William S. RademacherIssue Date: April 12, 2018
William Stiles "Bill" Rademacher, 75, of Williamston, Mi., passed away Monday, April 2, 2018.
Born May 13, 1942 in Menominee, Mi., to Walter and Helen Rademacher, he attended Menominee Private and Public Schools, the former St. John's Catholic Grade School and graduated in 1960 from Menominee High School.
He earned 12 varsity letters in four sports, three each in football and basketball, four in baseball and two in track and field. He held the school record in high and low hurdles, played quarterback on the Maroon football team and defensive line, even though he was a star quarterback.
Voted by his peers to receive the Barbara Silverthorne trophy as the school's outstanding athlete in the 1959-1960 school year, he also won Menominee's athlete of the year award in 1960. After high school, he was chosen outstanding player in all-star competition and named to the U.P. and Northeastern Wisconsin All-Stars. The team played an all-star line up selected from the Milwaukee region and was played in old County Stadium in Milwaukee. The all-star selections were made by scouts from the former Milwaukee Braves, now the Atlanta Braves.
He attended Northern Michigan University in 1960 where he lettered in football and track, graduating in 1964. He earned four letters in football and had several pass-receiving records that stood for 13 years. A determined and overachieving athlete, he signed as a free agent with the New York Jets where he played five seasons and later spent three seasons with the Boston Patriots.
The highlight of his eight-year career with the NFL was as a member of the New York Jets who won Super Bowl III in 1969, behind quarterback Joe Namath when they defeated Baltimore 16-7, which still ranks as one of the biggest upsets in NFL history.
The Menominee native coached after his pro-football career and was an assistant football coach at Xavier University in Ohio before returning to his Alma Mater in 1973. He was the quarterback coach when NMU Wildcats won Division II National Title in 1975 with Steve Marriucci at quarterback. He was named head coach of the Wildcats in 1978.
He left NMU to join George Perless' staff at Michigan State University in 1983 and remained at Michigan State until 1991 when he retired from coaching.
He is a member of the Upper Peninsula Sports Hall of Fame and the Northern Michigan Sports Hall of Fame and will be inducted into the first class of the Menominee High School Athletic Hall of Fame on May 5.
He is survived by two sons, William Stiles Rademacher II and Eric Shannon Rademacher; his former wife and friend, Kelly Shannon and lifelong friend and caregiver, Tom Bengtson.
Including his parents, he was preceded in death by a brother, Walter B. "Roddy" Rademacher and his first wife, Karen Mather Rademacher.
Funeral services will be held at Holy Spirit Catholic Church in Menominee on Monday, April 23 at 11 a.m. Memorials can be be made to the Maroons Booster Club, c/o Menominee Area Public Schools, Menominee, Mi., www.gomaroons.org Gorsline Runciman Funeral Home of Williamston, Mi. is assisting the family with arrangements.
Recent stories, opinions and photos