Bill Coldiron, who served as a physical education teacher, activities director, and coach for the West Des Moines Community Schools (WDMCS) for 40 years and is the namesake of Valley High School’s fieldhouse, died Sunday, April 14.
He was 87.
Coldiron was hired by WDMCS in 1955, when he began his career as a physical education teacher. During the start of his tenure, he coached football, basketball, and track, but the longtime coach is popularly known for leading the Valley boys’ and girls’ golf programs for nearly 35 years.
Under Coldiron’s leadership since taking over the program in 1962-63, both Valley boys’ and girls’ teams won multiple state titles. His girls’ squads won Iowa prep sports’ top honor in 1968, 1976-79, 1982, and 1983, while his boys’ teams won in 1976 and 1988. Additionally, Valley won co-ed crowns in 1976, 1978, 1982, and 1989.
On top of his duties as a physical education teacher at Valley, Coldiron served as the school’s activities director since 1970. He retired from WDMCS at the end of the 1994-95 school year, but still coached boys’ and girls’ golf until retiring from his head coaching post in 1998.
Coldiron was named National Golf Coach of the Year in 1994 by the National High School Athletic Coaches Association. He was also elected to the organization’s hall of fame in 2004.
In 1995, Valley’s fieldhouse was renamed the Bill J. Coldiron Fieldhouse.
A private graveside service will be held at Resthaven Cemetery, and the family will honor his life with an open-house visitation to be held at a later date. We will share more information as soon as it becomes available.
- April 16, 2019