Art Bauer, who coached football at North Central High School for 17 years and led the Indians to a Greater Spokane League title in 1977, died Thursday.
Bauer was 89. Funeral arrangements are pending.
“He was a special individual who always cared about people,” said his son-in-law Ron Brooks, the baseball coach at Shadle Park.
Bauer was born in Shubert, Nebraska, on May 25, 1927, and played 6-man football. He also played at the University of Nebraska.
“He was a tough little guard,” Brooks said of Bauer, who also played defense for the Cornhuskers.
After graduation in 1951, Bauer began his coaching career in Sidney, Nebraska. Six years later, he moved to Lincoln, Nebraska, leading Northeast High School to a pair of state titles.
Bauer arrived in Spokane in the fall of 1970 to take the reins at North Central. With future baseball hall of famer Ryne Sandberg at quarterback, the Indians won the GSL title with an 8-0 record in 1977. That team reached the State AAA quarterfinals before falling to GSL rival Gonzaga Prep.
“He was known for his ability to get the most out of his kids,” Brooks said. “Opposing coaches always said you had to prepare well and play hard to beat NC.”
While at NC, Bauer also coached track and field for several seasons and basketball for one season.
Bauer retired from coaching in 1986 and from teaching social studies in 1989.
Bauer is survived by his wife, Norma Lee Bauer of Spokane; daughter Nancy Brooks (Ron) of Spokane; daughter Barbara Drake (Brent) of East Wenatchee, Washington; and six grandchildren.
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