FOND DU LAC, Wis. (WFRV) – When you think of the Fond du Lac High School baseball program, consistency might come to mind.
Head coach of the varsity team, Marty Paulsen, is entering his 53rd season leading the Cardinals’ program. Every Spring Paulsen gets that itch to get back on the baseball diamond.
“I’m not a big fisherman even though I have a cottage”, Paulsen says. “I love coming out here with my long underwear and playing. It’s a great game and a lot of fun.”
Since 1969, Paulsen has had a front row seat to every Cardinals’ baseball game. He still sees guys regularly that he used to coach in the past.
“I still remember batting averages. My shortstop back then hit .136 in the wooden bat era”, says Paulsen.
Throughout the years of coaching, one thing has stayed the same for Paulsen. It’s telling his players to believe in themselves.
“There’s a guy out there with a ball and you’re hitting it or you’re pitching and he’s got a stick. Bottom line is you got to beat him”, says Paulsen. “That’s the competition part and then you got to let it go. That’s the beauty of the kids. They’ll let that go.”
Paulsen has won more than 600 games in his coaching career and one of his most recent accomplishments was making it to the WIAA State Tournament in 2019. He led the Cardinals to a state title in 2000.
Paulsen tells Local 5 that he’s coached thousands of athletes including former NBA player Travis Diener but coaching his son was something indescribable.
The players that come through the Fond du Lac Cardinals’ baseball program have nothing but respect for the man in charge.
“He knows a lot too. He always has method to this madness, no matter what. No matter what question you got, he’s got an answer for it. He’s just a fun guy to be around and fun guy to look up to”, says senior River Riefsnider.
One word to describe Paulsen’s tenure in Fond du Lac, legendary and he’s adding to it each year.
“I take it one year at a time. Yeah, there will be a time. You don’t want to get too old but, I’ve been fortunate I’ve had good health”, Paulsen says. “I can still throw the ball out there. It just takes longer to get there.”