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Wadel's numbers add up

Longtime Williamsport coach set for retirement

Longtime Williamsport coach set for retirement

June 04, 2008|By LARRY YANOS

WILLIAMSPORT -- Over the years, Wlliamsport High School mathematics teacher Larry Wadel has helped numerous students with equations.

This spring, Wadel decided to put one of his own together: 40+30+40 = retirement from the high school scene.

"I've been a classroom teacher for 40 years, I've been involved with athletics for 30 years and my wife (Lavonna) and I have been married for 40 years," Wadel said. "I think this is a good time to retire."

Retirement, though, may not be the proper term.

This fall, Wadel hopes to teach mathematics part-time at Hagerstown Community College and also will be following his son's career at Gettysburg High School, where he is the assistant baseball coach.

Wadel's last official day at Williamsport High School is Thursday.

"It's been great," said Wadel, 62. "I had some great times, both in the classroom and on the athletic fields. I'll miss this place."

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Born and raised in Chambersburg, Pa. -- where he still resides -- Wadel graduated from Chambersburg Area Senior High School in 1964, Shippensburg University in 1968 and earned a master's degree in 1972.

He was a second baseman on both his high school and college baseball teams while still maintaining his academic requirements.

"I came to Williamsport High School in the fall of 1968 and coached cross country and helped Mr. (Richard) Doub with the baseball program," Wadel said. "In the early days, I even coached the ninth-grade girls basketball team."

Actually, Wadel did his student-teaching at Boonsboro High and likely would have returned to the Chambersburg area to work if he had not been offered a teaching position at Williamsport.

"I had an interview with Herb Logsdon and got the job at Williamsport," Wadel said. "I came here as a math teacher, but I was interested in athletics -- especially baseball -- and I was willing to help out whenever possible. We only had five sports back then: Baseball, basketball, football, track/cross country and soccer.

"I remember we had over 30 students in a classroom when I first started. Things are a bit more manageable now," Wadel said.

Wadel coached cross country for 20 years and won two state championships and assisted Doub with the baseball program before taking over as varsity head coach in 1972. For the last three years, he was a volunteer coach for softball skipper Tom Dzur.

"We've had a wonderful tradition in baseball here," Wadel said. "Jumping into an established program in '72 was a big help. I think when I was the head coach, we went to the state finals four times and won the championship in 1975. I had some fine players during my years of coaching."

Wadel is a member of the Shippensburg University Sports Hall of Fame and the Maryland Association of Baseball Coaches Hall of Fame.

"I'll miss the folks at Williamsport," Wadel said. "I've just been blessed with great athletes and a great school."

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