APPLETON — Tim Roehrig has been the head coach of the Kaukauna Galloping Ghosts softball team for 23 years. Right now, his team is on a 70 game win streak, the most ever Wisconsin history. He’s led them to four state titles and now with a 19-0 win over Appleton West on Wednesday night, he’s earned his 500th win.
“He’s just a legend,” said Kaukauna senior Kally Meredith. “People can have their opinions – you can’t say anything about the numbers he’s put up.”
Roerhrig now joins elite company. Since 1976 only 11 coaches have accrued 500 wins. Now make it 12.
“The kids have been awesome over the years,” he said. “I’ve got an unbelievable coaching staff that I’ve worked with for a lot of years. Even the coaches that have been with me before are unbelievable people. Then ultimately you got to go to your family too. I got a wife who’s real supportive, couldn’t do it with her.”
When Roehrig first started teaching at Kaukauna, he never even had plans to coach the softball team, but once he took it over, he couldn’t have imagined they would be as successful as they are now.
“When I set out, I told everybody at the time I said, "we’re going to win a state title in Kaukauna",” said the Galloping Ghosts head coach. “I didn’t know when that was going to be. To say that we’re going to win four, no. To say that we were going to get 500 wins, no.”
And for the Kaukauna head coach, it meant a lot to earn win number 500 with this team.
“Having a lot of these kids since they were five, it’s tremendous, because you get to see those ladies grow up and be a part of this,” Roehrig said. “To get 500 was special with these guys because all the time we’ve spent together, that’s special.”
“He’s committed on and off the field and he’ll be brutally honest sometimes, but that’s what makes him such a good coach,” said senior Paige “Larry” Miller. “He’s there for us on and off the field. He does a lot for us.”
All Roehrig has ever wanted to do is teach his players to love the game, but also build them to be successful off the field as well.
“My old second baseman is now the pharmacist and I’m going to pay my bill at the water department and she’s now the accountant down there,” he said. “My girls are living really good lives, they’ve got good people around them and I couldn’t be more proud to see those kids now growing up and having families and that’s awesome.”
Funny enough, coach Roerhig’s first win as the head coach of the Galloping Ghosts came against Appleton West, now so did his 500th.