Golf enthusiast remembers Valley High School legend – KCCI Des Moines


Valley High School is mourning the loss of a longtime teacher and coach, Bill Coldiron, who died Sunday at the age of 87.Lori Gaffney-Burmeister, who graduated from Valley High School in 1982, said his impact will be felt for a long time.She said Coldiron’s love for golf was “so infectious” that “some of his student-athletes are still playing decades later, and they credit him for that.”Gaffney-Burmeister said she first learned how to golf as a sophomore.”I was a brand-new golfer and showed up for the Valley golf team,” she said. “Coach Coldiron was so encouraging and instrumental in me continuing to play golf.”Coldiron worked in West Des Moines Community Schools for 40 years, serving as the head of Valley’s golf program for more than 35 years.He was there in 1982 when Gaffney-Burmeister’s team won the state title. She said her coach was always supportive and knew how to prepare his players.”If it was a cold day, he would turn the air conditioner on in the van so it was really cold in there, so we were used to the cold before we would go out to play,” Gaffney-Burmeister said.It’s that commitment to his players and school that has made him a legend at Valley. The field house is named after him.He continued to stay in touch with students up until the very end.”He and his wife, they were at our wedding reception, and in fact, the day before he passed away, my husband and I were watching our wedding video,” Gaffney-Burmeister said.Coldiron died the same day as his sport’s biggest day — the final round of the Masters, which was fitting for a guy who loved golf.”He’s up there in heaven now playing great golf,” Gaffney-Burmeister said. “Better than any of us could ever play.”Coldiron’s family plans to honor him with an open house visitation at a later date.

Valley High School is mourning the loss of a longtime teacher and coach, Bill Coldiron, who died Sunday at the age of 87.

Lori Gaffney-Burmeister, who graduated from Valley High School in 1982, said his impact will be felt for a long time.

She said Coldiron’s love for golf was “so infectious” that “some of his student-athletes are still playing decades later, and they credit him for that.”

Gaffney-Burmeister said she first learned how to golf as a sophomore.

“I was a brand-new golfer and showed up for the Valley golf team,” she said. “Coach Coldiron was so encouraging and instrumental in me continuing to play golf.”

KCCI-TV

Coldiron worked in West Des Moines Community Schools for 40 years, serving as the head of Valley’s golf program for more than 35 years.

He was there in 1982 when Gaffney-Burmeister’s team won the state title. She said her coach was always supportive and knew how to prepare his players.

“If it was a cold day, he would turn the air conditioner on in the van so it was really cold in there, so we were used to the cold before we would go out to play,” Gaffney-Burmeister said.

It’s that commitment to his players and school that has made him a legend at Valley. The field house is named after him.

He continued to stay in touch with students up until the very end.

“He and his wife, they were at our wedding reception, and in fact, the day before he passed away, my husband and I were watching our wedding video,” Gaffney-Burmeister said.

Coldiron died the same day as his sport’s biggest day — the final round of the Masters, which was fitting for a guy who loved golf.

“He’s up there in heaven now playing great golf,” Gaffney-Burmeister said. “Better than any of us could ever play.”

Coldiron’s family plans to honor him with an open house visitation at a later date.

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