Ivan Bigler*

Class of 1984


Ivan "Pete" Bigler was a major force in early WPI athletics as he devoted a significant portion of his life to the betterment of WPI and its intercollegiate athletic program.

A dedicated and true professional, Pete served as head football coach from 1923 to 1940, head basketball coach from 1922 to 1942. His collegiate coaching career spanned three decades and during that time WPI achieved extraordinary success.  The records and statistics, however, don't adequately cover the full story of Pete's ability and character. His drive and commitment to athletics was always evident, but the critical ability of helping student-athletes attain their maximum potential - both in the classroom and on the playing field - was always a driving force.

Pete Bigler's talents as a coach were impressive. He led WPI to more football victories (42) than any other head coach except Bob Pritchard. During 1938, when WPI enjoyed its 50th year of varsity football, Pete capped this special anniversary in style by leading the Engineers to an undefeated season, the first in school history.

The basketball program also thrived under his tutelage. WPI achieved 10 winning seasons and 151 victories under his guidance, and one of WPI's greatest seasons occurred in 1938-39 when the Engineers' finished 13-3 and second in New England.

An outstanding athlete himself, his achievements as a player and coach are legendary, and his extensive knowledge and insights helped the WPI sports program develop and prosper for more than 20 years.

Tonight we proudly honor Ivan "Pete" Bigler's extraordinary athletic achievements and leadership at WPI with his posthumous induction into the WPI Athletic Hall of Fame.