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New Haven honors hall-of-fame coach & AD with annual Kerbel wrestling invite

January 6, 2018

The following story was originally published Jan. 6, 2018, just months after Bill Kerbel's passing; and weeks before Kerbel's induction into the Indiana Wrestling Hall of Fame.




NEW HAVEN, Ind. - To many who knew Bill Kerbel, Bulldog is the best way to describe him.

From his intensity, to work ethic, to respect, the late former high school athletic director and wrestling coach worked tirelessly to promote all New Haven athletics over 3 decades.

Kerbel, who died in August at age 73, will be honored for his contributions to wrestling when he is posthumously inducted into the Indiana Wrestling Hall of Fame in February.

“He’s a hall-of-fame dad, he’s a hall of fame coach, he’s a hall-of-fame athletic director, he’s a hall-of-fame wrestling guy,” former New Haven football coach Jim Rowland says. “He went above and beyond to help out anybody he could.” Rowland was also a student of and player for Kerbel before being hired by Kerbel as football coach.

Kerbel’s career with East Allen County Schools spanned 37 years in the classroom, on the wrestling mats, on the football field and in the athletic office.  Kerbel started the wrestling program at Leo, and spent 3 seasons as the head coach of the Lions football program. He would eventually move over to New Haven as head coach of wrestling and assistant coach to the football team. He taught social studies before coming New Haven athletic director. He won EACS Teacher of the Year in 2000.

As Bulldogs’ athletic director, Kerbel ran the New Haven Wrestling Invitational, which was renamed the Bill Kerbel Invitational in 2012. And while wrestling became what he was known for, Kerbel was instrumental in growing all New Haven sports, which Parkview Sports Medicine partners with.

“As great as a coach and as great of an athletic director he was, I think he’s going to be known better as an all-around great person,” New Haven wrestling coach James Linn says.

Kerbel will be inducted during a ceremony Feb. 18 in Carmel.

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