Antioch Community High School lost a member of its family Monday.
Former athletic director Ward Lear passed away. He served as Antioch's AD from 1957-1987.
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Lear initiated the girls athletic program at Antioch as well as starting the wrestling, golf, tennis, cross country and soccer programs for the boys. He also guided Antioch's move from the Northwest Suburban Conference to the North Suburban Conference in 1983.
Lear served as the president of the Northwest Suburban Conference for five years. In addition to that responsibility, he was very active with the Illinois High School Association, Illinois Athletic Directors Association and the National Interscholastic Athletic Administrators Association. Lear served on the IHSA wrestling advisory board from 1985-1987. For the IADA, Lear served as a district representative four times and on the board for two years as the IADA retired liaison.
He also presented at that state conference four times. He presented at the NIAAA national conference three times. He was named the IADA Class AA athletic director of the year in 1985 and was inducted into the association's hall of fame in 1998.
Lear was very involved in community work also during his time at Antioch. He was a board member for Antioch Youth Baseball and the Antioch Vikings. He also served as a board member and president for the Antioch Lions Club.
Lear had also been inducted into the Antioch Community High School and Lake County halls of fame.