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Fundraiser Set For SMSU Coach

August 14, 2012, 6:27 PM by Kelly Bartnick

Fundraiser Set For SMSU Coach
Brad Bigler


Southwest Minnesota State men's basketball coach Brad Bigler continues recovering following a July car crash. Police say a drunk driver swerved into the wrong lane and hit Bigler and his family's vehicle near Starbuck, Minnesota. The couple's infant son died in the crash.

Since then, the community has rallied to support the Bigler family. The latest effort comes courtesy of a foundation with ties to the sporting community.

“The support has been overwhelming, not only in the community of Marshall, but from the NCAA coaches, coaches within the NSIC. The Bigler family has been surrounded by great people,” SMSU Athletic Director Chris Hmielewski said.

Hmielewski says Mustangs Basketball coach Brad Bigler and his family have moved into a mode of getting back on track as best they can after the crash that killed his five-month old son, Drake. Bigler is also recovering from several accident-related injuries.

“Brad is still healing physically. His concussion, his broken scapula, his ribs and his lungs seem to be healing fine. But I think now he's going to need time to get healthy, and of course the family. This is a marathon, not a sprint,” Hmielewski said.

During the last month, Mustang fans and entire the community of Marshall, Minnesota, have pulled together to support the family in every way possible. The latest effort comes courtesy of The Tim Orth Memorial Foundation, donating proceeds from a weekend motorcycle ride to the family.

“This is just another one of those organizations that have reached out to us in the help of the Bigler family and everything they're going through,” Hmielewski said.  ”We are truly the Mustang family. And when you look at supporting Brad and his family, he has all the time that he needs.”

The driver of the other car, 38-year-old Dana Schoen of Starbuck, was charged with three counts of vehicular homicide and one count of DWI.

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