Bob Huelsman
Bob Huelsman

Bob Huelsman is a former high school teacher, coach and administrator, serving for more than three decades at Covington High School, in Miami County. In his 13 years as head basketball coach at Covington, Huelsman won 228 games and five times guided the Buccaneers to the regional round of the state tournament. Currently, he serves as the associate athletic director at Newton High School, and treasurer for the Southwest District Athletic Board. A former member of the Ohio High School Athletic Association Board of Control, Huelsman’s broad background in athletic administration has won the respect of his peers statewide.

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Ahead of her time as an athlete and mentor, to the people whose lives she touched most as a coach, a tribute to Minster legend Katie Horstman is long overdue.

When Tom Hanks and Madonna starred in the 1992 movie, A League Of Their Own,  who would have thought that a lady in our midst would have had a role in the making of the movie?  A graduate of Minster High School in 1953, Katie Horstman, went on to play in the All American Girls Professional Baseball League for the Fort Wayne Daisies.

Katie, who recently turned 76 years young, was a consultant for the movie, as she had played four years (1951-1954) in the league.  Throughout her four year career as an infielder, pitcher, and catcher, she batted .286, had an ERA of 2.50, hit 16 homeruns in 1954, and had a career 29-11 pitching record.  She played 3rd base on the 1953 All-Star team.  Katie was paid a “whopping” $250 per month—not bad for a high school kid and a summer job!

From 1955-57, Katie played on the All American touring team, a team that played 100 games in the summer and travelled over 10,000 miles.  During these years, she attended Indiana University-Purdue University in Fort Wayne for two years, and then enrolled in St. Elizabeth Hospital Medical Records Librarian School in Danville, Illinois.

Katie graduated in December, 1959, and joined the Franciscan Sisters of the Sacred Heart in Joliet, Illinois.  She became Sister John Anthony at that point, and the first nun in the United States to earn a Bachelor of Science Degree in Physical Education from DePaul University.  A short time later, Sister John Anthony (Katie) left the order and taught a year in Gary, Indiana, before obtaining her Master’s Degree in Guidance and Counseling from Miami University.

After teaching several years, Katie moved back to the Minster area in 1972 and taught for 25 years in the Minster Schools.  With girls’ sports on the horizon, who better to lead the Minster Wildcat girls than Katie Horstman?  She coached the Minster girls through the GAA years in volleyball, basketball, gymnastics, track and field, and softball.

A former member of the All American Girls Professional Baseball League for the Fort Wayne Daisies, Katie Horstman helped transform Minster girls track into an OHSAA dynasty.

Katie transitioned them into OHSAA recognized sports in 1975 (volleyball and track), and in basketball in 1976.  She coached the girls in track and field for 23 years (1973-95) and in volleyball for 8 years (1972-79). In 1980, Katie started the girls’ cross-country program (1980-96).  She coached the girls for 17 years.

Success?  There is no doubt!  As coach of the Lady Wildcats, Coach Horstman won the state championship in track 8 times and was runner-up 4 times, all within 21 years (1975-95). During this time frame, Coach Horstman and the girls won their conference 15 consecutive years (1975-89).  Can you say “dynasty”?

In 1977, Coach Horstman was the volleyball coach at Minster and finished as the state runner-up.  Her volleyball teams were league champions in 1974, 75, 76 and 79.  And once she started girls’ cross-country, she won the state championship 1982 and followed that with 3 state runner-ups (1986, 88, 90).  Her cross-country teams were conference champions 11 out 15 years.

Legacy– you bet!  Coach Horstman has been retired for over fifteen years, but her legacy, her work ethic, her leadership, her desire for perfection, and her love for the Minster girls continues!  Former athletes of Minster, who were coached by Katie, say things like the following: “She taught me discipline and passion for whatever I did.”  “She kindled a passion for running that has carried with me as a lifelong runner and a coach.” “She taught me how to discipline myself to make sacrifices to truly go after what I wanted to achieve.”

Others say: “Her words echo in everything I believe, say and do as a coach.”  “Miss Horstman didn’t coddle; she pushed and pulled.  She didn’t pamper; she challenged.  She demanded your attention, she demanded your commitment, she demanded your effort, and in doing so earned your respect and love.  She disciplined with love and you loved the discipline.”

Coach Katie Horstman is…in a league of her own!

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