Pat Held was among the honorees when the Minnesota State High School Baseball Coaches Association held its annual Hall of Fame Banquet on Saturday, October 25 at the Ramada Plaza in Minneapolis.
Held was honored for his many years of coaching dozens of teams and hundreds of athletes at several levels throughout his career.
Among the teams/athletes he has mentored over the years include the Motley Rockets, Staples-Motley Cardinals and Central Lakes College Raiders. He has also coached a number of summer league teams, including youth and “town team” (amateur) squads.
Held was inducted along with several other Minnesota baseball “legends” during the ceremony.
In addition to Held, the 2014 HOF class includes: Pete Cheeley (St. John’s Prep), Pat Collins (Chisago Lakes), Ken Mauer (St. Paul Humboldt), John O’Brien (Centennial), Terry Ryan (Minnesota Twins), Bob Weier (New Ulm Cathedral) and Bruce Woitas (Sleep Eye St. Mary’s).
Pete Cheeley – St. John’s Preparatory School
Pete is a 1968 graduate of St. Bonfiace High School in Cold Spring, MN and later from St. John’s University in 1976. Pete has been the head coach at St. John’s Prepartory for 26 years, winning 236 games. During his tenure, St. John’s Prep won the conference title in1983 and were the section runners up in 1983, 1989, 1997, and 2002. Pete has enjoyed numerous honors during his tenure. In 1983, he was the Central Minnesota Conference Baseball Coach of the Year in 1983, coached in the All-Star Series in 1989, and was an MSHSBCA member for 26 years. Pete has also been awarded with the St. John’s University Alumni Achievement Award in 2001, he received the MSHSBCA Jim Dimmick Retired Coaches Award in 2008, and was the Class A Minnesota State Athletic Director of the year in 2007-2008.
Pat Collins – Chisago Lakes High School
Pat is a graduate of Benson Senior High School in 1978 and from St. Cloud State University in 1983. Pat is science teacher at Chisago Lakes Middle School. Pat has been the head coach at Chisago Lakes from 1990 to 1995 and again from 2000 to 2014, 21 years total. During this time, Pat’s teams have compiled a 268-154 record. During this time, Chisago Lakes won five conference baseball championships in two different conferences, the Rum River and North Suburban. His teams have always played the game the right way, with great attention to detail and the fundamentals. Other accomplishments in Pat’s baseball coaching career include serving as the Minnesota State High School Baseball Coaches Association President from 2008 to 2010, serving as a coach in the All-Star Series in 2002, being a member of MSHSBCA for 27 years, building the current Chisago Lakes High School Stadium complete with lights out of corn field, as well as coaching his own kids during their high school careers. Pat’s involvement in baseball has extended to being a Minnesota Twins Clinician since 2010; he has worked Gopher baseball camps, and also worked the Showtime Sports Camps.
Pat Held – Staples Motley High School
Pat began his coaching career in 1969 just graduated from high school working with young players in his home town of St. Augusta, MN for the next four summers. In 1973and 1974, he coached the St Augusta Legion team winning one sub district title and a runner up finish. Coach Held began his high school career as an assistant coach at Motley High School in 1973 and took over as head coach in 1978. He was the head coach of the Rockets until 1988 winning four conference titles. With the pairing of the Staples and Motley school districts, Held became the head coach of the Cardinals a post he held until 1996, winning one district title and two runner-ups. In 1996, he moved to Central Lakes College in Brainerd to be the assistant coach there. In 2000, the CLC Raiders qualified for the NCJAA World Series in Batavia, New York, finishing in 5th place. Coach Held stayed at CLC through the 2005 season doing double duty as he reassumed the head coaching job at SMHS in 2004 leading the Cardinals into the #1 seed in the subsection and a berth in the Region 6AA tourney. He has remained active through the present in the program coaching the Junior Varsity and being the assistant to the head coach.
In 2009, he assumed the head coaching duties at Central Lakes College and remained at that college through the 2012 season leaving that position to care for his wife, Carolyn, who was ill with cancer, until her death in October of 2012. Held has coached in the Summer Rec programs in St Augusta, his home town, Motley, and Staples with stints as Babe Ruth, VFW, and American Legion coach. He has coached at and organized baseball camps in River Falls, WI, Staples and Brainerd working with youth of all ages. He has spoken at coaching clinics and conducted sessions for youth baseball coaches, and has volunteered in Texas at two high schools. He has also been very active in the amateur baseball ranks playing in St. Augusta, Sartell, and was the player-manager of the Motley Mets. While at the helm of the Mets, he lead his team to State tournament berths in 1976-77 and 1980-86. He served two terms as President of the Hi-10 baseball league. He has twice coached in the High School All-Star Series in `1988 and 2007. He was named District 24 Coach of the Year in 1988 and received the Dick Siebert Award from MSHSBBCA in 2010. He has coached full or part time for 45 seasons and plans to continue for the foreseeable future.
Ken Mauer – St. Paul Humboldt High School
Ken is a 1945 graduate of Cretin High School and St. Thomas University. Ken had a professional baseball career that included stops in Johnstown, Pa., Danville, N.C., Trenton, N.J., and two years with the St. Paul Saints. Mauer also played professional basketball for the St. Paul Lights and Denver Nuggets. After his playing days, Mauer went into coaching. He coached Macalaster College for one year and won the Minnesota Intercollegiate Athletic Conference title. In 13 years at Humboldt, Mauer’s record was 145-56. During this time, his teams won 7 City Championships, 3 Twin City Championships, and 3 Region Championships. The accomplishments and awards are many for Mauer as a player and a coach. He was the Minnesota Athlete of the Year, he is in the Minnesota High School Football Hall of Fame, the Minnesota High School Softball Hall of Fame, The St. Thomas University Hall of Fame as a basketball and baseball player, Mancini’s Hall of Fame, Cretin High School Hall of Fame, and Humboldt Hall of Fame for both baseball and football. Mauer also coached summer baseball for 40 years.
John O’Brien – Centennial
John O’Brien graduated from high school in 1957. He attended Kensington High School in Buffalo, New York. He went to college at State University of New York in Buffalo where he graduated in 1962. He began his coaching career in Minnesota in 1968 at Centennial High School. John would be at Centennial until 1998. During his 31 year career as the head coach, his teams would win 383 games. There were multiple championship teams under his leadership. In fact, 14 of those teams would go on to capture conference championships, in three different conferences. John O’Brien received many accolades in his years as the head coach at Centennial, including being named the North Suburban Coach of the Year in 1983, the Tri-Metro Conference Coach of the Year in 1989, and he was a coach in the All-Star Series in 1982 and 1998. Also, John had two of his former players who played professional baseball and 9 different players who played Division 1 baseball after their time at Centennial High School under John’s tutelage. John was a member of MSHSBCA throughout his career. He currently resides in Naples, Florida.
Terry Ryan – Minnesota Twins
Terry graduated from Parker High School in Janesville, Wisconsin, where he is a member of their Sports Hall of Fame, in 1972. Terry was drafted by the Minnesota Twins in 1972 and began his professional playing career the following year in 1973 and at 19 years of age he had a sensational beginning in the Midwest League where he was 10-0 with a 1.78 earned run average. Arm injuries then set in and three years later he was finished with his professional playing career and went back to the University of Wisconsin to get his degree, graduating in 1979. Terry began his scouting career in 1980 with the New York Mets and after six years with them he became the Scouting Director for the Minnesota Twins, a position he held for six years before becoming Director of Player Personnel in 1992. At the end of the 1994 season, Terry was promoted to General Manager of the Twins and held that position until he resigned after the 2007 season. Terry spent the next four seasons as a Special Assistant to General Manager Bill Smith. After the 2011 season, Terry was named Executive Vice-President/General Manager for the Twins, the position he still holds. Terry has received numerous awards for his leadership. In 2002 and 2006 he was named the Sporting News Major League Executive of the Year. He was named Baseball America’s Major League Executive of the Year in 2004. Terry is one of the most respected individuals in Professional Baseball. He is a member of the Playing Rules Committee, the Arizona Fall League Steering Committee and the On-Field Matters Committee with Commissioner Bud Selig. There is probably not a General Manager in Major League Baseball that has as close a connection to high school baseball in their state as Terry Ryan. He has spoken at many banquets for high school baseball, including the Hall of Fame, the Class A State Tournament, the Play Ball! Minnesota High School Baseball All-Star Series, and the St. Olaf Clinic. The Twins have been noted for drafting and/or signing a large number of Minnesota high school and college players. Terry has truly been a great friend of Minnesota High School Baseball.
Bob Weir – New Ulm Cathedral
Bob Weir graduated from New Ulm Cathedral High School in 1968. Bob has been the head coach at his alma mater for the past 22 years. During his tenure, he has a record of 354-150, a winning percentage of .694. His teams have won 10 conference championships, 2 sub-section championships, 3 section titles, and captured the 2005 Class A State Championship. Bob’s teams have also captured the Class A third place title in 2009 and the Class A consolation title in 2008. After the 2005 season, Bob was recognized as the MSHSBCA State Coach of the Year. Additionally, Bob has been recognized for his team’s success on the diamond by being named as the Tomahawk Conference Coach of the Year 9 different times and he was also selected to coach in the Minnesota High School All-Star Series in 2007. Bob has been involved in the summer baseball program in New Ulm as well. He has coached the New Ulm VFW team and the New Ulm Legion Gold team. He has taken his legion team to the state tournament on two different occasions in 2011 and 2012.
Bruce Woitas – Sleepy Eye St. Mary’s
Bruce is a graduate of Minnesota Lake High School in 1981 and Mankato State University in 1987. Out of college Bruce was hired at Sleepy St. Mary’s where he has been since. He has served the school in a variety of roles; including physical education and health teacher, assistant football coach, head girls basketball coach, head baseball coach, and the Athletic Director since 1998. In his 25 years as head baseball coach, Bruce Woitas is 415-172, a winning percentage of .707. During this time, Sleepy Eye St. Mary’s have won 10 Conference titles, 2 Sub-Section titles, 6 Section titles, 4 State Championships, and have been Sub-Section runners up 5 times, Section runs up 8 times, State runner up once, and took 3rd place at the state tournament in 2003. Honors that Bruce has received during this incredible run include: Section Coach of the Year, 2002 Class A coach of the year, he received the Championship Award in 2002, 2004, 2006, and 2007, and he also coached in the All-Star Series in 2003 and 2005. Bruce has been involved in the Minnesota State High School Baseball Coaches Association for many years serving as President from 2010 to 2012, he remains the chairman of the Class A All-State Team, he is a member of the Baseball Advisory Board, and has been a member of the association throughout his career. Bruce has also coached the Sleepy Eye Legion and VFW teams, the Sleepy Eye Amateur team, The Sleepy Eye Junior Bi-County Team, and the Minnesota Lake Legion team.