Ohio High School Swim Coach Killed in Lawn Mowing Accident

An Ohio high school swim coach passed away tragically on Friday during a terrible accident while mowing his lawn.

Joe Middeler

15-year varsity swim coach Joe Middeler passed away on Friday after a lawn mowing accident. Courtesy: NREVSD

According to an obituary posted by the New Richmond Exempted Village School District, Joe Middeler died while mowing his lawn after the lawn mower somehow flipped on top of him at his home in Moscow. The 63-year old grandfather had been the coach at nearby New Richmond High School for 15 years in the Cincinnati Area.

Middeler started the New Richmond Middle School program in the early 1990’s and has led the varsity program at his alma mater since later that decade.

“This is a tragic loss for our district and the NR community,” said NREVSD Supt. Adam Bird. “Joe was a popular coach and school supporter for decades and will be missed.”

The New Richmond program has produced a handful of Division I swimmers during Middeler’s tenure, including Nate Kramer at the University of Cincinnati and Alex Lewis at Cleveland State, who has been a star of their program for the last four years.

Anderson High School coach Ed Bachman, a colleague of Middeler’s, said that the loss was “very tragic, he was truly the nicest coach on deck. He represented his high school team in a way that his swimmers felt comfortable. He would do whatever it took to accommodate the success of his kids. The coaching profession needs more like him.”

See more thoughts from his family and former swimmers here.

Visitation for Mr. Middeler will be from 4 to 8 p.m. Wednesday, April 23 at the E. C. Nurre Funeral Home, 177 W. Main Street, Amelia. Funeral services will be at 10:30 a.m. Thursday, April 24 at St. Peter Church, New Richmond. Burial will be at St. Peter Cemetery in New Richmond. Memorial contributions may be made to the New Richmond Food Pantry.

Amanda Smith contributed to this report.


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6 years ago

This is a huge shame, and the circumstances are about as horrific as can be. My condolences to his family, friends, and swimmers.

6 years ago

Very big shame. It just goes to show how quickly everything can change in an instant. Lets keep his family (including his swimmers) in our thoughts.

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Braden Keith

Braden Keith is the Editor-in-Chief and a co-founder of SwimSwam.com. He first got his feet wet by building The Swimmers' Circle beginning in January 2010, and now comes to SwimSwam to use that experience and help build a new leader in the sport of swimming. Aside from his life on the InterWet, …

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