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22nd Annual “Don Bader” Invite

55th Annual Lexington Invitational Track & Field Meet 
Friday April 19, 2024

Don Bader 1940-2002

Don Bader came to Lexington High School in the fall of 1967. He taught and coached for 33 years before retiring in May of 2000. Don’s boys’ track teams won state championships in 1974 and 1988. His girls’ cross country teams won state titles in 1981 and 1989.  In 2001, Don was honored with the Nebraska Coaches Association’s Binnie and Dutch Award for meritorious service to track and field. In addition, Don taught over 5000 students over his long career, and he had a huge impact on what they knew and came to appreciate about American History. He was one of the chief organizers of the trip to Washington, D. C. held each spring for seniors at LHS. The Daughters of the American Revolution named him as the state’s outstanding teacher of American History in 2000.  KRVN and the Lexington Chamber of Commerce named Don “Champion for Children” in 1999.

Don Bader cared deeply for students, athletes, and staff at Lexington High School. According to his wife, Margaret, “He was proudest of having people tell him when taking students and athletes on road trips that they were respectful teenagers who represented their school and town with pride and courtesy.” In 2001, the Lexington Invitational track meet was officially renamed the “Don Bader Invitational.”  Special awards are presented to the winners of the high jump and 400 meter run for both boys and girls, as these were Don’s two favorite events. On February 19, 2002, Don Bader died after a 3-year fight with cancer. He is missed by all of us who were fortunate to know him as a friend and fellow educator.