In 10 seasons at the helm of the Widefield softball program, Gary Foltz coached the Gladiators into the state tournament.
But Foltz, who has coached the wrestling team for the past 18 seasons, recently stepped down as the softball coach to focus more on wrestling.
“It’s just time,” Foltz said Monday night. “Between the two sports I just got to the point I felt like both teams were kind of suffering.”
One of the reasons Foltz felt like he could step away was because of assistant James Brown, who will take over the softball team.
“I don’t think I’d have left otherwise,” Foltz said. “He’s a perfect transition.”
The first time Foltz led the Gladiators to the state tournament, it was just the second time the program had been to state and the first in 17 seasons. After that, state became a routine appearance. In 2007, the year Foltz’s daughter was a senior on the team, the squad reached the final eight. The Gladiators last qualified for state two seasons ago. He won two league titles.
But none of that mattered in comparison to the fact that during Foltz’s time in charge, 30 players signed college scholarships.
“The thing I’m most proud of, I ended up with 30 girls that ended up with scholarships to go on to next level,” he said. “Figure that out; it’s three girls a year. Throw all the wins out the window. I’m most proud of that.”
From that last squad to reach state, nine girls went on to play college ball.
“We had a great run,” he said.