Wheeling, W. Va. – Yearly, one individual residing within the Ohio Valley is awarded for his or her service to the youth with the Ohio Valley Mild of the Valley Award. This 12 months, a Wheeling College alum, former coach, and lifelong fan is being awarded for his work with the youth of the valley. Tom Bechtle (’73) labored as Leisure Director for town of Wheeling from 1973-2019 and helped with Wheeling College Males’s Basketball in a technique or one other for over 50 years. He’s being rewarded for his work on Wednesday on the Ohio Valley Mild of the Valley Award Luncheon, the place he shall be named the 2022 recipient of the Mild of the Valley Award.
“I’ve been lucky sufficient to win a couple of awards in my lifetime and I am by no means large on these,” mentioned Bechtel. “My mission in life was to serve the youth of the Ohio Valley. Being recreation director was an ideal job for me and I cherished each second of it, and clearly it concerned working with the youth of the valley.”
Bechtel grew up within the Ohio Valley and, when it got here time to start his school profession, he did not go very far. He arrived at Wheeling College within the fall of 1969 and was a two-year member of the Wheeling Males’s Basketball crew. Even after his taking part in days had been over, he remained a part of the crew as an assistant coach for 3 seasons. After he graduated in 1973, he was in search of a job and landed a job as a program coordinator for town of Wheeling. Initially, it wasn’t going to be a full-time job for Bechtel, however 45 years later he retired as town’s program director.
Throughout his time with Wheeling, he labored to create extra alternatives for the youth of the Valley by way of a number of initiatives. He helped create town’s recreation basketball league, the Wheeling Recreation shootout, and summer season camps for a number of completely different sports activities. He additionally added extra groups to town’s recreation softball league, which allowed extra children to take part. Whereas he was serving because the Metropolis’s Recreation Director, he remained loyal to the faculty that gave him a lot and labored with the Males’s Basketball crew for over 50 years.
He began as this system’s Co-Freshman crew coach with former teammate and buddy Pat McCune as he helped Wheeling Freshman transition into the faculty sport. He additionally served because the play clock operator, sport clock operator, and finally was a shade commentator on the faculty’s stream. All through the years, Bechtel’s love for Wheeling College has remained the identical even by way of his ever-changing roles.
“I like Wheeling (College) and it was an ideal expertise,” mentioned Bechtel. “I clearly caught round and there aren’t an entire lot of followers who can say they had been followers of Wheeling Basketball for over 50 years. It was an ideal expertise and for what I might up doing working with the general public a Jesuit schooling was one of the best for me. It taught me find out how to be an excellent individual and deal with folks proper.”
Bechtel shall be honored at a luncheon on Wednesday, August twenty fourth at midday on the Wheeling Park White Palace.