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Schulte stepping away from volleyballPosted Thursday, October 18, 2012, at 5:43 PM
As I have penned more than once, it is the people that make my job special.
Sadly, I will be bidding farewell to another coach Thursday night, Saturday or next week.
Susie Schulte, who has done her part in guiding the Bloomfield High School volleyball program off and for during part of the past three decades, will be retiring after the Lady Cardinals next loss.
Schulte, who is in her 11th season coaching the varsity (1994, 1999, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2006, 2009, 2010, 2011 and 2012), will be exiting as her senior daughter Kari Schulte also leaves the BHS program.
Before her last stint as coach, Schulte coached the junior high teams in 2007 and 2008, during the two seasons that Kari played for BJHS.
"It was really special to have to chance to watch Kari play throughout the years," coach Schulte said. "It was very important to me to have the opportunity to watch her grow and develop.
"She grew up watching me coach volleyball when she was younger so it was just natural that she picked up the sport."
The Schulte ladies appear to be as complete opposites as you get. With Kari, you can never quite tell what is going on with the her because of her quite demeanor while Susie is never one to mince words.
That is something that I always liked about Susie. She might give you a little coach speak, or the coach song and dance, if you will, but for the most part it was the truth, the sometimes harsh, bitter truth.
The one thing that I respected about Susie is that she never changed. When she had teams that went to the state finals, like she did in 2000, or when she had teams that lost twice as much as they won, she was always the same.
Admittedly, she might have more to say about winning teams compared to those that struggled, but Susie always called to report her scores, no matter what the outcome.
That is a quality that you don't always see in coaches, as some only like to talk to the media when their teams do well and try to avoid us when they lose.
But Susie always understood the importance of promoting the good things that her kids did, even in a losing effort.
It was 11 years ago, when the Lady Cardinals were in the midst of winning four consecutive Southwestern Indiana Athletic Conference championships, the last three guided by Schulte.
After taking over for coach Leslie Wible in 1999, BHS went 26-7, 25-11 and 29-9, winning three straight sectionals and playing in the Class A Final Four in 2000.
Although those might be the crown jewels in the coaching career of Schulte, who also won a sectional title in 1994 when the Lady Cardinals won 26 of 31 matches, her best coaching job might have came in 2006.
BHS entered the tournament with a 9-19 record, but defeated Shakamak, White River Valley and Clay City in five sets to win a Class A Sectional championship in front of the home fans at Glover Gymnasium.
"That one proved that everybody starts the tournament 0-0," said Schulte. "We just got hot at the right time and got on a roll.
"We got some momentum and the girls started believing in themselves. They have all been special, but that one was pretty special too."
To some, coach Schulte, who gave me as many inside scoops on fellow coaches and competitors as she wanted from me, maybe more, may come off sometimes as loud and gruff, but I have seen her have moments of somber reflection and sincerity where seemed like a teddy bear.
I would like this time to thank Susie for all of her efforts during the years. I know that people come and go and life moves on, but my life has been better and a little brighter because of my association with Susie Schulte.
Thanks and good luck, coach.
B.J. Hargis is the sports editor at the Greene County Daily World. He can be reached at (812) 847-4487, ext. 12 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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