Kokomo Tribune; Kokomo, Indiana

Sports

March 28, 2013

GASKINS: Schultes' deaths hit hard

Dennis Schulte was a proud Panther.

Kokomo — Like many others, I am walking around with a pit in my stomach following the senseless deaths of Dennis and Judy Schulte earlier this week in Seattle. The retired Kokomo couple was walking with their daughter-in-law, Karina Schulte, and her 10-day-old son when they were slammed into by a suspected drunk driver.

Dennis had deep roots in Western athletics. He was a longtime assistant coach in football and wrestling and later the head coach in wrestling. In addition, he was a rock-solid teacher in the math department. Judy worked in education at Northwestern.

I had the chance to know Dennis a little, first as a Western student and later in my role as a sports reporter. He had a friendly personality and was detailed and highly respected as a teacher and as a coach — just the type of person everyone wants in our schools.

Bob Jarrett knew Schulte well. Jarrett was Western’s wrestling coach from 1970-94. Schulte was his middle school coach for a short time and his varsity assistant for 15 or so seasons. Schulte then succeeded Jarrett as the Panthers’ coach when the Hall of Fame skipper stepped down.

“He was just a really nice guy,” Jarrett said. “He was very dependable. His main concern always was the kids. I never had to worry about him not being there or telling the kids the wrong thing. He was just a super assistant coach.

“I’d kid him a lot of times — you always hear about good cop, bad cop. Well, guess who was the good cop?” Jarrett added with a laugh. “I’d chew their butt out and then he’d pat them on the back. It was just a great combination.”

Schulte had a nice run as the Panthers’ head coach. He led the Panther grapplers to sectional titles in 1996, ’97 and ’98 and regional titles in ’95 and ’98.

Schulte left his mark in football, too. He was the offensive line coach for many of Hall of Fame coach Jim Plummer’s best teams.

“He was analytical. That was part of his math [background]. So, everything was about blocking schemes and making it the easiest for his players to do the blocking,” said Ron Phillips, who also was a Panther assistant coach. “He stressed attention to the rules and he expected the kids to be the coaches on the field. He taught them how to recognize things and how to change things on the fly.”

Phillips played for the Panthers, and was a senior linebacker when Schulte joined the Panthers’ varsity staff as linebackers coach in 1975. They later worked closely together as assistants — Phillips as defensive line coach, Schulte as O-line coach.

“I learned everything from him,” Phillips said. “If he did something, he did it right.”

Phillips was hit hard by the news Tuesday morning.

“He was a mentor, a friend. We laughed. There were times we probably cried together,” he said.

Former Western boys basketball coach Andy Weaver had the chance to work with Schulte in the school’s math department. He noted Schulte was a great teacher and an even better person.

“Denny had a genuine care for people. He just had a heart of gold,” Weaver said. “He taught calculus and I believe a lot of honors algebra II so obviously he was very smart, but he was just a people’s person. Kids liked him, adults liked him. He was our fantasy football commissioner for years. Most of all, he was a great husband and great father and I think those are the ultimate compliments.”

The fantasy football league is a gem. The Schulte Hunt Association of Football Teams (SHAFT) is in its 28th year, which means it started long before the Internet and highlight shows made it easy to track stats and roster moves. The league started with 10 members, all Western staff members including Phillips and fellow league namesake Jeff Hunt.

“We know we’re the oldest league in Howard County, we think we may be the second oldest in the nation,” Phillips said.

The league goes on. Life goes on. Sadly, the plague on society that is drunk driving remains. Please, please, please — honor the Schultes by taking a pledge to not drink and drive.

Dennis Schulte — or Mr. Schulte as I always will remember him — made this world a better place. Let’s do the same in his honor.

“Most of us, if we live long enough, we make some enemies, really make some people mad. I don’t think you can find an enemy of Denny Schulte. He was just that kind of guy,” Jarrett said.

Bryan Gaskins is the Tribune’s sports editor. He may be reached at bryan.gaskins@kokomotribune.com or 765-454-8567.

1
Text Only | Photo Reprints
Sports
  • SPL - KT042014 KT Prep Roundup - pic Prep Roundup for Sunday, April 20 Eastern's softball squad built a 5-0 lead through six innings, only to have Taylor rally for four runs before the Class 2A No. 9-ranked Comets were able to close the door for a 5-4 win Saturday in a non-conference game at Taylor. Maddie Vint put East

    April 20, 2014 1 Photo

  • SPL - KT042014 Ortmann-mug Ortmann headed to Taylor When Northwestern senior Graham Ortmann learned last month that he'd been named a recipient of the Lilly Endowment, that was a major weight off his shoulders. The endowment, working with the Community Foundation of Howard County, awards full tuition

    April 20, 2014 1 Photo

  • Sports briefs for Sunday, April 20 Maupin set to play hoops at Hanover WALTON -- Lewis Cass senior point guard Maci Maupin will continue her basketball career at Hanover College. She will play for Hanover coach Molly Jones, who just completed her 15th year at the Division III school l

    April 20, 2014

  • SPL - KT042014 - John Martino column - Martino column sig MARTINO: You may have company in woods Daylight has lengthened and cold winds have finally given way to warm, gentle breezes, for the most part, anyway. This is the special time of year when many of us enjoy being outdoors, a welcome escape from the four walls that almost held us hostage

    April 20, 2014 3 Photos

  • NWHS tennis 04 Prep Roundup for Saturday, April 19 Northwestern's girls tennis team got a sweep from its doubles tandems and a point from the No. 1 singles player to edge Northfield 3-2 Friday on the Northwestern courts, improving to 2-1 on the season. Emily Harshman won 6-3, 6-2 at No. 1 singles, Me

    April 19, 2014 1 Photo

  • Sports briefs for Saturday, April 19 Swain records KCC's first ace of 2014 Noblesville's Larry Swain hit the first hole in one of the new season at the Kokomo Country Club on Thursday. Swain used a nine-iron to ace the 160-yard hole No. 16, recording his first ever hole in one. Josh Mag

    April 19, 2014

  • SPL - KT041814 - Prep roundup - pic Prep roundup for Friday, April 18 Tanner Guyer and Sam Seagrave led the way as Kokomo's boys golf team scored a win in its season opener Thursday at Kokomo Country Club.

    April 18, 2014 1 Photo

  • Sports briefs for Friday, April 18 Kokomo High School will host the 2014 Howard County free physicals from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. on May 14.

    April 18, 2014

  • SPL - KT041714 Kokomo-Western baseball - pic 2 Kats top Panthers in baseball Since the inception of class sports, the annual early-season baseball matchup between Kokomo and Western had been solely for in-county bragging rights. With Western moving up to Class 4A for the next two seasons because of the IHSAA's new success factor, the rivals met up Wednesday as potential sectional opponents for the first time since 1997.

    April 17, 2014 2 Photos

  • Prep roundup for Thursday, April 17 Eastern junior Caleb Aaron tossed a four-hitter to lead the Comets past Northwestern 3-1 in a Howard County baseball clash Wednesday at Greentown.

    April 17, 2014

NCAA Men's Basketball Poll
Featured Ads
SportsKT twitter
More kokomotribune.com
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide
AP Video
Raw: Greeks Celebrate Easter With "Rocket War" Police Question Captain, Crew on Ferry Disaster Raw: Orthodox Christians Observe Easter Rite Ceremony Marks 19th Anniversary of OKC Bombing Raw: Four French Journalists Freed From Syria Raw: Massive 7.2 Earthquake Rocks Mexico Captain of Sunken SKorean Ferry Arrested Raw: Fire Destroys 3 N.J. Beachfront Homes Raw: Pope Presides Over Good Friday Mass Raw: Space X Launches to Space Station Superheroes Descend on Capitol Mall Man Charged in Kansas City Highway Shootings Obama Awards Navy Football Trophy Anti-semitic Leaflets Posted in Eastern Ukraine Raw: Magnitude-7.2 Earthquake Shakes Mexico City Ceremony at MIT Remembers One of Boston's Finest Raw: Students Hurt in Colo. School Bus Crash Raw: Church Tries for Record With Chalk Jesus Raw: Faithful Celebrate Good Friday Worldwide Deadly Avalanche Sweeps Slopes of Mount Everest
Parade
Magazine

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.