Former Husker’s family mourns his loss

By: Brittany Paris

Friends and family continue to mourn the loss of a former Nebraska Football player.

Bill Ziegelbein, 44, was a walk-on from Polk back in the 80s. He even became a starter for the Huskers.

Friends and family are remembering him as a funny and loving man.

He and his wife of two years, Colleen, were on their way to Sturgis, South Dakota last Thursday.

Friends say he was a long-time motorcycle enthusiast.

“He met Colleen and she enjoyed being on the back of the bike with him,” Beth Kohl, family friend, said. “That was their escape time.”

Friends say the couple had been planning the trip for a while, and with a combined 8 kids ranging from 8 to 17 years old, the weekend before school started seemed like the perfect time.

“Bill had been there before and Colleen had never. So it was something that they were gonna take off from their bucket list and do together,” Diane Bailey, family friend, said.

But the Ziegelbein's never made it to Sturgis. The South Dakota Highway Patrol says the motorcycle drove into a ditch on Highway 83 and hit a post before rolling.

The investigation continues into why it happened.

Ziegelbein and his wife were thrown from the bike. He died at the scene and Colleen was eventually taken to a Lincoln hospital where she's still recovering.

“She's doing okay,” Kohl said. “Emotionally, it's very tough.”

Friend say she'll be in the hospital for at least another week.

But she's lost the love of her life. The former number 53 Nebraska Football player.

Colleen played college sports, too, and friends say that's something they bonded over.

“Bill told all of our closest friends she was the love of his life,” Kohl said. “And she said the same thing of him.”

We're told the children are dealing with the death of their father as best as they can.

An account at Liberty First Credit Union has been opened in Colleen Ziegelbein's name. If you would like to help out the family, donations are accepted at any location.