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May 01, 2015

Remembering Speed McCullough

Information courtesy of DeAnn McCullough and John Burkett

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. - USA Archery extends its heartfelt condolences to the loved ones of Irwin L. "Speed" McCullough, who gave tirelessly to the sport of archery for many years, as a club leader, coach, archer and volunteer. Speed was able to impact many lives through his lifelong devotion to archery. 

According to his family, Speed, a farmer and grain merchandiser by trade, will forever be remembered for his innovative and entrepreneurial spirit. As one of the first people in Mercer County, Pennsylvania to shell corn and mechanically dry it he, and later with the help of his son David, oversaw the growth of his family business from a small dairy farm into a country grain elevator and cash grain farming operation which he was passionate about and actively involved in until his passing. 

As avid archers, Speed and his wife Charlene founded a local Junior Olympic Archery Development (JOAD) program in 1971. This program, active to this day, has touched the lives of countless young people in Mercer County, developing many of them into local, state, national and even an Olympic champion in the case of local Olympic Medalist Rod White. Speed's dedication to the sport earned him a place in the Mercer County Sports Hall of Fame.

"The sport of Archery lost a longtime friend and supporter recently," wrote John Burkett. "If you didn't have the opportunity to see Speed or shoot with him at the archery tournament through the years or serve with him on the board of Governors, you undoubtedly shot with one of the many young archers whose lives he touched through the years at the JOAD program he and his wife Charlene led at Gold-N-Grain Archery in Sharpsville, Pennsylvania.

Speed got his start in archery in the 1050's shooting field courses which developed into a lifetime of competition and coaching.  In his younger days, he finished fourth twice at the U.S. Indoor Nationals, held a long standing clout record as well as a top 10 National recurve ranking.

As a JOAD coach in 1971, he and his wife Charlene founded one of the first JOAD clubs in Pennsylvania and successfully coached 12 National Champions in various age groups, an Olympic Gold and Bronze medalist (Rod White) as well as countless state champions.

Aside from his service to the sport through coaching, Speed has been very active along with his family in the preservation and tradition of the Eastern Archery Association. The EAA is celebrating its 136th year and those who attend will certainly miss Speed's telling of the history and stories that he had from his involvement through the years." 

Speed's family notes that friends will remember him as a good neighbor, a math whiz, impossible to beat at cards, a problem solver, a Pirates and Indians fan and student of the game, a reader, a traveler, and a passionate debater. USA Archery extends its sympathies to Speed's family and friends, and its gratitude for his significant contributions to the sport of archery.

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