Softball Player Profile: Dave Waibel

Larry Wolfe

Dave Waibel grew up in Taylor, Michigan, graduating from Taylor Center High, where he was a three-sport athlete in baseball, basketball, and football. He captained the baseball and football teams and earned a baseball scholarship to Lewis-Clark State College, located in Lewiston, Idaho. The Warriors have one of the top baseball programs in the nation, having won 19 NAIA championships over the years. Dave was a speech and drama major, participating in many stage productions while in college; he was in everything from children’s plays to The Music Man to various Shakespearean plays.

After graduating from Lewis-Clark, Dave taught school for a few years in Washington State before entering the insurance business. He had his own State Farm Insurance agency for seven years before joining the State Farm management team. He had a long and successful career with that company, serving mostly as a field executive, whereby he traveled extensively “solving problems and putting out fires.” He retired 10 years ago and moved to Arizona.

Dave met his future wife Susan while they were both in college. They’ll be celebrating their 50th anniversary soon. Dave wonders why Susan was attracted to him, since one of the first times she saw him, he was in a children’s play wearing green tights and a tutu!

The Waibels have four children (three sons and a daughter) and seven grandchildren. The boys inherited their athletic genes from Dave and Susan. In addition to Dave’s athletic background, Susan is a two-time national pickleball champion. Son Craig was a pro soccer player; Chad played football at Washington State; and David, aka “Mario,” was a lacrosse player and now coaches that sport. Jennifer’s an author/writer. The kids and their families live all over the place: California, Texas, Utah, and Croatia!

Life for Dave and Susan revolves around family. In addition to visiting their families as often as possible, every couple of years, there’s an “all in the family” get-together in a special place such as Hawaii, Disneyland, or a ski resort.

Dave’s entering his third year in our softball program. He played softball from after college until age 33, then “retired” while raising the kids, before returning to senior softball.

The Waibels are golfers, too, playing every Sunday throughout the summer at courses throughout Arizona with their half-price Troon golf cards. They’ve also traveled extensively throughout the U.S. and Europe. In the U.S., they do five- to six-week-long road trips, switching drivers every other day, with the driver deciding where to stop and when! The driver also gets to pick the music! He says, “It works for us!”

As you’d expect from Dave’s college background, music and theatre are other interests. They’re season ticket holders for a Broadway series and also attend many productions at the Gaslight Music Hall in Tucson. Dave’s also a voracious reader, consuming everything from murder mysteries to biographies. Additionally, he’s a reader-collector of Chip Hilton sports books.

“However,” says Dave, “family remains my number one interest.”