longtime football and lacrosse coach
William H. “Bud” Waesche Sr., a longtime football and swim team coach at Merganthaler Vocational Technical High School who also coached lacrosse at the University of Baltimore, died July 21 from cancer at the Community Hospice Anne and Donald McGraw Center for Caring in Jacksonville, Fla.
The former Loch Raven Village resident was 83.
He enrolled at the University of Maryland and was an outstanding midfielder and an All American lacrosse player in 1955, 1956 and 1959. He earned four varsity letters on winning teams that held national honors and achieved a record of 33 1.
In 1956, he was presented the Charles P. McCormick Award for his contributions to Terrapin athletics and the William P. Cole III Award in 1959 as outstanding midfielder.
His college career was interrupted when he served in the Army from 1956 to 1958. While in the Army, he was the Pacific Armed Forces Fast Pitch Softball champion.
He then returned to College Park and obtained a bachelor’s degree in 1959.
From 1960 to 1963, he played first team midfield for the Mount Washington Lacrosse Club.
From 1960 to 1986, Mr. Waesche served as physical education teacher at Mervo. From 1960 to 1967 he was head freshman football coach and swim coach.
“Many people in my high school could not swim. In fact, many were terrified of getting into the water, no matter how deep,” recalled Mark Bishop, a former student and swim team member who lives in Baltimore. “I remember him being patient and persistent with these students on a daily basis. By the end of the semester, all were comfortable in the water and most all learned the basics.”
“This transformed the confidence level in many; even in their everyday demeanor,” Mr. Bishop said. “He brought out the best in people. I’ve never forgotten that.”
While teaching at Mervo, Mr. Waesche earned a master’s degree from Morgan State University
He moved up in the school’s football program, being named assistant junior varsity football coach in 1969, junior varsity coach in 1971, assistant varsity coach in 1978, then varsity head coach in 1979, a position he held until retiring in 1986.
In 1986, Mr. Waesche coached the Maryland Scholastic Association Senior All Stars and led the Baltimore City MSA to its first championship over Baltimore County.
While coaching and teaching at Mervo, Mr. Waesche was also assistant lacrosse coach in 1960 at Towson University under coach Bob Melville.
He was then named head coach of the University of Baltimore’s freshman lacrosse team from 1963 to 1966, and in 1967 was promoted to assistant varsity lacrosse coach.
He became head lacrosse coach in 1968 and continued in that role until 1972, compiling a record of 25 38 while facing such lacrosse powerhouses as Hopkins, Maryland, Loyola, Syracuse, Washington Lee,
Brown and Hofstra. His teams produced all stars Bobby “Piggy” Frantz, Vern Skuher and Tommy Reams.
“Buddy was not only a great coach but was a dear friend,” said Mr. Reams. “He allowed me to be the player I became under his direction. He was able to get more out of his players than they could have expected.
“In his time as a player, he was truly a bright spot,” he added.
“He loved working with teens, as he knew the importance of encouraging them and calling them to their fullest and highest potential in life,” his son, William H. Waesche Jr. of Los Angeles, wrote in a biographical profile of his father.
“He often said how blessed he felt to have been able to sow into so many young people’s lives . values, character and integrity that they can carry over into life situations,” he wrote.
While living in Loch Raven Village, Mr. Waesche was an active member of Belvedere Baptist Church, serving as a deacon.
A resident of Jacksonville, Fla., since 1988, Mr. Waesche was a member and elder of New Life Christian Church, active in its hospitality ministry.
He also established and led the Feeding the Hungry Ministry, working five days a week for 20 years, his son said. He would pick up donated food from grocery stores and distribute it to Jacksonville area shelters and retirement homes.
“He had a true servant’s heart and a captivating personality that positively impacted all he encountered,” his son wrote.
In addition to his son, he is survived by his wife of 57 years, the former Nancy Faure; two daughters, Wendy Fraser of Jacksonville, Fla., and Claire “Dee” Stastny of St. Augustine, Fla.; a brother, Charles S. Waesche Jr. of Rock Hall; 10 grandchildren;
and a great grandson.