Decorah Viking Head Baseball Coach Dennis Olejniczak announces he is retiring

Posted: Mon, Aug 27, 2018 10:53 AM

Decorah Viking Head Baseball Coach Dennis Olejniczak has decided to retire from his head coaching duties

Olejniczak's retirement will end an era spanning 55 years as the head coach of the Decorah baseball program.  Since 1964, Olejniczak's teams have earned 18 Northeast Iowa Conference Titles, have made 11 State Tournament appearances, 9 State Tournament championship game appearances and have won three State Titles.

Olejnczak and the Vikings played 1,962 games, winning 1,409 of them and losing 553.  After coaching one year at Janesville in 1963, Olejniczak will end his career with 1,417 wins, ranking him second all time among high school baseball coaches in the United States.

During his Hall of Fame Career, Coach Olejniczak has been named District Coach of the Year by the Iowa High School Baseball Coaches Association 12 times, State Coach of the Year 3 times and in 2009 was named National Coach of the Year by the National High School Coaches Association.

"With deep consideration and common sense thought, the decision to retire was an easy one for Paula and I to make.  We are thankful for all the support through the years from the players, parents, community, school district, assistant coaches and our family.  For the sake of the baseball program that we love so dearly, this is the right decision for Paula and me to make.  It is our hope that parents and the public understand that it was always my desire to help our young people gain real life experiences through playing the game of baseball to help them succeed in life beyond baseball.  Our time with Decorah Baseball was nothing short of an amazing experience and we hope the program can continue to experience great success in the coming years."

Activities Director Adam Riley stated, "As a school district we thank Coach O and his wife Paula for their commitment to the school district and the baseball program.  Their passion and support of the school district and community has set an example of service that is unprecedented in this day and age.  We cannot thank them enough for the sacrifices made for the young people of our community and wish he and Paula all the best as they continue to be a part of our community and supporting students in all activities during the coming years."