Three Union High School coaches set a high bar for inductees into the newly founded Union High School Athletic Hall of Fame.
Don Olszowka, Del Rinne and Dave Scheer were among the first candidates named to the hall of fame Saturday, Sept. 9, at Union High School.
Coaches are eligible for hall of fame nomination three years after retirement.
Their biographies are below:
Olszowka was hired by the Union School District in September 1972 to teach driver’s education. He served as an assistant football coach from 1972-1994.
He became the head boys track coach beginning in the 1978 track season until he retired from teaching and coaching in 2000.
During that time, Coach Olszowka’s teams won seven Four Rivers Conference championships, four district championships, as well as four teams being district runner-up.
During his tenure as track coach, he coached 313 state qualifiers and 40 of those athletes gained All-State recognition, including the 1984 Class 3 shot put state champion Jim McEwen.
Many of Olszowka’s athletes earned college scholarships and had successful college track careers, becoming collegiate conference champions and national qualifiers.
During Olszowka’s career, he developed himself into and established himself as one of the leading pole vault coaches in the state, officials said. He qualified 29 pole vaulters to the state championships, 13 of which earned all-state honors, and 10 times he qualified two vaulters to the state championships in the same year.
In 1987, he was awarded the Outstanding Coach award for the state of Missouri by the National Federation of Interscholastic Coaches Association, now known as the NFHS.
Olszowka also was instrumental in the development of the weight training program at UHS.
In 2014, he was honored with the distinguished service award by the Missouri Interscholastic Athletic Administrators Association.
Olszowka and his wife Kathy, a retired math teacher from UHS, have two sons.
Rinne, who played football, basketball and ran track in high school and college football, began his teaching and coaching career at Butler High School. He was the assistant football, basketball and track coach from 1966-1967.
In 1967, he began his 29-year career at Union High School. Over the years, he coached basketball, golf, track and football.
Rinne was the head track coach from 1968-1972, but football is where he began his dynasty. His overall record was 185-89-1.
Some of his accomplishments include: six Four Rivers Conference championships; six Four Rivers Conference co-championships; 12 district championships; four state semi-finals; one Show Me Bowl appearance; four Missouri East/West All-Star games; 18 all-state players; three Division I players and numerous other college players.
With all of this success comes many awards, including the Missouri Football Coaches Hall of Fame; St. Louis Metropolitan Football Coaches Hall of Fame; Past President Missouri Interscholastic Activities Administration Association Board of Directors;
Past President Missouri Interscholastic Activities Administration Association; National Interscholastic Activities Administration Association Award of Merit; Gerald Lineman Lifetime Achievement Award; Union High School Winningest Coach Award; and Emerson Electric Excellence in Teaching.
While at Union High School, Rinne also served as the athletic director for 20 years from 1976-1996.
During this time, he was past president of the Four Rivers Conference. He started the Union Relays in 1968, the Union girls basketball and wrestling tournaments in 1981 and hosted numerous district and sectional playoffs.
He and his wife Lynne, UHS Class of 1963, reside in Beaufort and have three children.
Scheer is a 1974 graduate of New Haven High School. He was hired in 1981 by the Union R-XI School District as a teacher and a coach.
During his tenure, he was the head baseball coach for 25 years, head softball coach for two years, assistant softball coach for nine years, and assistant basketball coach for 11 years.
Scheer compiled a 264-201 overall baseball coaching record, with four conference championships and four district titles.
In 1983, his team would reach the Final Four and finish third in the Class 3 MSHSAA baseball championship.
Many players during Scheer’s tenure went on to play college baseball and one played professionally.
Scheer was an active member of the Wildcat Booster Club. He worked the football press box for many years as timekeeper and PA announcer. He also worked the scorer’s table at basketball games for many years.
Scheer has been a member of the American Baseball Coaches Association and is a charter member of the National High School Baseball Coaches Association (NHSBCA) and the Missouri High School Baseball Coaches Association (MHSBCA).
Has been a past vice president, president and committee chairperson in the MHSBCA.
In 2012, he was inducted in the MHSBCA Hall of Fame. In 2016, he was inducted into the St. Louis Amateur Baseball Hall of Fame.
Scheer played 24 years of men’s major fast-pitch softball, eight years of semi-pro baseball, was an assistant baseball coach at East Central College in 1980 and coached for the Post 297 American Legion baseball team.
He also was the director of the Union Baseball Clinic for 12 years.
Now retired, Scheer resides in Union and spends many days at the golf course.