On a beautiful day for baseball, Calvert Hall said goodbye to longtime coach and teacher Larry Wineke, on Sunday afternoon. Wineke, who died last Sunday at 60, was an assistant baseball coach for Lou Eckerl for the past eight seasons and he helped Eckerl lead the Cardinals to six MIAA A Conference championships during that span. But his relationship with the Calvert Hall Athletic Director goes all the way back to 1967 when they played baseball together in high school at Cardinal Gibbons. Both were key players on two Crusader teams that reached the MSA championship game in in 1968 and 1969.
Wineke received a heart transplant 18 years ago, and he was an inspiration to many since that time on the campus at Calvert Hall.
Eugolist George Davis said that Wineke lived every day with purpose and the patience of a saint.
Calvert Hall principal Chuck Stembler said that Larry had a heart of gold. “He was tender and loving with our kids. If any student ever needed any extra help, he was wonderful. He lived his life as a man of faith, trusting in God every day.”
The relationship that Wineke had with coach Eckerl was very special. After Eckerl and Wineke graduated from Gibbons, and after their respective college careers at Juniata and Bethany, they were reunited at Gibbons where they coached the Crusaders to a junior varsity baseball championship in 1979, and a varsity title in 1982, the first two baseball championships in Gibbons storied baseball history.
Eckerl said that as a teacher, “Larry Wineke demanded the same excellence in the classroom as he did on the baseball field. He wanted the same attention to detail out of his students in their homework and studies that he wanted out of our players in practice and in games. There were no shortcuts.”
Eckerl added, “Despite being perceived as gruff and intimidating at 6-foot-4, 250, he was a gentle giant.”
As a player, Eckerl said that Wineke was one of the best power hitters that he’s ever seen.
In addition to baseball, Wineke coached football with Eckerl at Gibbons and Calvert Hall. He was also an assistant football coach for the legendary Augie Micelli at Calvert Hall.
Brooks Kerr, another long-time assistant baseball coach read from the Book of Wisdom. “The souls of the just are in the hands of God, and no torment can touch them.”
Team member Manny Rodrigues read from John.
“All those the Father gives me will come to me, and whoever comes to me I will never drive away. For I have come down from heaven not to do my will but to do the will of him who sent me. And this is the will of him who sent me, that I shall lose none of all those he has given me, but raise them up at the last day. For my Father’s will is that everyone who looks to the Son and believes in him shall have eternal life, and I will raise them up at the last day.”
Rest in peace Coach Wineke.