The funeral for Bud will be live-streamed on the St. John United Church of Christ Facebook page.
George T. “Bud” Weisgarber III, 66, of Strasburg passed away on Saturday, December 4, 2021. Bud was the son of the late George and Eva Rae Weisgarber, and was a 1973 graduate of Strasburg High School. His father, a Massillon graduate, who was drafted by the Cleveland Indians, was instrumental in Bud’s baseball career. Bud was MVP of the 1973 team under Coach Pete Angelo, and he went on to play at Fairmont State College in West Virginia. He also played football for the Tigers throughout high school. After college, Bud joined his father working at Massillon Container, where he spent 42 years.
Bud began his softball coaching career when Bub Dreher asked him and Kurt Keucher to coach a 12 and under girl’s team in 1982. The first high school team soon followed in 1985. That year Bud helped to draft the original Eastern District Constitution in Ohio and he also served that group as a treasurer for the next twelve years.
In their second year, the 1986 team went to regionals and then won state titles in 1987, 88, and 89, behind the pitching of Tammy Spidell, and some other greats such as Samantha Reardon, Nikki Zehnder. The 87 and 89 teams were actually undefeated.
In 1990, the Tigers finished in the Final Four again, and in 1991, won it all with Kelli Krantz at the mound. Kelli pitched in three straight Final Four finishes in 1990 thru 1992. It was 1995 until the team returned to the Final Four with Carisa Troyer pitching. Then in 2002, Dani Ziegler helped the ladies return to state and finished second place. Dani helped get them back to the Final Four again in 2004.
Few of us will forget the pitching duo of Carly Clarke and Casey Gerber who led the Tigers to the state championship once again in 2009. They still hold the state record for the most wins in one season. 2010, took the team back to the Final Four. In 2011, they won it all with the steel nerves of Kasey Gerber on the mound. In 2012 they participated in the Final Four again, and in 2013, won it all with Kristina LaRocca pitching. The Tigers made the state championship game again in 2016, with Hannah Duff pitching.
Bud has been named IVC Coach of the Year eleven times, and the Eastern District Coach of the Year ten times. One of his most precious honors has been winning the Sportsmanship, Ethics, and Integrity Award four times from the state. In 2003, Bud’s parents watched as he was inducted into the Ohio High school Fast Pitch Softball Coach’s Association Hall of Fame. He holds the number one spot for the most wins in the state with a record of 723 wins. In 2016, Weisgarber was named to the inaugural class of the Strasburg High School Sports Hall of Fame.
Coach Weisgarber has led his beloved Lady Tigers to the State final four 16 times and has won it seven times. They hold the record for making it there 16 years, and also the record for making it to the championship game eleven times. They have also been District Champs 26 out of 32 years. As the team begins training for the school’s 33rd year of softball, Bud gives credit to the greatest bunch of ladies, parents, assistant coaches, and fans in the state of Ohio.
In June of 2016, Weisgarber was honored to be inducted into the National High School Coaches Association Hall of Fame.
After going through several amputations in 2018, Bud’s goal was to return to the coaching bench by March. With the help of incredible assistant coaches, Wade Brock, Nicole Coles, Carly Clark, and Brock Lauvray, the Lady Tigers finished the first runner-up in the state finals.
Bud leaves behind his brother, Harry Edward (Bonnie) Wood of Strasburg; sister, Pam (Tim) Schram of Strasburg; several nieces and nephews; and his sister-in-law, Lucy Wood of New Philadelphia.
In addition to his parents, he was preceded in death by his two brothers, Rex Allen Weisgarber and Charles Douglas Wood.
A celebration of Bud’s life will be held at St. John United Church of Christ in Strasburg on Wednesday, December 8, 2021, at 11:00 am with Pastor Jason Rissler officiating. The Toland-Herzig Funeral Homes & Crematory in Strasburg is handling the arrangements. To sign an online guestbook for Bud, visit the obituary link on the funeral home’s website.