Half a century ago, Dick Bader stepped off the Syracuse University campus and came to North Syracuse to begin his work as a teacher and coach in the school district where he grew up.
For Bader, much of the ensuing time has been devoted to high school sports -- a devotion that was rewarded this week when he was announced as one of six new inductees into the Greater Syracuse Sports Hall of Fame.
Bader joins a Class of 2007 that includes basketball coach Dave Brodsky, broadcaster Doug Logan, speed skater Patricia McCarthy, long-time Solvay football coach Al Merola and golfing great Jim Roy. They will be inducted at a dinner on Oct. 22 at Drumlins.
Raised in Mattydale, Bader was a three-sport athlete at North Syracuse High School, then took his gifts to Ithaca College. After graduation there, Bader came to SU, where he earned his masters in physical education.
Right from the time he returned to North Syracuse in 1956, Bader was coaching. Though he had stints in football and basketball, his biggest success came on the baseball diamond, where North Syracuse won 43 games in a row in 1966 and '67 (still a school record) and earned a sectional championship.
Taking over as North Syracuse's athletic director in 1971, Bader stayed on that job for 21 years, working through the merger of the North Syracuse and Cicero school districts and laying the foundation for the current success of the CNS program.
Well versed in Section III matters as a past president and vice president, Bader resigned as CNS athletic director in 1992 to become Section III executive director, a post he held until his retirement in 2006.
Noted for his community work and service to organizations like the Boy Scouts, Bader is also an avid outdoorsman and photographer, known for taking the pictures that end up on the cover of Section III championship programs each year. He and his wife, Bobbi, live with daughters Grete and Molly in Central Square.