle for three and a half years, said, “He appreciates it, but he’ll always be the first to credit somebody else for doing something, thanking the people he’s had working for him over the years when really, it’s been him pushing others to do what they are able to do.”
Carle wasn’t always the confident and established sports writer, however.
Coming from Circleville, Ohio, Carle was originally looking to study radio-television news.
Carle had worked part-time with his older brother at a radio station in Circleville once he turned 18. This is what first piqued his interest.
When looking for colleges, Bowling Green didn’t require a foreign language to get into the radio-television news curriculum, Carle said.
He decided on BGSU.
However, while moving into the dormitories at the beginning of his sophomore year, Carle picked up the freshman issue of The BG News. Seeing an ad for a sports writer, Carle inquired.
Gary Davis, the sports editor at the time, saw something in me and gave me a chance, he said.
“(When I first started) I was horrible and in over my head,” Carle said chuckling.
With no experience in journalistic writing, Carle began covering the men’s soccer team.
“Luckily enough for me, my chance was with [men’s soccer coach] Mickey Cochrane,” Carle said. “He realized I was young. If I asked a stupid question, he wouldn’t say ‘that’s a stupid question,’ he would suggest what I maybe wanted to know. So I was lucky enough to get started with him.”
After covering a plethora of campus athletics, Carle graduated with a bachelor’s of science degree in journalism with a specialization in broadcast journalism.
Carle applied for an assistant sports editor position at the Sentinel-Tribune.
Harold Brown, the sports editor at the time, talked to the general manager and hired him.
“I don’t know why,” Carle said facetiously with a smirk on his face.
Brown eventually moved to city editor, opening the sports editor position for Carle.
In 1987, Carle hired Kevin Gordon. Gordon remained his assistant until Carle retirement in 2014.
“He was an important part of my career.” Gordon said. “He helped me to grow and develop as a writer and a page designer. He included me in all decisions involving the department and allowed me to do things on my own.”
Carle said, “[Kevin Gordon] was a big part, I leaned on him to do a lot of things. I don’t know if I passed any knowledge onto him, he probably passed more along to me.”
Carle elected to spend his entire career at the Sentinel-Tribune as opposed to moving elsewhere.
“When I got that job at the Sentinel, it just seemed like a good fit,” he said. “Some people were willing to leave being the sports editor at a small paper to be a reporter at a bigger paper, but I kind of liked being in charge too.”
Schmeltz laughed when he recalled his first interview with Carle and his initially hiring. “I was scared, Schmeltz said. “ But once you get to know him, for just a week or two, he’s just the most laid back, relaxed, guy I’ve ever met.”
But, Schmeltz said, Carle makes sure the job gets done. “He still gives that presence that he’s stern. You can get away with doing things the way you want to do it, but as soon you mess it up or do it wrong, you know about it—which is a good thing. I think that helped me grow. He’s always there to help somebody.”
When asked about Carle’s work, Schmeltz said, “Detailed, he always had his way of doing things; he always wanted to make sure his stuff was different from somebody else’s. He wanted his to stand out more.”
Carle said: “It could be demanding at times, missing time with my family on late nights, but it was enjoyable. Everything didn’t click everyday, didn’t get enough sleep writing stories, but it was enjoyable.”
“I don’t miss the long hours though,” Carle added jokingly with a sigh of relief. “It was an interesting job. There were so many different things, seasons always changed.”
With his career coming to a close, Carle leaves behind a legacy, not just in Wood County, but Ohio and the Midwest. People, interested in sports or not, know who Carle is because of the relentless, but prodigious work he produced.
“Everybody knows who he is because of how long he did it and because he was good at it. He knew what he was doing,” Schmeltz said. “To know that I got that kind of knowledge from somebody who knew what he was doing and who really had a passion for it, I’m thankful for.”