By Janie Southard
St. Marys Roughriders football fans will observe a moment of silence before tonight's opening game to honor former coach Skip Baughman, who died this morning at a hospice in Toledo.
Baughman, 76, suffered a severe stroke Aug. 7 while visiting his daughter in Toledo and had been transferred to the hospice last week.
Baughman was a giant in St. Marys history with a 36-year career which earned him a spot in the Ohio High School Coaches Hall of Fame and the Ohio Northern University Hall of Fame. He coached 36 seasons at St. Marys and achieved a .736 winning percentage, four state championships in eight playoff appearances and 15 Western Buckeye League championships.
Former St. Marys teacher and school counselor Roger Duncan coached with Baughman from 1967 to 1994 and remembered the coach as a great man -- tough, caring and compassionate.
"He made sure everybody gave what they had to give and weren't afraid. He always laid it on the line: Play with heart and don't worry about the rest of it," Duncan said. "Skip just had a presence you respected. He expected the best and instilled pride in everyone, not just the players, but family, friends and associates." St. Marys Mayor Greg Freewalt, another fellow coach, spoke with The Daily Standard this morning.
"Skip was the true definition of a teacher and a coach. He was a worker and had the tenacity to pull it all together. He touched everyone in a positive way," Freewalt said.
District Superintendent Ken Baker commented that many of the students and teachers now know Baughman's name because it's also the name of the football stadium.
"But folks in town who played for him or had him as a teacher have kept his image and reputation alive. For those people it's like losing a family member," Baker said. "Skip's job was completed in the district but he lives on in how people in St. Marys carry on their day-to-day lives."
Arrangements for the funeral are being completed this afternoon at Miller Funeral Home.
See obituary on page 5A.