Saturday, Apr 21, 2018
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Ex-BGSU basketball coach starred in baseball at OSU

BOWLING GREEN - Warren J. "Porky" Scholler, 89, a former Bowling Green State University head basketball coach who stayed on the faculty and went to home games long after his last stand on the bench, died Friday in Sterling House of Bowling Green.

He had pneumonia, his daughter, Tari Geer, said.

He retired in 1983 as an assistant professor of health and physical education. He taught part time until the early 1990s and supported his coaching successors.

"He went to all the basketball games. He just loved athletics," his daughter said.

Jane Myers, director of the BGSU Falcon Club, said, "When people think of Porky, they think of a smile, because he always had a smile and upbeat attitude and a kind word."

He was head basketball coach from 1963-67. His strength was communicating with his players, said Bob Van Poppel, co-captain of the 1965-66 team.

"His players understood him and what he wanted from them," said Mr. Van Poppel, who coached basketball at colleges in Indiana and Nebraska. "He was sound in the basic fundamentals of the game.

"He never talked down to me, and I never saw him talk down to any player," Mr. Van Poppel said. "He treated everyone with dignity, and I enjoyed playing for him."

Mr. Scholler's record was 43-52. He followed BGSU legend Harold "Andy" Anderson, who became head coach in 1942 and personally selected Mr. Scholler to be his successor.

Mr. Scholler had coached his Hamilton, Ohio, High School basketball team to two state championships when, in 1956, Mr. Anderson started courting him.

As a Hamilton High student, Mr. Scholler played on the 1936-37 state championship basketball team.

BGSU hired Mr. Scholler in 1958 as freshman coach. He'd been a finalist for the head coaching job at Ohio State University.

He was born Nov. 16, 1920, to Cora and Joseph Scholler.

At Hamilton High, he also excelled in football and baseball. He went to Ohio State on a basketball scholarship. The slim player called "Sticks" had a hearty appetite and gained a new nickname, "Porky," after he weighed in at 200, his daughter said.

He lost his spot on the basketball team but became an All-Big Ten first baseman.

He was an Army veteran and served during World War II. He received a master's degree from Xavier University.

He was a former coach for the Bowling Green Pee Wee League Association and served on the city parks and recreation board.

Surviving are his wife, Sarah Elizabeth "Libby" Scholler, whom he married July 8, 1944; daughter, Tari Geer; son, Warren Joseph II; five grandchildren, and nine great-grandchildren.

There will be no visitation. The family plans to hold a public celebration of his life later this year. Arrangements are by the Dunn Funeral Home, Bowling Green.

The family suggests tributes to the BGSU Falcon Club.

Contact Mark Zaborney at:

or 419-724-6182.

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