Just so you know and in case I forget to mention, these pieces of
history come from the vchs (Vigo County Historical Society) section of
the communities file on the ISU server..
When Archbishop Paul C. Schulte High School opened in 1953, Rev. Joseph
V. Beechem placed the parochial school's athletic future in the hands of
Terre Haute native Pete Varda, who had been a productive high school
football coach for three years in Monroe, Mich.
It was a remarkable choice. Varda coached all sports at Schulte for
three years, amassing an amazing 52-21-2 record in eight seasons as head
football coach. His teams won or shared four Vigo County championships.
Beech-Var Stadium was named after Varda and Father Beechem, the school's
Perhaps the success was predictable. Peter and Kathryn Varda's son was a
leader at Garfield High School. He graduated in 1945, serving as class
president and elected to the National Honor Society while helping his
parents at Varda's Grocery, 1500 Grand Ave. He was selected to the 1944
All-Western Indiana Conference football team and the the Tribune's 1944
All-Wabash Valley team as a fullback. He secured the school's revered
Danforth Award. Varda also excelled in baseball, playing for the
Michigan All-Stars in the 1952 National Semi-Pro Tournament.
Varda graduated cum laude from the University of Notre Dame in 1950 but
an accidental injury in the first season terminated his hopes of playing
college football. In 1960 Varda became a teacher and head football coach
at Brazil High School. Success followed. In five years he compiled a
28-11-1 record. In three years (1965-68) at Honey Creek High School, his
teams were 17-10-2, winning the 1966 Western Indiana Conference title.
His career football coaching record was 112-51-7. Varda never coached a
Despite superior achievements in coaching, Varda may best be known for
his accomplishments as an educator, leader and motivator. Though he
retired from active coaching in 1969, he remained as a teacher and
guidance counselor at Honey Creek and South Vigo high schools through
the 1988-89 school year.
Varda, now 71, was inducted into the Indiana Football Hall of Fame in
1976. He was named 1994 recipient of the coveted Dick Martin Memorial
Coaches Award, conferred periodically to a Vigo County coach whose
principles and qualities, inside and outside the sports arena, represent
ideals embodied by the late Wiley football coach Richard Martin. Other
recipients include Willard Kehrt, William Welch, Don Jennings, Bob
Clements and Woody Roloff.
Kathryn Varda operated the Casual Shop, a ladies' specialty store in
Twelve Points, for 45 years until it was recently destroyed by fire.
Pete now resides in Clay County.
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