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OJC Press Release ID: 2516

Monday, May 9, 2016

Boettcher retires from Otero Junior College

In 1992, Fred Boettcher saw a job posting in a national coaching publication for head volleyball and women’s basketball coach at Otero Junior College. With 14 years’ experience teaching and coaching in colleges in Missouri, Boettcher applied and was offered the position. 

“My first impression here was that this was a special place,” said Boettcher. “At the time, I told myself that I hope to never have to apply for another job.” At no time in the past 24 years, has he felt any temptation to do so.

Boettcher grew up in Waukesha, Wis. in a traditional family with five children. His mother was a teacher, who took off several years to raise the children before getting back into teaching.  His father was a Lutheran minister who worked at the same church for his entire career.

After graduating from Waukesha High School, Boettcher started out his college career at Milwaukee Junior College.  “That experience as the best thing that happened educationally in my life,” Boettcher recalls.

He transferred to Concordia Teachers College in Seward, Neb. for his bachelor’s degree, then earned a Master’s degree in History and Education from Central Missouri State in Warrensburg.

Boettcher remained head volleyball and women’s basketball coach for six years.  For the final four years, head golf coach was added to his duties.  “Because most of my jobs involved coaching more than one sport, in 20 years of coaching, I had coached 50 teams,” said Boettcher. “Looking back, I don’t know how I did that other than with strength from above.”

Upon the death of E.J. Conley, Boettcher took over the history and political science faculty position, where he has remained for the past 18 years. He was Faculty Assembly Chair for two terms, has been faculty advisor to Associated Student Government for 12 years and has served on numerous committees both on campus at the state level.

The biggest change Boettcher notes in his time at OJC is the growth in the number of employees. “In 1992, it did not take much effort to know everyone’s name.  Now there are employees I have never met, much less learned their names. Maybe that’s just me getting old,” Boettcher added.

When asked his greatest accomplishment at OJC, Boettcher said he hopes that he had a positive influence on the students in a small part of their college experience. “Maybe I helped give them an increased appreciation of history and political science,” said Boettcher. “Beyond that, my contributions to Faculty Assembly through committee representation and associated activities. I feel it is an honor to be a part of the faculty at OJC and have done whatever I felt appropriate at the time to protect and add to the status and standing of this great group of people.”

The Honors Breakfast and Associated Student Government meetings are among Boettcher’s favorite activities on campus. He will most miss the students. “Most of the students have been a pleasure to be around and to work with. They help a person feel younger,” said Boettcher.

“I have always appreciated the idea that I am hired to do certain things, and then trusted and left alone to do them,” Boettcher added. “Very rarely have I been micromanaged in any of my positions.  That is one of the attractions of education for me.”

This summer, Boettcher will find himself without a job for the first time since he was 12 years old.  When asked what he plans to do to fill his time during retirement, Boettcher stated that he envisions doing more. “More golf, more travel, more reading, more family visits and more Netflix; in no particular order,” he joked.

While Boettcher will be missed, the staff and faculty of Otero Junior College wishes him well in his retirement.

Press Release Photo
Fred Boettcher, history and political science faculty at Otero Junior College, retired from OJC as of May 6. Fred Boettcher, history and political science faculty at Otero Junior College, retired from OJC as of May 6.