MISSOURI- When you think of coaches, you probably think of yelling for four quarters, more than singing in a quartet.
The Coaches 4 quartet could make you change your mind.
Coaches 4 is a quartet made up of a special group of retired Springfield coaches.
In the early 2000s, Lou Fees and Jeff Klein spent a lot of time together as high school football coaches.
“It started in a coach’s office. We were breaking down film on a Saturday,” said Lou Fees.
Fees and Klein both loved to sing. Their favorite tunes were from The Oak Ridge Boys.
“Let’s get together and form a quartet,” Fees said. “Let’s see what happens.”
They asked longtime Hillcrest Soccer Coach Gary Strunk to join.
“I thought it sounded fun,” Strunk said. “They’re both good friends. We thought, ‘hey, we’ll have fun doing this.'”
They needed one more person to make a quartet. They asked a fellow church member, and the only non-coach, Kent Meador.
“I figured we would do the one thing at the church and be done,” Meador said.
They came up with the name Coaches 4, which has now expanded to five with stand-in Riley Ewing, the son-in-law of Klein. A couple of times a year, the Coaches 4 performs. They are asked to do a lot of National Anthems and the occasional party.
In July, the coaches were asked to sing the National Anthem at the St. Louis Cardinals game for a second time.
“One of us was really nervous,” points out Klein, “The young guy down at the end.”
“I was awe-struck,” Ewing replied.
The coaches never could imagine going from singing in a locker room to singing for the Major Leagues. After success like that, where could they possibly perform next?
“Maybe the state capitol?” says Strunk, “That’d be kind of cool. The White House.”
Just as all good coaches inspire us to do, why not set the bar high?