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Coaches inducted into HOF

Staff photo by Clay Schuldt Bob Weier (left) and Bob Mertz hold the bats they were gifted in honor of their induction into the NUACS Hall of Fame for Distinguished Athletics.

NEW ULM — New Ulm Area Catholic Schools (NUACS) inducted two longtime coaches into the 2019 NUACS Hall of Fame.

Coaches Bob Mertz and Bob Weier were both inducted during a special luncheon at the New Ulm Country Club Saturday. Both were nominated to the Hall of Fame for Distinguished Athletics.

Mertz, a 1967 graduate of CHS, started as an assistant softball coach in 1978 before taking over as head softball coach in 1980. In 39 seasons, Mertz led the Greyhounds to 26 conference titles, 16 section championships, and seven Class A state tournament wins. He holds an impressive 802-141 record as head coach at Cathedral High School and is recognized as the state’s all-time leader in prep softball coaching victories.

“In 39 years of coaching, I wouldn’t change anything,” he said.

Mertz said when first asked to coach he turned it down because he never played sports in high school. He initially accepted the assistant coach position, but after three years had the confidence to continue.

At age 70, he knew it was time to retire.

“I wanted togo out enjoying softball,” he said, and he knew the program was in good hands with new head coach Jamie Portner.

Mertz thanked his family and assistant coaches. He said asking former players to come back as assistant coaches were one of the smartest decisions he made.

Weier, a 1968 graduate of CHS, served as a head baseball coach for 27 years. He led the Greyhounds baseball team to 10 conference championships, four section championships, the consolation championship in the 2008 state tournament, a third-place finish in the state tournament in 2009, and a state championship in 2005.

Weier thanked his wife and family his success. He credited his success, in part, to his baseball family.

He also thanked his fellow coaches. He said Cathedral has a quality program because of all the coaches.

The support of parents was another factor in his success.

“You don’t do this without supportive parents,” Weier said.

He had three goals when coaching players. The first was to teach them skills, the second was to teach them the game, and the third was to make it fun.

“If I did the first two right, the third came along on its own,” he said.

Winning the state championship in 2005 was Weier’s top moment as a coach, but he would never forget the people he met in his career.

“I will always treasure this day,” Weier said.

NUACS Activities Director Alan Woitas closed the award ceremony and said NUACS is proud of both.

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