Kokomo Tribune; Kokomo, Indiana

Breaking News

Sports columns

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 columns
  • State Briefs Instructor, student pilot hurt in crash GREENWOOD (AP) -- A flight instructor whose plane crashed while he was giving a lesson has told police the craft had engine problems. Police say 65-year-old Dennis Rumley of Greenwood and 38-year-old student pi

    March 19, 2014

  • de la Bastide, Ken mug ID de la Bastide: Young stars shine in Georgia For the past few years I have had the privilege of watching two up and coming stars in the super late model ranks that are going to make noise in NASCAR. The two drivers scored victories this past weekend at the Champion Racing Association's annual S

    January 29, 2014 1 Photo

  • de la Bastide: IndyCar silly season is heating up

    The start of silly season for 2014 has started in the Izod IndyCar Series with just a handful of races remaining.

    August 14, 2013

  • Emmons, Rohlfing select colleges Preston Emmons enjoyed a breakout season as the catcher on Kokomo's baseball team. He drew college interest at just the right time, and will join Wildkats teammate Eli Grimes at Goshen College, where he will continue his career on the diamond with th

    June 13, 2013

  • Hibbert.jpg GASKINS: Hibbert’s block was thing of beauty

    For the better part of the NBA season, ESPN devoted all kinds of time on SportsCenter episodes to replays of two dunks. Anyone who watches any ESPN at all surely knows the two to which I’m referring: 6-foot-11 DeAndre Jordan of the Los Angeles Clippers posterizing 6-3 Brandon Knight of the Detroit Pistons, and 6-8 LeBron James of the Miami Heat hammering home a dunk over 6-2 Jason Terry of the Boston Celtics.
    Day after day, ESPN commentators lavished endless praise, which quickly grew tiresome. The dunks were strong, but Jordan and James were much taller and heavier than Knight and Terry and the dunkers also caught perfect alley-oop passes with the defenders in poor positions to defend. Still, ESPN commentators loved these plays.
    I kept wondering if a great defensive play would receive the same kind of love.

    May 21, 2013 1 Photo

  • SPL - KT042413 - Art for Bowman.jpg Gas City I-69 Speedway has big show in store

    Weather permitting, the local racing action will kick off this weekend as the Gas City I-69 Speedway will play host to the USAC Amsoil National Sprint Car Series on Friday night.
    Last week’s scheduled opener for the bullring in Grant County fell victim to the heavy rains that besieged large portions of central Indiana.

    April 24, 2013 1 Photo

  • Frederickson.jpg BOWMAN: Frederickson ready for his 20th year of racing

    As hard as it is to believe, when Kokomo’s Jamie Frederickson rolls onto a race track in the coming days, it will mark his 20th year of toiling in a non-wing sprint car.
    Entering this season, Frederickson has high hopes as a result of the previous 19 years honing his craft and bettering his equipment.
    “This year is pretty much like I am every year,” said Frederickson. “My main goal is that I would really like to pick up a feature win at some time this year. I don’t care where it’s at and how I do it, I just want to win a feature before this year is over.”

    April 19, 2013 1 Photo

  • Indiana’s Crean simply fails to inspire confidence

    Survive and advance?
    More like, struggle and aggravate.
    Such is the frustrating reality for Indiana University men’s basketball fans this season. Blessed with roster talent rivaled only by Hoosier teams of lore, coach Tom Crean stumbles his way through game plans, matchups and adjustments; the outcome is occasionally brilliant, but largely inconsistent and underachieving.
     

    March 28, 2013

  • GASKINS: Schultes' deaths hit hard

    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.

    March 28, 2013

  • Hoban had zeal for Tigers

    While Merrill Hoban put his signature on Howard County basketball during a 12-year reign as coach at Northwestern High School, it was his influence and lasting relationships with players, students, colleagues, friends and family that will be remembered most fondly. Hoban, 91, was a teacher at Northwestern for 31 years. He died Wednesday at St. Joseph Hospital.


     

    March 25, 2013

Latest news
Featured Ads
Only on our website
AP Video
Raw: Massive Dust Storm Covers Phoenix 12-hour Cease-fire in Gaza Fighting Begins Raw: Bolivian Dancers Attempt to Break Record Raw: Israel, Palestine Supporters Rally in US Raw: Palestinians and Israeli Soldiers Clash Raw: Air Algerie Flight 5017 Wreckage Virginia Governor Tours Tornado Aftermath Judge Faces Heat Over Offer to Help Migrant Kids Kerry: No Deal Yet on 7-Day Gaza Truce Kangaroo Goes Missing in Oklahoma More M17 Bodies Return, Sanctions on Russia Grow Gaza Residents Mourn Dead Amid Airstrikes Raw: Deadly Tornado Hits Virginia Campground Ohio State Marching Band Chief Fired After Probe Raw: Big Rig Stuck in Illinois Swamp Cumberbatch Brings 'Penguins' to Comic-Con Raw: Air Algerie Crash Site in Mali Power to Be Restored After Wash. Wildfire Crashed Air Algerie Plane Found in Mali Israel Mulls Ceasefire Amid Gaza Offensive
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.
Obituaries
Poll
Kelly Lafferty's video on Tom Miller