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Bill Rademacher, who played in the NFL before becoming head coach at Northern Michigan and later an assistant at Michigan State, has died, the New York Jets announced Tuesday. He was 75.

Rademacher was head coach at Northern Michigan, in Marquette, for five seasons, from 1978-82, posting a record of 37-16. For four years before that, he was an assistant on staff, including in 1975, when the Wildcats won the Division II national championship.

He left Northern Michigan for Michigan State, where he coached linebackers under new coach George Perles from 1983 until retiring after the 1991 season.

His first coaching stop was as an assistant at Xavier, until it cut the program.

In his playing career, Rademacher, 6-foot-1 and 200 pounds, was a wide receiver and defensive back, first at Menominee High School, then at Northern Michigan, and finally professionally with the New York Jets and Boston Patriots. He was a member of the Super Bowl III-winning Jets.

Rademacher played seven seasons professionally, the first five with the Jets and the last two with the Patriots. He played in 58 games, catching 24 passes for 282 yards and three touchdowns. He also had one interception and a fumble recovery.

Rademacher was inducted into the Northern Michigan University Sports Hall of Fame in 1981 and the Upper Peninsula Hall of Fame in 1983.

More: UM's Saddi Washington OK after rollover accident

ODD PARTING GIFT

On March 20, Eastern Michigan announced it was cutting four sports, including wrestling.

Eight days later, wrestling coach David Bolyard was named Mid-American Conference coach of the year. He was just the second wrestling coach to earn that honor at EMU, joining Willie Gadson, who won it in 1996.

The Eagles sent five wrestlers to the NCAA championships, tying a program record. At nationals, red-shirt sophomore Sa’Derian Perry earned All-America honors at 141 pounds, finishing eighth. In the MAC tournament, where Eastern Michigan finished third, red-shirt junior Kayne MacCallum won the title at 184 pounds.

WEATHERING THE STORM

Baseball and softball teams are getting rained or snowed out all over the state these days, but golf? Eh, they plan on apparently.

At the D.A. Weibring Intercollegiate tournament at Illinois State over the weekend, Oakland’s men’s team battled snowy and sleet to finish fourth out of 17 teams, at 44 over par for the three-round tournament. White Lake senior Jake Kneen led the way with an 11th-place finish, thanks to even-par final round.

Here’s a fun video of his post-round interview.

BASEBALL BITS

There hasn’t been much to cheer about with Michigan State baseball these days, but coach Jake Boss Jr. did get his 300th career win Sunday, 6-0 over Rutgers in East Lansing. He’s the fifth Michigan State coach to reach that plateau, and it comes during a rocky season, as the Spartans are 7-19.

Michigan State is 0-5 against state teams — 0-3 vs. Michigan, and 0-1 vs. Central Michigan and Western Michigan.

... In Ann Arbor, things are decidedly rosier, as Erik Bakich’s squad is 16-11, including 12 consecutive wins heading into Wednesday’s home game against Toledo. Junior outfielder Jonathan Engelmann is batting .324 with three homers and 24 RBIs.

BRYCE'S BIG DAY

Last Friday, Wayne State softball coach Gary Bryce had a day to remember.

In the first game of a doubleheader in Detroit against Purdue-Northwest, Bryce coached his 2,000th game, joining Michigan's Carol Hutchins, Central Michigan's Margo Jonker and Margie Wright, who coached at Illinois State and Fresno State, to reach that milestone, in any division.

Then in the second game, Bryce earned his 500th career regeular-season win in the Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference.

tpaul@detroitnews.com

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