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Bohren resigns, not ready to retire

The 78-year-old coach went 46-46 at LaBrae

By Steve Ruman

He has made a career out of developing successful football programs.

Now, at the age of 78 and with 47 years of head coaching experience under his belt, Bill Bohren is looking to do it one more time.

Bohren on Wednesday announced his resignation as head football coach at LaBrae High. Bohren recently completed his ninth year with the Vikings. He went 46-46 at the school, including a pair of playoff appearances.

“I just thought that after nine years, the time was right to move on,” Bohren said. “LaBrae has a solid nucleus coming back. The cupboard isn’t bare, so we’re not leaving a new coach with a long rebuilding process.”

Bohren stressed that his stepping down is not a retirement from the game.

“I just felt it was time for a fresh start,” Bohren said. “I completely enjoyed my time at LaBrae. These kids are tough as any you’ll find. They love to play the game, and they’re extremely coachable. We’ve always been competitive. But I want to try something new.”

Bohren began his high school coaching career in 1965, shortly after he earned his masters from Illinois State. He coached at a pair of schools in Illinois before making his way back east. He made a four-year stop at Ottawa Glandorf, then spent three years guiding Steubenville before establishing himself as a fixture in the Mahoning Valley.

Bohren’s 1976 Steubenville team finished 7-1-2, Big Red’s best showing as a member of the All-American Conference. At Lakeview, Bohren compiled a 32-18 mark. At Boardman, his Spartans were 59-26, including two two straight Steel Valley Conference titles and a trip to the Division I state title game.

Salem won its only conference title in 104 years under Bohren. At Niles, he won a pair of league titles and made two trips to the playoffs.

After sitting out the 2003 season, Bohren took over a LaBrae program which was 3-27 in the three years prior to his arrival.

In 2007, Bohren was inducted into the Ohio High School Football Coaches Hall of Fame,

“I was just looking at the class I was part of. All of the other coaches are either retired or dead. I guess I don’t know when to die or retire,” Bohren quipped.

LaBrae principal Rocco Adduci said the school is losing more than a coach.

“Bill is a fine gentleman who has always been very pro student-athlete,” Bohren said. “He always encouraged his players to be on top of their game both on and off the field. He always came in and talked to teachers and administrators, keeping close tabs on his young men.”

“As a coach, Bill’s record speaks for itself.”

Bohren owns a career record of 288-165-6. He recalled losing the first-ever game he coached. His team that year proceeded to finish 8-1.

“I want to get to 300, there’s no two ways about it,” Bohren said. “I know there are going to be openings. I know I’ll be coaching next year.”


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