Mertz Reflects on 39-Year Career at Cathedral
Legendary softball head coach, Bob Mertz, recently topped the 800 win milestone this past season in a career spanning almost 40 years with New Ulm Cathedral.
"Very fortunate, God's been good to me. He really has, to be able to play a game like this, I have a real passion for it. I love coaching. I've been doing it for 39 years, and I don't even think about turning it over to somebody else. They want me to come back. They want me here, think it's special to have me here. 800 wins is a number, it came at a good time against Sleepy Eye. I was hoping somewhere along the line we'd get another one, so I wouldn't be on 800. The 801st one against Sleepy Eye St. Mary's was a little bit more special than the 800th win," said Mertz.
"He has such a good sense of humor. He really does want the best for everybody. Yes he demands a lot from his players, but he's also had a lot of players that want to reach his expectations and exceed them. The fact he can get them from every single player that he has speaks to his coaching," said Jamie Portner, New Ulm Cathedral.
Bob Mertz is putting together quite the resume with Cathedral, coaching 16 state tournament squads, including 7 titles, 3 of which came in the 90's.
"There's been some favorite memories. Winning the first state tournament in 93' was a special one, and then we won 3 state championships in a row. Getting to the state tournament has been real special. Seeing kids go through the program, ever since 2002, I've always had an assistant that was a former player. That has been a huge help, having an assistant that was a player. That's been a real shot in the arm also," said Mertz.
"Well I've always said that this is one of the greatest honors of my life. He coached my mom, it's awesome to be able to learn from him and gain from his wisdom," said Portner.
The Greyhounds returned to the state tournament this season, finishing fourth in Class A.