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Remembering Verl Earl Petsch Jr.

June 11, 2024

Eastern Wyoming College mourns the loss of a key player in the history of the college. Former EWC teacher, coach, and Athletic Director Verl Earl Petsch Jr. passed away on May 27, 2024.

Petsch was instrumental in the history of EWC’s athletic programs and in the growth of the college, EWC President Jeffry Hawes said.

Verl became a Lancer in 1971 when he and his wife, Bonnie, moved to Torrington to teach physical education at EWC. In 1974 Verl started the Lancer Volleyball team and a few years later started the Women’s Basketball program at the college. By 1979 he took on the role of EWC’s Athletic Director.

Under Verl’s leadership, the Lancer Volleyball team established a career record of 1,085-699 (.608) placing him second in all-time career victories in National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA) Volleyball history. His teams won six NJCAA Region IX championships, advanced to the NJCAA Volleyball Championship Tournament seven times placing 5th in 1996 and 1998; The Lancers competed in 16 Region IX title matches and won 13 Wyoming Community College Conference crowns.

Verl coached 17 All-American players, 66 All-Region IX players and 30 of his players earned NJCAA academic honors. During his career he was named Region IX Volleyball Coach of the Year six times and was inducted into the NJCAA Volleyball Hall of Fame in 1998. In 2002, the Wyoming Coaches Association inducted him into their Hall of Fame.

Eastern Wyoming College named the Activity Center and Gymnasium in Verl’s honor in 2002. In 2014, he was presented the Loyalty Award by the NJCAA for his work directing an athletic program exemplifying excellence both on the field/court and in the classroom.

“Verl leaves a lasting legacy here at EWC and in the lives of all those he came in contact with,” Hawes said. “We are so grateful for the impact he had and continues to have here at EWC.”

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