Athletics

 
Lauren Kardatzke
Lauren Kardatzke
Sport(s): Football,Tennis Coach
Year of Graduation: 1961-1973
Year Inducted: 2001

*Induction Speech by Randy Lambert*

 

LAUREN KARDATZKE “SPECIAL” 1961 – 1973

 

OUR NEXT INDUCTEE WAS A DEDICATED STAFF MEMBER AT THE COLLEGE FOR 12 YEARS.  WOULD LAUREN KARDATZKE COME FORWARD?

IN THE FALL OF 1961, COACH BOYDSON BAIRD HAD AN OPENING ON HIS ATHLETIC STAFF.  THE YEAR BEFORE, HE HAD HIRED WILLIAM AND MARY FOOTBALL AND TRACK STAR, MONK TOMLINSON.  COACH TOMLINSON WAS A GOOD FIT AND IT JUST SO HAPPENED HIS GOOD FRIEND AND FORMER TEAMMATE; LAUREN KARDATZKE WAS LOOKING FOR A JOB.  LAUREN HAD JUST FINISHED A HIGHLY SUCCESSFUL FOOTBALL CAREER AT WILLIAM AND MARY AS A FULLBACK AND LINEBACKER.  AFTER HIS SENIOR SEASON IN 1959 AND 60, HE WAS HONORED AS THE OUTSTANDING SENIOR ATHLETE, A SOUTHERN CONFERENCE ACADEMIC TEAM MEMBER, HONORABLE MENTION ALL BIG FIVE IN THE STATE OF VIRGINIA, AND ALL SOUTHERN CONFERENCE.  AFTER ONE MORE YEAR AT HIS ALMA MATER AS A MASTER’S DEGREE STUDENT AND GRADUATE ASSISTANT, HE WAS READY TO JOIN FORCES WITH HIS OL’ BUDDY, MONK. LAUREN HAD ALSO PLAYED FOR COACH BAIRD ON THE FRESHMAN FOOTBALL TEAM AT WILLIAM AND MARY.

IN HIS FIRST YEAR AT MARYVILLE COLLEGE IN 1961, COACH K. SERVED AS AN ASSISTANT FOOTBALL COACH AND THE  HEAD MEN’S TENNIS COACH.  HEAD COACH BOYDSON BAIRD AND HIS YOUNG STAFF PRECEEDED TO DIRECT THE 1961 FIGHTING SCOTS TO A 6-2 SEASON.  OVER THE NEXT FOUR YEARS, SCOTS FOOTBALL WAS AT ITS BEST.  WITH A WON-LOST RECORD DURING THIS FOUR YEAR PERIOD OF 25 – 8, THE MARYVILLE MEN OF THE GRIDIRON DAZZLED THEIR FANS WITH EACH WEEKLY PERFORMANCE.  COACH K. CALLED THE PLAYS FROM THE SIDELINES AS THE OFFENSIVE COORDINATOR.  WITH THE SPEED OF ROLAND MCCLANAHAN, THE POWER RUNNING OF KEN BERRY, AND THE PASSING OF BENNY MONROE, HE HAD MANY WEAPONS TO CHOOSE FROM.  THE 1963 TEAM, ARGUABLY THE BEST TEAM THAT COACH K. WAS A PART OF, FINISHED THE YEAR AT 8 – 1.  THE KARDATZKE – DIRECTED OFFENSE HAD IMPRESSIVE WINS OVER THE LIKES OF CENTRE, GEORGETOWN, HANOVER, MILLSAPS, AND CARSON-NEWMAN.  IN THE FOLLOWING FOOTBALL SEASON, MONK TOMLINSON TOOK OVER THE REIGNS AS HEAD COACH, BUT MADE SURE TO RETAIN HIS LOYAL FRIEND.  COACH K.   FOR THE NEXT 7 YEARS, LAUREN SERVED AS THE OFFENSIVE COORDINATOR AND BACKFIELD COACH.

IN 1971, AFTER 10 YEARS AS AN ASSISTANT COACH, LAUREN KARDATZKE GOT HIS BIG CHANCE.  AFTER COACH TOMLINSON RESIGNED TO GO TO TENNESSEE TECH AS AN ASSISTANT COACH, COACH BAIRD DID NOT HESITATE TO ELEVATE COACH K. TO THE HEAD COACHING POSITION.

 

AFTER A TRANSITION YEAR OF 5 – 4, HIS 1972 TEAM FINISHED THE YEAR AT

7 – 2.  THIS TEAM LED THE COUNTRY IN PASSING IN THE SMALL COLLEGE DIVISION OF THE NCAA.  WITH JOE COSTNER THROWING TO MIKE BUTLER, RANDY MINOR, AND DEAN HARDEN, THE SCOTS POTENT OFFENSIVE ATTACK AVERAGED 36 POINTS A GAME AND REACHED THEIR PEAK IN THEIR LAST TWO GAMES – MILLSAPS 47–14 AND SOUTHWESTERN 49 –14.   COSTNER AND BUTLER WERE FREE AGENTS IN THE NFL DRAFT DURING THE SPRING AND HAD TRY-OUTS WITH THE CHICAGO BEARS.

OVER LAUREN’S TWELVE -YEAR SERVICE TO THE COLLEGE, HE ALSO ENJOYED HIS TENURE AS HEAD MEN’S TENNIS COACH.  HIS BEST SEASON WAS IN 1973 WITH A RECORD OF 14 – 2.  EVEN THOUGH IT WAS CONSIDERED A MINOR SPORT, COACH K. TOOK HIS TENNIS COACHING VERY SERIOUSLY.  WHETHER ON THE FOOTBALL FIELD OR TENNIS COURT, HE WAS A COMPETITOR AND WAS VERY DEMANDING OF HIS ATHLETES.  HE COULD COME WITH THE FIRE AND BRIMSTONE IN A MOTIVATIONAL TALK, BUT MOST OF THE TIME HIS DELIVERY WAS IN A CALM, CALCULATED MANNER.  HE COACHED MANY OUTSTANDING TENNIS PLAYERS – BOB JOHNSON, PETE PARKS, SAM FERGUSON, LYNN HOWARD, AND RICK MARSHALL TO NAME A FEW.  HE WAS ALSO THE FIRST COACH TO TAKE HIS TEAM ON A FLORIDA SWING OF MATCHES DURING SPRING BREAK.

DURING LAUREN’S TIME AT THE COLLEGE, HE ALSO TAUGHT IN THE PHYSICAL EDUCATION DEPARTMENT.  AS IN EVERYTHING HE DID, HE WAS A PROFESSIONAL.  ATHLETES AND NON-ATHLETES ALIKE WANTED IN COACH K’S CLASS.  IT COULD BE A THREE- HOUR THEORY CLASS ON COMMUNITY RECREATION OR HEALTH, OR AN ACTIVITY CLASS OF HANDBALL OR BADMINTON.  REGARDLESS OF THE SUBJECT MATTER, COACH K. MADE IT INTERESTING AND CHALLENGING TO THE STUDENTS.  AFTER LEAVING MARYVILLE IN 1972, HE COACHED FOOTBALL FOR TEN YEARS AT TENNESSEE TECH UNIVERSITY.  IN 1983, LAUREN DECIDED TO GET OUT OF COACHING AND ENTER INTO THE INSURANCE FIELD.  HE CURRENTLY IS THE SENIOR-VICE PRESIDENT OF PLATEAU INSURANCE CO.  HE AND HIS WIFE, ANITA, AND THEIR TWO DAUGHTERS RESIDE IN MARYVILLE. 

COACH LAUREN KARDATZKE, TODAY WE RECOGNIZE YOU AS AN OUTSTANDING TEACHER AND COACH OF LIFE’S SKILLS TO HUNDREDS OF STUDENT-ATHLETES.  FOR BEING A COACH THAT ALWAYS CHALLENGED HIS PLAYERS TO COMPETE UNTIL THE FINAL HORN OR THE LAST POINT: A COACH THAT EMPHASIZED WINING WITH CLASS AND LOSING WITH DIGNITY; A COACH THAT BELIEVED YOU HAD TO BE A GOOD PERSON BEFORE YOU COULD BE A GOOD PLAYER.  WE THANK YOU FOR BEING COACH K.