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• The recent retirement of entomologists, and the loss of others to neighboring universities, has left the North Carolina State program significantly under-staffed to handle grower needs.
RETIRING North Carolina State University Entomologist Jack Bacheler talks about stink bugs at a recent cotton meeting .
At the end of 2013, North Carolina State University Entomologist Jack Bacheler retired, leaving behind a legacy of service to farmers and a history of professional cooperation that will be greatly missed.
Bacheler grew up in Birmingham, Mich., and from an early age had a fascination with bugs and more than typical childhood collections of insects — it was one of his early passions in life.
As an undergraduate student at Miami of Ohio University, he took two courses in entomology. “Before that I had no idea a person could actually make a living studying insects,” he says.
He was a good undergraduate student and later as a masters and Ph.D student was able to pursue his passion about studying insects and entomology at the University of Florida.
During all his collegiate studies, Bacheler was pursuing his true passion in life — competitive running.
In high school, he had the height (6’6”) to play basketball, but quickly learned that wasn’t his sport. So, he began running track. As a senior at Miami of Ohio he placed second nationally in steeplechase and developed those skills well enough to make the 1968 and 1972 U.S. Olympic Team.
Though the 1968 Olympics were dominated by Tommy Smith and John Carlos’ clinched fist statement on the Awards Podium, Bacheler quietly built a reputation as one of the premier distance runners in the world.
On a cool, damp morning in Munich, Germany in 1972, Bacheler and Gold Medal winner Frank Shorter left the U.S. Olympic Team headquarters for a morning run. When they returned the Olympic Games were changed forever.
“I remember trying to get back into the Village and there were army tanks and armed soldiers surrounding the area,” he says. The slaughter of members of the Israeli Olympic Team by terrorists proved to a harbinger of terrorist events to come and cast a dark cloud over the spirit of the Olympic Games for years to come, if not forever.
While in Munich, Bacheler called J.R. Bradley, then a professor of entomology at North Carolina State to inquire about a post-doctoral position with the highly regarded entomologist. After a brief stint as a post-doc, he joined the North Carolina State faculty as an Extension Entomologist.