When it comes to being a coach that sacrifices himself for his team, you would have to put Rich Kaiser at the top of the list. Perhaps his best coaching move included him getting tossed out of a game to get his team fired up. This move proved to be just what his team needed as they went on to win not only the game, but the tournament as well.
Over a span of 11 years, Rich guided his southern Illinois Loggers team to 1,130 wins, with only 97 losses. Under his guidance, this exceptional team claimed 3 state tournament championships in 1973, 1978 and 1981, while also finishing 4th in the 1979 National Invitational in Cincinnati, Ohio and 5th at the 1981 NIT in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. The Loggers went on to capture 4th Place in the 1980 World Tournament in Cincinnati and 5th Place in the 1982 World Championship Tournament.
Rich began coaching due to his driving desire to put together a very competitive and winning club, and he even surprised himself with the success that he put on the field with players like Mike Kreher, Leon Kreher, Dan Helfich, Ron Bievenue, Matt Myers and Denny Albert.
Rich admits, "We had some great players that all had an intense desire to win." This intensity shined the brightest during the state tournament at Taylorville in 1978, as they captured the title over a heavily favored and everyone's pick win team.
Rich also never lacked confidence in his own abilities, as he put himself into the line-up at the World Tournament when his team's bats seemed to go cold and went 4 for 4. Needless to say, he is still holding that over his teammate's heads.
Without a doubt, Rich deserves this Hall of Fame honor, as perhaps no one knows how to motivate and create better.