Willie began his catching duties at an early age, with the White Trucks and the Shamrocks A.C. Class C & B teams. Since his high school had no baseball program he played with the Post #209 team Class A League entry. At Kent State he became the first team receiver and was named captain during his senior year. Following his college career he played 10 years in the AA League with such teams as the Army-Navy Post #102, Norka Plating, and the Smith Sheriffs. When his active playing days were over, he began coaching at the high school level, having assignments at Norton and Buchtel. During the next 11 years his teams would win a City Championship, be percentage champions five times, win two division titles, and were regional runner-up in 1964. All in all a pretty impressive accomplishment. Among the many young people he helped with the rudiments of the game are Hall of Famers Art Kusnyer and Dan Costill, a couple of pretty fair catchers.