Ray Schultz, a longtime Southsider, enjoyed routine and organization in his life. Her morning always started with a Bible study and about an hour of writing.
“He was very organized, very dedicated in all areas of his life that helped shape him,” said his son, Steve Schultz.
Schultz, who died Thursday at age 80 of cardiac arrest, was a determined man. He was best known as a longtime coach and athletic director at Manual High School, his alma mater, where he was a star on one of the state’s most dominant teams as a senior in 1958.
Manual’s iconic State Championship team finished 10-0 and outscored their opponents 442-38, punctuated by a 35-0 final victory over Cathedral in front of more than 10,000 fans at CYO Field on West 16th Street at a time before the playoff system.
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Years later, Schultz was proud to still be considered one of the best in the history of the state. Schultz, looking at a 2008 photo of Team Manual carrying coach Noah Ellis off the field after the Cathedral game, was asked where he was in the photo.
“I’m probably around here,” he said, gesturing to the left of the photo. “I’m sure I was kissing the cheerleader who later became my wife.”
His wife of 62 years, ex Sandie Steele, survives her husband. The Schultzes have resided for 44 years in the Garfield Park South neighborhood, 40 years in their home on Southern Ave. One of Schultz’s high school teammates, John Stafford, who became Hall of Fame football coach in Columbus East, fixed Ray and Sandie. on their first date.
After high school and a varsity career in two sports at Purdue in soccer and basketball, Schultz returned to Manual as a soccer coach and biology teacher.
“He was fortunate enough to stay at Purdue as a graduate assistant and be on the staff with his pal Ron Meyer (who coached the Colts from 1986 to 1991),” Steve Schultz said of his father. . “Due to Manual and the opportunity to train under his mentor, Noah Ellis, he decided to return.”
Schultz, after several years as an assistant, coached football at Manual from 1973 to 1985 before becoming the school’s athletic director until his “first retirement” in 1996, when he was named the Sagamore recipient of the Wabash. He was also a track and field coach and an assistant basketball coach for several years.
But Schultz, who was inducted into the Indiana Football Hall of Fame in 2006, hasn’t finished coaching after his retirement. He returned to Manual as a volunteer assistant and had a short stint as interim head coach. Schultz joined the Franklin Central squad and led the freshman to an unbeaten season in 2003, then, at age 64, began the football program at Lutheran, where he coached for three seasons to throw the basics of what has become one of the best classes in the state. A program under the direction of trainer Dave Pasch.
The Manual pitch, named after Schultz in 1994, underwent renovations in 2019 after fundraising to repair signage on the dashboard, dealership booth, press box and other improvements. Schultz, who as a coach painted “Manual Pride is on Our Side” on a plywood panel his players would pass every day, called the renovations “really incredible” when he toured the stadium in September 2019. Manual Alumni, led by 1981 graduate Mark Bowell, raised over $ 12,000.
“I don’t want the renovations to be a reflection of me or even of Mark,” Schultz said at the stadium in 2019. “I want this to be a reflection of the pride (the elders) have. instead, it just gave the kids another lift. ”
The school, which is now Christel House in Manual with the teams renamed the Eagles, has always been dear to Schultz’s heart. He grew up honing his basketball skills in the alley behind his parents’ grocery store on Shelby Street and played football games in the Sunken Gardens.
Schultz, who also coached athletics at Manual, was a gifted writer. He is the author of his memoirs, a novel, a brief history of the textbook, and several books of poetry and short stories. Schultz hosted Kristi’s Games in high school, an annual festival named after his daughter, who was killed by a drunk driver on September 8, 2001. He led the establishment of Kristi Broughton Memorial Park in 2016, an area games for children at Emmaus. ‘Place de la Fontaine district. Kristi was a kindergarten teacher at Emmaus.
“The idea for the school fundraising carnival was my sister’s idea,” said Karen (Schultz) Alter. “She had brought it to school a few months before she died. The school administration came to see us and said, “We would still like to do it and give it its name. Dad has had a lot of different roles in life and one of them was a really great fundraiser. He had a lot of connections in the community in different areas of his life. “
Schultz was predeceased by his parents, Harold and Mary, his brother Richard, and his eldest daughter, Kristi. He is survived by his wife Sandra, daughter Karen (Dick) Alter, son Steven (Brynne) Schultz, son-in-law Leon (Kristi) Broughton and Leon’s wife, Cathleen, as well as nine grandchildren and five great- grandchildren.
Family was the most important part of Schultz’s life. He wrote stories about all of his grandchildren and loved spending time with his family.
“I know he would like to mention mom,” Karen said. “They had been in a relationship since he was 16 and she was almost 15. He was telling us the other night that he had just gotten his driver’s license before their first date. She was his life partner for many years and losing a daughter was very difficult for them, but they were a force to be reckoned with as a powerful couple. They made everyone feel like family.
There will be a Celebration of Life at Manual Gym from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. on Monday which is open to the public. Christel House at Manual plans to leave the lights of its football stadium on Friday night to honor Schultz’s legacy at school.
Call Star reporter Kyle Neddenriep at (317) 444-6649.