Dr. Bill Taraschke of Norwalk, Ohio, who taught in the Chadron State College physical education department and was the Eagles’ head track and field coach and an assistant football coach for eight years beginning in 1975, died on Wednesday, April 7 in a Cleveland hospital following a number of health issues.
After leaving Chadron State in 1984, Taraschke returned to his native Ohio and spent the next 31 years coaching cross country and track and field at Baldwin Wallace University at Berea, Ohio. During that time he led the Yellow Jackets to 37 Ohio Conference championships, 25 in track and 12 in cross country. He received Conference Coach of the Year honors 35 times was a Great Lakes Region Coach of the Year 13 times and an NCAA Division III Coach of the Year twice.
At Chadron State, his athletes set 10 track and field records and he was the football team’s defensive coordinator for six years under Jerry Welch and Gary Richardson.
A native of Toledo, he graduated from Ohio University, where he started in the line for the football team two years and was twice the Mid-America Conference discus champion. He earned his master’s degree at Southern Illinois University and began his coaching career at Milan, Ohio, High School where he took over a winless football team that went 26-1 the next three years.
He earned his Ph.D. at the University of Toledo in 1984 after taking a one year leave of absence from his duties at Chadron State.
Taraschke is survived by his wife, Dennie, and four children, two of whom were born in Chadron. Mrs. Taraschke said the time the family spent in Chadron were outstanding. His funeral will be Tuesday, April 13 at the Edison Memorial Methodist Church in Milan, where the Taraschkes were married 54 years ago. One of his Baldwin Wallace track athletes is a minister and will conduct the services and another will provide the music. Taraschke’s assistant coaches will be the pallbearers. He is being buried in his track coaching suit.