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Joe Bob Tyler, Battle of the Bulge POW,Louisiana coach

Discussion in 'WWII Obituaries' started by Spartanroller, Oct 30, 2010.

  1. Spartanroller

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    Legendary coach, World War II veteran Joe Bob Tyler dies at age 86 - Wichita Falls Sports | Examiner.com

    Former Rider and Wichita Falls High School head coach Joe Bob Tyler passed away Wednesday night. He was 86 years old.

    Considered one of the great Single Wing coaches of all time, Tyler left a head coaching job at Burkburnett to serve as an assistant at WFHS under then head coach Joe Golding. His time at Old High led him to Rider High School in 1961 when he was hired to be the first head coach of the Raiders new football program.

    Tyler led the Raiders to a record of 8-1-1 in just the second season of the program, and in 1965 took them to a 10-1 record and the Raiders first district championship.

    The coach left Wichita Falls in 1969 to take over a horrible Haltom City football program that had only won 16 games in eight years before his arrival. It took six years, but Tyler turned the Buffaloes into winners with an 8-1-1 record in 1974, a mark they would repeat in 1975.

    In 1980, Tyler returned to Wichita Falls as an assistant under Danny Palmer before again becoming the Coyotes head coach in 1981. By 1986, WFHS was in the state quarterfinals.

    A lineman in his playing days, Tyler first attended Louisiana's Northeast Junior College in 1942 before joining the United State Army and serving in World War II.

    Tyler was taken prisoner in 1945 during the Battle of the Bulge and was held captive for four long months. By the time he and the other prisoners were liberated, the bulky 198 pound Tyler was down to a thin 110 pounds.

    Returning home and regaining his health, Tyler returned to school to what had become Northeast Louisiana University (now known as the University of Louisiana-Monroe). In his first season back on the field in 1946, Tyler became the school's first football All-American.

    Coach Tyler saw a lot players come and go over the years, including current Wichita Falls High School head coach Jay Lavender who played under Tyler and then served as his assistant at both Rider and in Haltom City. Lavender saw Tyler as a coach that could be tough on his players, but he did so because he genuinely cared about them.

    "If it hadn't been for Coach Tyler, I don't know how far I would have ever gone in football," Lavender once told the Wichita Falls Times Record News. "And I wasn't the only one. He helped a lot of kids."

    Funeral services for Coach Tyler will be 2 pm Sunday, October 31 at the First United Methodist Church, with the family receiving visitors following the service. Burial will be 10 am Monday in Comanche, Oklahoma.
     

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