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Published: Friday, 11/16/2007

Maumee coach led football team to 1st 10-0 season

La Fountaine La Fountaine
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PORT CLINTON - Harold "Hal" La Fountaine, 61, a longtime physical education teacher at Maumee High School and former head coach of the boys' football and baseball teams, died Wednesday in his home in Port Clinton.

The death followed a battle with pulmonary fibrosis, his family said.

He taught at Maumee's Gateway Middle School for three years and then at Maumee High from the early 1970s until his retirement in 1998.

With physical education a required course at the school, generations of Maumee graduates once had Mr. La Fountaine for class, if not on the ball fields.

He coached his first season of Maumee boys' baseball in the 1969-70 school year, leading the team to a runner-up finish in the Northern Lakes League.

Mr. La Fountaine continued coaching the baseball team for 14 more years while also serving as an assistant coach for the school's football team.

"It was by far the best high school experience I ever had," said Joe Berry, a former baseball player, one of many athletes in both sports who kept in touch with Mr. La Fountaine well after graduation.

In 1984, Mr. La Fountaine was named head football coach, succeeding Robert Boyles.

Mr. La Fountaine was an assistant coach under Mr. Boyles for 11 years. When Mr. Boyles returned to coaching at Maumee in the late 1980s, he became one of Mr. La Fountaine's assistants.

"I was proud that he was on my staff, and I was definitely proud to be on his staff," Mr. Boyles said. "He was a hard-nose coach. He got a lot of effort out of his players."

One of Mr. La Fountaine's proudest moments in coaching was when his 1986 football team posted the first 10-0 regular season in Maumee history and earned a Division II playoff berth, his son said.

Mr. La Fountaine was born in Fremont and was a 1964 graduate of Springfield High School, where he played football, basketball, and baseball and was later inducted into the hall of fame.

He played baseball at Henderson State College, Arkadelphia, Ark., and received a bachelor's degree in education in 1968. He later received a master's degree in physical education from Bowling Green State University.

In 1967, he married Susan Briskey.

Surviving are his wife, Susan; mother, Goldie La Fountaine; stepfather, Charles La Fountaine; daughters, Nancy La Fountaine and Ruth Dotson; son, Edward La Fountaine; foster son, Dennis Braziel; sister, Carol Ann Peterson; stepsisters, Kathy Skarbowski and Sandra Ramm; stepbrother, Keith La Fountaine, and eight grandchildren.

Visitation will be after 3 p.m. Monday in Waterville Community Church, with services beginning at 6 p.m. Monday. The Maison-Dardenne-Walker Funeral Home, Maumee, handled arrangements. The family suggests tributes to Reformers Unanimous, Temperance, or Stein Hospice, Sandusky.



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