Richard Gratz played basketball at Bluffton, leading the team in scoring in 1948 and 1949.
He was later a teacher and coach at the former McGuffey and Harrod high schools; a teacher at Lima Bath; a teacher and counselor at Lima Central Junior High; and a dean and assistant principal at Lima Senior High School.
He was also a high school basketball referee who officiated games at the state level. He participated in state basketball tournaments, too, as a Bluffton High School student in 1940 and 1942.
According to Gratz, “sports have always been an important part of my life, but not the ultimate interest. Many friendships were acquired and, in retrospect, many games were played with equipment and conditions which youth of today would rebel against. But it was a time of pulling together and learning about teamwork in a greater sense than perhaps today. They are now simply good memories.”