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Lohaus says bye to Fulton grid, girls’ hoopsters

Lohaus says bye to Fulton grid, girls’ hoopsters
The Fulton City football program has put up a “Help Wanted” sign.
So, has the Lady Bulldogs’ basketball program.
Wayne Lohaus, who has piloted both the FC football team and girls’ basketball squad the past two years as a paraprofessional after his retirement as the school’s guidance counselor in 2008, has announced his resignation as the head coach of both programs.
The 61-year-old coaching veteran of 39 years at the prep level will retain his position as the school’s baseball coach.
“I had intended all along to try to go one more year in football,” Lohaus told The Messenger on Tuesday afternoon. “Normally, around mid-season in baseball, I start gearing up for the football season and the enthusiasm just wasn’t there this year. I didn’t feel I had it in me.
“So, I thought about it and prayed about it and came to the conclusion that it was time to end this for me and begin a new era for someone else.”
During his two stints as the FC football coach, Lohaus has experienced the highest of highs and lowest of lows.
He was in charge in 2007 when the Bulldogs won their first playoff game in 39 years and claimed the First District regular-season championship while compiling a 9-2 worksheet.
Lohaus, who headed the program for two other seasons (1980-81), was also the mentor of an 0-10 squad in ’03, the first season of his second stint as the Bulldog football coach.
All totaled, he finishes with a 25-66 record — though seven victories obtained on the field in 2006 were forfeited and put in the loss column due to a pair of ineligible players — in nine years as the Fulton City football skipper.
His FC teams advanced to the state playoffs in each of the past three seasons.
Lohaus also enjoyed success on the hardwood, leading the Lady Bulldogs to the 2002 and ’04 First District championships and a league runner-up trophy in ’03.
He retook the reins of the FC basketball team for the 2008-09 campaign.
Last season, the Lady Bulldog basketball team broke a two-year losing streak, claiming a pair of victories.
Small improvement like that on the baseball diamond, where his team claimed three victories this spring and was edged 10-8 by Carlisle County in the First District Tournament on Monday, is what led Lohaus to keep his baseball cap on.
“I still want to coach,” Lohaus said. “I’ve got a young baseball team that is slowly improving and I want to teach and coach young men. I still enjoy throwing batting practice and hitting infield.
“Maybe, my involvement with baseball will help keep me younger for a few more years.”
Fulton Independent Sch-ools Superintendent Diane Owen had only high regards for Lohaus.
“I think Wayne Lohaus has been an absolutely wonderful coach for many years at Fulton,” Owen said. “He is the embodiment of what a coach should be. He loves sports, but he truly cares about the children he coaches more then he loves any game.”
Owen also told The Messenger that the job opening would be posted in the near future.
No timetable has been set for filling either of the two vacated positions.
Owen did go on to say that, ideally, the school would like to hire a “certified staff member” rather than a paraprofessional coach, although it is unknown at this point if the Fulton system will be able to do so.
Owen was to meet with members of the high school’s administration this afternoon to discuss their future plans.
Meanwhile, Owen also confirmed that no interim coach has been named for either the Bulldog football team or FC girls’ basketball squad.
Sports reporter Ken-neth Coker can be contacted by e-mail at kcoker@ucmessenger.com.

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