|Fulton’s Lohaus set to become (para)professional coach |
|For the first time in his 37-year career, Wayne Lohaus jokes he is a professional coach. |
The Fulton City mainstay, who has coached football, baseball, girls’ basketball and cross country during his tenure at the school, announced his retirement as the school’s guidance counselor in May.
However, Lohaus, who has 28 years of service at FC, will stay on in a paraprofessional role with the school as its head football, baseball and girls’ basketball coach.
“I’m blessed that the school board has given me this opportunity,” Lohaus said. “I’ve been a Bulldog since 1960 and the people in this school system are my family. They’ve given me an opportunity to still be a part of the athletic programs here and I hope I can do them justice.”
During the recently completed school year, Lohaus coached both football and baseball.
Under his watch last season, the Fulton City football squad won a playoff game for the first time since 1968 while posting a 9-2 mark and laying claim to the Kentucky First District regular season championship.
Along the way, the Bulldogs defeated perennial power Mayfield for the first time since 1962, when Lohaus was a freshman in high school.
The victory also broke a 51-game winning streak that the Cardinals had against Class A opposition that dated back to 1995.
On the other hand, the baseball program has been in shambles the past three years, going winless during that timespan, but Lohaus believes there will be a bright spot at the end of the recent dark days for the team.
“The past couple of years have been tough, to say the least, as baseball is my first love when it comes to sports,” Lohaus said. “However, I see some daylight at the end of the tunnel, though, as I think we have a good group of youngsters coming up.”
Otherwise, the 59-year-old Lohaus will also take over the reins of the girls’ basketball program after the resignation of Chad Malray.
“I look forward to the challenge of doing all three sports,” the semi-retired Lohaus said. “I think football gets all the glitz, but the baseball and girls’ basketball programs may be the biggest challenges.
“We don’t have a feeder school other than the junior high and it is hard to get enough quality talent to come out in those two sports.”
Indeed, the girls’ basketball programs could use a facelift after it has struggled over the course of the past two years.
And Lohaus could be the right man for the job.
The coaching veteran led the Lady Bulldogs to the 2002 and ’04 First District championships and a league runner-up trophy in ’03.
Lohaus also served as the program’s head man from 1981-90.
“I’ve had some success in basketball over the years at Fulton and I hope I can take some of what we used back then and make it work for the team now,” Lohaus said. “The girls’ game hasn’t changed all that much in the past two years, so I don’t think my methods would be outdated.”
With all that said, Lohaus accustoms himself to the child he once was at this point in his coaching career, taking part in whatever sport is in season.
“The great thing about my situation now is that I’m like the little kid I used to be,” Lohaus chuckled. “Back then, I liked every sport and played whatever was in season and now I’m getting the opportunity to do that as a coach.
“I look forward to the challenge and I hope some of my childlike spirit rubs off on my players.”
Sports reporter Kenneth Coker can be contacted by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.