(5-3-17) The past week in Illinois High School softball there have been some very, very memorable moments created.

St. Joseph-Ogden Head Softball Coach Randy Wolken won his 1,000th career game Thursday afternoon (April 27th), beating St. Thomas More 15-0 in five innings.

Yesterday (5-2-17) saw Elk Grove Head Softball Coach Ken Grams pick up his 900th career win in a 15-1 win over Hoffman Estates. Both are the top two coaches in career Illinois softball wins.

How they did it:

1000th
Courtesy St. Joseph-Ogden Softball Twitter

Wolken won his 1,000th career game (4-27-17), beating St. Thomas More 15-0 in five innings. Three pitchers combined for a no-hitter and Andrea Coursey hit a home run for the Spartans. SJ-O batted around, scoring eight runs in the first inning and never looking back.

900wins
Courtesy Elk Grove Athletics Twitter

Grams 900th win came when Kylie Thomsen  threw a 2-hitter with 6 strikeouts as the Grenadiers beat visiting Hoffman Estates 15-1 in five innings.

Randy Wolken told WCIA-TV:

“One-thousand seems just like a huge number, but it doesn’t seem like that much to me. I guess because it’s been fun. With my wife supporting me all these years, and my family, it’s been really nice. So it means a lot to me for everybody to come out and support us. Feels good to be at 1,000, though. I will say that.”

Ken Grams told the Daily Herald:

“To be honest I’ve wanted to keep doing this as long as I feel like I can communicate. As I get older, I feel to a degree I can still talk their language and get them to understand and appreciate the finer parts of the game. And that makes me feel good because I’m a guy who spends hours watching baseball on TV and I feel there are so many little things to the game and that’s what I’m trying to get across.”‘

How do the two all-time Illinois leaders rank all-time in the US?

NFHS All-Time Career Coaching Wins

Record     Holder     State     Data

  1. 2,053     Larry Niemeyer     IA     (Cedar Rapids Jefferson), 1958-2011 (2,053-423)
  2. 1,153     Jim Brown     AL     (Hoover), 1991-2011 (1,153-239-1)
  3. 1,116     Dennis Johnson     IA     (Eldridge North Scott), 1975-2001; 2006-2011 (1,116-249)
  4. 1,030     Diane Laffey     MI     (Harper Woods Regina), 1963-2011 (1,030-375-3)
  5. 1,012     Steve Saladino     IA     (Davenport West), 1982-2011 (1,012-448)
  6. 1,000 *Randy Wolken ILL (St. Joseph-Ogden), 1980-2017
  7.   952    Gary Adams     SC     (Iva Crescent), 1977-2011 (852-115)
  8.   927     Brad Walraven     MI     (Bay City All Saints), 1980-2011 (927-301-1)
  9.   926     Tom Kennelly     MI     (Saginaw Swan Valley), 1980-2011 (926-243)
  10.   922     Joe Alsup     MI     (Waterford Township, MI; Waterford Mott, MI; Waterford Kettering, MI; White Lake Lakeland, MI), 1975-92, 1998-2011 (922-188)
  11. 900 *Ken Grams ILL (Elk Grove) (1980-2017)

Pretty impressive careers and still going strong for Wolken and Grams.

 In the beginning…

1980 St. Joseph-Ogden Softball
1980 St. Joseph-Ogden Softball

 

1981 Elk Grove Softball
1981 Elk Grove Softball

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