Springfield, Ohio — It can be reasonably estimated that Dave Maurer impacted thousands of lives in his nearly 40 years as a coach, administrator and professor at Wittenberg University. In recognition of that fact, the Wittenberg Committee to Honor Dave Maurer has formed to celebrate Dave Maurer Day on Saturday, Nov. 1.
The event coincides with Wittenberg's final regular season home game against North Coast Athletic Conference (NCAC) rival Denison, which kicks off at 1 p.m. that day at Edwards-Maurer Field. Ironically, Maurer graduated from Denison in 1954, a little more than a year before he accepted a job offer from Wittenberg's newly named football coach, the legendary Bill Edwards. Click here to see special Web site.
The rest is history. On Nov. 1, Tigers of all stripes will come together to celebrate the history that Maurer and others made on the field, around the track, in the pool, on the golf course and in the classroom.
Maurer will be informally honored at halftime of the football game, where he is certain to get an ovation from the loyal Wittenberg fans. A reunion dinner for Maurer, his family, friends, former players, fans and supporters will follow in Pam Evans Smith Arena in the HPER Center, starting with a social hour at 5 p.m.
"Wittenberg has been blessed by with some great athletes over the years," said Steve Drongowski, class of 1974 and co-chair of the Committee to Honor Dave Maurer. "But Dave won an awful lot of games against more talented teams through better teaching, preparation and motivation. You'll hear that from the athletes in every sport he coached."
Drongowski is joined in the leadership of the newly formed committee by co-chairs Roy Allen, class of 1963, Ron Duncan, class of 1964, Jack Henkle, class of 1962, and Tom Prior, class of 1962. Allen, Duncan and Drongowski played football for Maurer, while Henkle and Prior were members of his swimming teams. The committee roster also includes Wittenberg alumni from three different decades, former coaching colleagues and community members who consider Maurer a friend and local icon.
Maurer, a 1987 Wittenberg Athletics Hall of Honor inductee, coached track and field, swimming and diving, and golf at various points during his Wittenberg career, in addition to his well-known exploits on the football sidelines. He also served as the university's director of men's athletics and was a professor of health and physical education. Like many other Wittenberg coaches of his era, Maurer did it all.
After more than a decade as an assistant football coach at Wittenberg, Maurer took the reins in 1969 from Edwards, who later merited induction in the National College of Football Hall of Fame. By the time he stepped down after the 1983 season, Maurer was well on his way to induction in the prestigious hall as well.
He posted a career record of 129-23-3, good for an astounding .842 winning percentage, best among active coaches at that time, and Maurer earned national coach of the year honors twice. Along the way, Maurer directed three teams to national championships (and was an assistant coach for two other national titlists) and two teams to NCAA Division III Tournament runner-up finishes. The Tigers went undefeated three times and won seven Ohio Athletic Conference championships in his 15 seasons as head coach.
The athletic accomplishments tell only part of the story, however. Maurer's knack for getting the most out of the players he coached and the students he taught at Wittenberg was rivaled only by his ability to connect with them personally as a mentor.
"What better way to recognize Davey's many achievements on and off the field than to gather with his family, players and many friends for a celebration on campus on a football Saturday," said Drongowski, a member of Wittenberg's 1973 football national championship team.
For more information about Dave Maurer Day, or to register for the event, contact Beckie Baker in Wittenberg's Office of Advancement at (937) 327-7423, or by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org. The cost of the reunion dinner is $40 per person.