Bill Bahr '96 honored as 2012 Faculty Member of the Year
Author: Office of the President
Posted: Saturday, August 25, 2012 at 8:21 AM
He was born in Honduras, graduated high school in England, and has traveled to 38 countries across six continents. With jobs in athletics, music, ministry, social sciences and education, Bill Bahr ’96/’02 MBA is a man of many talents, interests and experiences.
The summer before his senior year at Olivet, Bill stepped onto the practice field as the newest addition to a semi-pro U.S. soccer team. But it wasn’t all he dreamed it would be.
“After just a couple of weeks with the team, I was disillusioned,” he recalls. “God had a different plan for me.” Throughout Bill’s 34 years of playing experience, he cites this as the only time he lost passion for the game.
Upon leaving the team, Bill joined forces with Fellowship of Christian Athletes, where he truly realized his love for coaching, mentoring and ministering to young athletes.
Not long after graduating from Olivet, Bill returned to Olivet as a graduate assistant in the chaplain’s office, working with student ministries and providing leadership for chapel music. During this time, he developed Olivet’s Missions in Action (M.I.A.) program, which has become an integral part of the Olivet experience for countless ONU students, faculty and staff.
In the winter of 1999, athletic director Larry Watson approached Bill about becoming Olivet’s women’s soccer coach. As a player on Olivet’s team for four years (and captain for two), he was a natural choice, and accepted right away.
Throughout his 13-year coaching career at Olivet, Bill has lead the Tigers to eight national championship tournaments and to their first NCCAA National Tournament Title in 2008. In 2010, he led his team to the program’s first NAIA National Tournament, and they advanced to the second round the following year.
Despite his on-the-field successes, Bill’s most rewarding victories happen off the field. “I’ve seen the perseverance it takes to improve academic performance. I’ve watched a player make a commitment to Christ at a national tournament. I’ve listened to these young women testify about their total transformations,” says Bill. “That is the most rewarding part of my job.”
In 2005, Bill began to interact with students on a different level-as professor of exercise and sports science. Although he left the chaplain’s office, he hasn’t stopped investing in the spiritual lives of Olivet students. “In Sports Law, we read a section of Romans together every day; it’s a perfect fit for that class because of its legal framework.” He adds, “I love being able to start each class with devotions.”