Count another longtime San Gabriel Valley baseball coaching legend as gone.
Gladstone High School said Friday that Rich Remkus has retired after 30 years at the helm of the Gladiators’ baseball program.
“It’s just time,” Remkus said. “I’m retiring from teaching this year and I just wanted to make a clean break of it. I’m reaching the age where I’m slowing down and I just want to be able to devote some time some of my other hobbies in life while I’m still able to do it.”
Remkus joins other area baseball coaching stalwarts John Romano of Nogales and Monrovia’s Dave Moore, who ended lengthy careers following the end of the 2014 season.
During Remkus’ 30 seasons, Gladstone made the CIF-Southern Section playoffs 24 times and won a CIF championship in 1986. Remkus’ teams also won 12 league championships and played on one of the best-kept fields in the Valley.
“He had a reputation for having the nicest-manicured field in the area,” Gladstone athletic director Chuck Shore said of Remkus. “That didn’t come without a lot of sweat and hard work and time commitment. The district will only do so much with a facility but he wanted it to be the best, so he put the work in.”
“He has put Gladstone on the map in many ways. The players who came out of his program, when they went to college, they knew how to play the game.”
Remkus, 63, enjoyed one of the biggest moments of his career this spring when he won his 600th game on Mar. 12 against Rosemead. Remkus finished with 609 wins.
He had been considering retirement for some time, but stuck on 597 wins before the season started, Remkus said his family and friends pressured to come back and surpass the 600-win plateau.
Remkus cited the 1986 CIF championship and being able to coach his son Tommy in the 2010 San Gabriel Valley All-Star Game as the two biggest highlights of his career.
“Standing on that field with him (Tommy) that day was not only a big thrill as a coach, but as a father,” Remkus said. “The CIF championship and that one particular All-Star game, were the absolute highlights of my career.”
Remkus, who lives in Chino, also retired from teaching and enjoyed his last day at the school on Friday. The veteran coach said anyone looking for him going forward will likely find him on a golf course or in the mountains.
“I want to try and get my golf game back in shape and I really love the mountains,” Remkus said. “I want to spend a lot of times doing some hiking and camping up in the Sierras. It’s kind of a personal passion of mine. But I’m also going to like sleeping in everyday.”
Gladstone will begin the process of finding Remkus’ replacement immediately. A party with Remkus’ former players is also being planned. Former players interested in attending are encouraged to contact Shore for details at CShore@azusa.org.