Kansas Wesleyan alum and former coach of women’s athletics Tracy Rietzke ’77 will be inducted into the Missouri Sports Hall of Fame Sunday, Nov. 15.
Rietzke retired from Rockhurst University, where he coached for 32 seasons, in April with 1277 collegiate volleyball wins, a total that ranked fourth all-time. He is the second winningest all-time coach in NCAA Division II history as well.
He transferred to KWU from York (Neb.) College, then a junior college, after his freshman year. He excelled for the Coyotes in three seasons, earning Honorable Mention All-KCAC honors as a sophomore, setting a then-school record for season field goal percentage. Things only got better from there for the Kensington, Kan. native, as he earned All-KCAC honors as a junior and senior. As a junior, he led the KCAC and was fifth in the NAIA in field goal percentage. As a senior in 1975-76, Rietzke was additionally named to the NAIA All-District 10 team and was an Honorable Mention NAIA All-American. At the time, Rietzke held the NAIA record for single season (.771) and career (.692) field goal percentage, records that still stand in KWU annals. His .771 field goal percentage in 1976 led the NAIA.
Rietzke served as a student assistant coach in the 1976-77 season for the men’s basketball team and was junior varsity coach for the women’s team.
Before returning to KWU as head coach of the volleyball, women’s basketball and softball teams, Rietzke spent a year as a high school coach in Quinlan, Texas, two years as boys’ basketball coach at Southeast of Saline and two years as an assistant at Marymount College.
Rietzke returned to KWU in April 1982, coaching six years for the volleyball, women’s basketball and softball programs.
His volleyball teams posted a 172-56 record overall and Rietzke was all-time the program’s all-time wins leader until passed by Fred Aubuchon. He twice led KWU to second-place KCAC finishes, led the 1987 team to a school-record 34 wins in his final season and a second-place finish in the NLCAA National Tournament.
In women’s basketball, he posted a 94-60 overall record and led the 1987-88 team to its first KCAC championship (shared) and District 10 berth. He has the third-highest win total in school history behind Gordon Reimer and Ryan Showman, but carries the highest win percentage in history (.610). His first team finished 13-11 overall, the first over-.500 record in school history in women’s basketball. The 16 conference victories were the most in school history and that mark was not equaled again until the 2008-09 season.
In softball, he posted a 126-40 overall record and led the team to four consecutive KCAC Championships (’85, ’86, ’87, ’88). His teams never lost more than eight games in a single season and never finished worse than third in the KCAC race.
Over the past 32 seasons, Rietzke guided Rockhurst to an 1,105-229 record (.828). His last eight teams combined for 240 victories while winning three GLVC Tournament titles (2012, 2018 and 2019) and four GLVC regular season titles. Rietzke’s teams also captured a Heartland Conference Tournament title in 2002 and three NCAA Midwest Regional championships (2015, 2017 and 2019).
Rietzke was selected the GLVC Coach of the Year in 2005 and 2012, Heartland Conference Coach of the Year in 2002 and 2004, AVCA Midwest Region Coach of the Year in 1993, 1994 and 2014 and AVCA South Central Region Coach of the Year in 1999. He was a five-time NAIA District Coach of the Year honoree from 1990-94). Rietzke was recognized as the NAIA Midwest Independent Coach of the Year in 1995 and 1996.
Rockhurst has finished in the NCAA Division II Top 25 Poll 11 times under Rietzke, highlighted by a No. 5 ranking in 2015 and a No. 7 ranking in 2019. The Hawks played in 10 NCAA Regional finals: 1998, 1999, 2002, 2003, 2005, 2014, 2015, 2017, 2018 and 2019.
Rietzke also served as head coach of the Rockhurst women’s basketball team from 1988-96. The Hawks recorded a 206-45 record in his eight seasons and played in five NAIA national tournaments.
The 14-person Hall of Fame enshrinement that includes Kansas City Royals outfielder Alex Gordon, among others, will feature a noon reception and ceremony at 1 p.m. on Nov. 15 at the Hy-Vee Arena. The event will adhere to the City of Kansas City Health Department guidelines. For tickets, call (417) 889-3100.