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Published: Thursday, 1/12/2006

Montpelier teacher was athletic director

MONTPELIER , Ohio - Hilbert "Hip" W. Klotz, Jr., 59, a retired athletic director and social studies teacher at Montpelier High School who had coached football and taught for 38 years in northwest Ohio and Michigan schools, died of apparent congestive heart failure Saturday in Lutheran Hospital of Indiana, Fort Wayne, after suffering from kidney failure and diabetes.

Mr. Klotz retired as social studies teacher and athletic director at Montpelier in about 2002, after about seven years of service. Prior to that, he taught social studies, history, and geography and was the head football coach at Montpelier High in the 1980s.

In retirement, he was assistant football coach for Hilltop High School in West Unity, Ohio, from 2002 through 2005.

Mr. Klotz, a native of Kalamazoo, Mich., who started his coaching career at Big Rapids, Mich., High School, also taught social studies and coached football at Liberty Center and Napoleon high schools.

He was the Wildcats' head coach at Napoleon High when the team won the record six of 10 games they played in the 1980 season.

"He was a great teacher and a fantastic coach," Mike Bumb, Hilltop head football coach who also played for Mr. Klotz at Montpelier High, said. "He looked just like a big old gruff bear on the outside, but he was a soft teddy bear on the inside."

Mr. Klotz, a Benton Harbor, Mich., High School graduate with a bachelor's degree in history from Central Michigan University, also was the athletic director at Napoleon High.

His students and his athletes were his main interest in life, his sister, Cheryl Butcher, said.

Mr. Klotz was a member of the Ohio Football Coaching Association, Michigan Football Coaches Association, and the Ohio Education Association.

Surviving are his mother, Aletha M. Klotz; father, Hilbert W. Klotz; brothers, Howard, Alvon, and Scott, and sisters, Colleen Lamble and Cheryl Butcher.

Services will be at 2 p.m. tomorrow at the Superior Middle School gymnasium, Montpelier. The body will be in the Thompson Funeral Home, Montpelier, after 2 p.m. today.

The family suggests tributes to the Hilbert "Hip" W. Klotz Memorial Fund at Montpelier Public Schools.



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