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The Journal Gazette

  • File Photo | Former Woodlan football coach Leland Etzler, right, talks with former school athletic director Ray Gilbert in 2005 after the school's field is named after Etzler. At 78, Etzler died Sunday.  

Sunday, September 02, 2018 10:10 pm

Legendary football coach Etzler dies

Leland Etzler, a legendary local football coach at Woodlan for decades, died today at 78 his family confirmed.

Funeral arrangements haven’t yet been determined for Etzler, who coached the Warriors for 40 years and won 11 conference championships in the ACAC.

His career record was 287-117-2 – he is tied for 13th in state history in victories – and he coached undefeated teams in 1965, 1968 and 1970.

His Warriors reached the Class A state-championship game in 1981, losing 7-6 to Hamilton Southeastern.

The Warriors didn’t make it back to the title game until last season under Sherwood Haydock.

Among those who played for Etzler were Terry Hoeppner, the late Indiana University and Miami (Ohio) coach.

Etzler, who retired in 2005, had 45 former players go on to play in the college ranks, 52 go on to coach, 38 academic all-state selections and 82 father-son combinations.

jcohn@jg.net