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Loyola’s Reese becomes 4th-winningest baseball coach in Minnesota high school history

Jeff Reese recently claimed the 537th victory of his career.
Published: May. 23, 2022 at 7:21 PM CDT|Updated: May. 24, 2022 at 7:13 PM CDT
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MANKATO, Minn. (KEYC) - Over the weekend, legendary high school baseball coach Jeff Reese became the fourth-winningest coach in Minnesota State High School League history with 537 victories.

Through four decades and counting, Reese has coached high school baseball between New Richland and Mankato.

KEYC News Now’s Mary Rominger spoke with Reese ahead of Monday’s competition.

MR: Coach, what is it that keeps you committed to the dugout each season?

JR: You know, I love to coach the kids and I need to motivate myself to keep going too, but, I’ll tell you what, it’s just a lot of fun. Baseball has been real good to me and I just want to give back to it as long as I can.

MR: In 2016, you and your wife, Carol, had a baseball diamond in New Richland named after yourselves and you’ve accomplished so much in your career, what memory or memories do you hold closest to your heart?

JR: What you said, basically, is that my wife and I got a field named after us, and I don’t think you have too many fields around here with the wife involved, but she always knew where I was at. You know, I was either at the field coaching or farming, and I sure miss her now, but she’s got a name on the field.

MR: Can you elaborate on the impact that Carol had to be recognized in a way that is really your accomplishments, but, really, she was beside you and made an impact herself.

JR: Right. I started coaching in 1979, so a lot of the seniors I had were about six years or seven years younger, and I later found out, after they graduated, that the reason they came out was because of Carol. She kept the scorebook for me, so she was my recruiter. So, yeah, it is nice to that name on the board when I drive by New Richland.

MR: I’m curious, for those who aren’t in an intimate setting with you in the dugout for every single game, but how would you describe your coaching style, or what is your methodology behind coaching these young, developing high school baseball players?

JR: You know, when I first started out you could be real strict. You could sit a player for discipline. Through the 30 to 40 years, it has kind of evolved, and they’re still good. The kids here at Loyola, you know, I’ll tell them what to do and they’ll do it without any negative feedback. So, yeah, I started here when my nephew was a freshman, and I think the COVID year was a year he would’ve been a senior and all the other guys, I had like eight or nine seniors, and that would’ve been a great team, but we didn’t have it. But it’s fun, I still enjoy it.

MR: How do you want your coaching career to come to a close? What are your future plans if I may ask?

JR: Well, back when I first started, for about 20 years, win at all costs. I still love to win, but you still have to consider the players. For my plans, I plan on deciding year-by-year, we’ll see what happens. I think my mind is okay, people might not agree, but the physical part, it gets to be a long game sometimes and to walk, it takes me about a half-hour to get to the coaching box, but I’ll keep doing it until I can’t.

MR: Congratulations coach on the wonderful accomplishment!

JR: Thank you. It’s something that you don’t plan for, you just kind of keep coaching and it shows up, so again, thank you.

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