Darin Binkley, a beloved longtime Northeastern Local Schools teacher, coach and first-year high school athletic director, died Monday. He was 52.
No details of his death were provided. It was initially posted on a school media site.
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The effect was immediate and widespread throughout the district and community.
“You can’t plan for things like this,” Northeastern Local Superintendent John Kronour said. “The building, Northeastern High School, is reeling (Tuesday) from the loss. We’re just trying to pick up the pieces.”
Northeastern was on spring break last week and returned to class on Monday.
Binkley was in his first school year as the Jets’ AD after succeeding Chad Fyffe. Kronour said high school personnel will take over those duties “by committee” through the end of the school year. That includes high school Principal Todd Justice, Assistant Principal Zack Dobbelaere, former Urbana Athletic Director Chuck Ratterman — now a teacher at Northeastern — and Kronour.
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Binkley most recently was a varsity baseball assistant coach but gave that up to become the AD.
According to his school biography, Binkley was an Allen East High School graduate in Allen County near Lima. He taught science, health and physical education for 26 years, beginning at Lima Bath in 1988.
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Besides a long run at Northeastern, he also taught for the Springfield City School District and at Kenton Ridge and Shawnee high schools.
During his career he coached football, basketball and wrestling and remained active in the power-lifting program at Northeastern. A large contingent of Northeastern boys and girls placed second as a team in their respective division of the state power-lifting championships at Kenton High School on March 17 to 18.
“We definitely have things in place for students and staff and we’ll continue that on an as-needed basis,” Kronour said. “You take it hour by hour and support everyone the best that you can. We’ll miss Darin.”
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A visitation for Binkley will be held from 5 to 8 p.m. Friday at the Littleton and Rue Funeral Home in Springfield. His funeral will take place at 11 a.m. Saturday at the funeral home.
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