Former Cougar Grid Coach Kircher Passes Away
Dec. 8, 2004
PULLMAN, Wash. --- Former Washington State football coach Alton "Al" Kircher passed away at the age of 94 Nov. 1, 2004 in Salem, Ore.
Kircher served as a Cougar assistant under Forest Evashevski in 1950 and 1951, then took over as head coach from 1952-55. He led WSU to victories over rival Washington in 1953 and 1954.
The Gladstone, Mich., native was a three-sport letterwinner at Michigan State, playing tailback for the Spartan football team, captaining the 1934 basketball team, and patrolling the outfield for MSU's baseball team.
He later served as an assistant coach in all three sports at Michigan State from 1939-50. Kircher spent 1949-50 season as the head basketball coach in East Lansing.
In addition to his achievements in athletics as a coach and student-athlete, Kircher was a decorated veteran of World War II. He served under General George Patton in a tank unit and also took part in the "D-Day" Normandy invasion, receiving a Purple Heart after being wounded during that operation. Kircher also received a Silver Star and a pair of Bronze Stars for gallantry in action.
Following his resignation as Washington State's head football coach, Kircher and his family remained in Pullman, where they owned and operated the Hilltop Motel and Steakhouse from 1954-75. They retired to Las Vegas in 1976 and earlier this year moved to Salem.
Kircher is survived by wife Dorothy and three children, Robert, Sharlene, and Judy.
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