Veteran coach was in seventh season at GC after 35 years in Illinois
GOSHEN, Ind. — Doug Wellenreiter, a longtime teacher, coach and official in his seventh season as Goshen College assistant baseball coach, passed away suddenly on Nov. 17. He was 63 years old.
Wellenreiter came to Goshen for the 2015 season after spending 35 years teaching and coaching in Illinois, 27 of those as a biology and driver education teacher at Momence High School. He won more than 625 baseball games, made six trips to the round of 16 in the state tournament, and served as the assistant varsity basketball coach as well for much of his tenure at Momence.
At Goshen, Wellenreiter coached first base for four and a half years before shifting to the third-base box partway through the 2019 season. He was the team’s chief scheduler and handled many administrative tasks in the baseball office alongside head coach Alex Childers and pitching coach Justin Grubbs.
Wellenreiter also coached basketball at the collegiate level as an assistant for Olivet Nazarene University (ONU) from 1987-90, making the trip to the NAIA national tournament for the first time in the Tigers’ history in 1989 under legendary head coach Ralph Hodge. He was a part-time assistant for the ONU baseball team in 2007 and 2008.
He spent time coaching professional baseball from the fall of 1999 to the spring of 2001 as the pitching coach for the Cook County Cheetahs (now the Windy City Thunderbolts) of the Frontier League. At Cook County, he coached alongside former major leaguers Milt Pappas, Ron LeFlore and Carlos May.
Wellenreiter was a veteran in the officiating ranks as well, officiating for 43 years in baseball, softball and basketball, and working all three sports at the college level. He was assigned to the Illinois Elementary School Association state finals in basketball four times. Since arriving in Goshen, he had become a fixture at the scorer’s bench in the Roman Gingerich Recreation-Fitness Center’s Ruth Gunden Gymnasium, where he was the official scorer for GC basketball for the last six years.
Doug is survived by his wife, Kelly; their two daughters, Brooke and Bria, and their spouses; and 3 grandchildren.