I would like to add a remembrance to my friend, Bill Havens. “Haves” was the first person I met at Big Walnut. I was on my way to interview with Hylen Souders for a teaching position when I met this bald bundle of energy in the high school hallway. He had recently been hired as head football coach. Sometime later, Bill invited me to join his staff. I coached for him all of his six years both as a junior high coach and a varsity assistant.
His influence upon me was considerable, especially when leading a group or speaking publicly. Bill taught football to both his players and his staff. His organization was more advanced and intricate than all the schools we played and his motivation moved people to excel in all areas of their lives. After he left Big Walnut, he conducted speeches and seminars for corporations as well as the military. He conducted over 3,000 motivational and drug prevention programs in schools across the country. Bill was also a former “Mr. Clean” of Procter and Gamble.
He moved Big Walnut football into a winning tradition. His 1968 team was Big Walnut’s first league championship in a long time. Bill’s first Big Walnut coaching experience lasted from 1967 to 1970 while producing a record of 21-14-1. He left high school football for three years and returned for the 1974 and 1975 seasons leaving a 13-4-1 record. The 1975 team was the only undefeated team Big Walnut has ever had going 8-0-1. The staff hated to see him leave after that year, but Bill wanted to pursue other interests, mainly motivational speaking. He left a total record of 34-18-2 in his six years as Big Walnut Head Football Coach.
His friends will miss him, but his spirit will always be among us and thinking of him will always bring a smile to our lips.