Nation’s Winningest Prep Baseball Coach Retiring From Northeast Iowa School
The Iowa high school baseball coach who has won more games than any other in the nation is ending his distinguished career.
Gene Schultz is retiring after 45 years at Kee High of Lansing. He tendered his resignation on Monday (August 19, 2014).
Schultz leaves the game as the nation’s all-time leader in coaching victories. His Iowa record of 1,754-398 dwarfs all other rivals and includes a mark of 176-57 from 11 spring or fall seasons. The National Federation of State High School Associations (NFHS) recognizes his record of 1,578-341 in summer baseball.
Schultz arrived at Kee High in the fall of 1969 and his teams stamped themselves as a perennial power almost immediately.
Under Schultz’s guidance, the Kee Hawks authored numerous entries into the Iowa all-time baseball list and the NFHS record book. His teams have an Iowa best of nine summer state championships, which was equaled by Davenport Assumption this past season. The nine summer state titles are the best of any Iowa coach.
Schultz guided the Hawks to 19 summer state tournaments and 16 championship games, both Iowa bests for a coach or a school. Kee’s 32 summer state tournament wins (32-10) is also an Iowa best, for a school or a coach. In addition, his teams won two fall state championships and finished runner-up twice.
Under Schultz, the Hawks were noted for playing opponents in all four of Iowa’s class structure and they would travel extensively to compete against the top teams. Schultz had a hand in overseeing a revitalization of Kee’s home diamond, Shooky Fink Field in New Albin, turning it into one of the marquee sites for high school baseball in the country.
Schultz also coached boys’ basketball at Kee High for 40 years, registering 398 victories.
With Schultz’s retirement, Dennis Olejniczak of Decorah becomes the active coach with the most baseball victories in the nation. Olejniczak owns a record of 1,341-510 in 52 years of coaching, currently the second-most wins in the United States. Olejniczak guided Janesville to an 8-7 mark in 1962, before taking charge of the Vikings’ program 51 years ago.