The Saints lost one of their greatest fans when Denny Kaus passed away last week. He was not only a fan of St. James sports, but sports period.
He also participated in teaching young kids about athletics.
I only knew Denny for a little more than a year as he was the Saints home basketball game announcer, but in that time I realized he was a great human being and a big, big sports and Saints fan.
He was also a big help to me in learning about the history of St. James athletics in the times before and after games. That also included learning about his kids and family.
I talked with Athletic-Activities Director Les Zellmann and he said, “Denny was a great guy and he had a great passion for St. James High School sports.
“He’s the kind of supporter you want to have. He truly loved sports.”
Les said Denny had been announcing Saints games for the last 18 years or so, and he was involved with St. James sports since the 1980s.
Head Basketball Coach Steve Walker added these thoughts, “Since I came here in 1988 and I’m sure long before that Denny has been a huge part of our Community. From attending benefits to show support as well as school activities - he was not only a major supporter of our basketball program but a SAINT supporter in many to all sports.”
Coach Walker continued. “He ran our grades 3-6 elementary basketball program for years and also later coached 4th, 5th, and 6th grade traveling teams - even when his own kids were not a part of those teams.
“In the late summer he would organized a Sunday afternoon baseball league affectionately called ‘Denny's League’ by the kids where he would be the all time pitcher.
“Denny loved interacting with kids, players, coaches and officials. He always had a story to tell. “He was the long time clock keeper and announcer for many sporting events as well as long time football stat keeper.
“I could go on for a long time as to the great things he has done for our school and community. He will be greatly missed by me as a friend and also by the whole St. James Community.”
First year girls basketball coach Adam Schroeder said, “I really only knew Denny for the seven years that I've been here at St. James, but he's truly a man that I will never forget.
Page 2 of 2 - “His one liners on the football field when the game was out of reach always lightened the load for me, and just his jolly attitude every night at basketball games made my first year as girls coach entertaining.
“With Denny's passing, the world definitely got a little less exciting.”
Les Zellmann also sent me this message, “The passing of Denny Kaus has saddened many of us due to our relationship with Denny, Sally, and family. He was a contributor to our district in many ways. Many of those contributions came through his love of sports. “He volunteered and contributed many hours of coaching Saturday morning basketball, youth baseball, doing stats for football, basketball timer, basketball announcer, baseball announcer and I am sure that I missing a number of other contributions.
“We could count on him helping out. We could also count on his support of school activities as an integral part of education.”