Married Carroll gymnastics coaches help make the Chargers a family

Carroll gymnastics coaches and married couple Rosemary and Scott Scheele have been coaching together since 2005. (By Blake Sebring of

Every high school coach likes to envision their team as a family, but Carroll gymnastics coach Rosemary Scheele goes a little further than most. Her husband Scott is her assistant coach.

Rosemary was an assistant coach for three seasons under Karen Lake before she took an administrative job in 2005. Rosemary wasn’t sure she wanted to be the head coach, but worried turning it down might affect the program’s future and she was already the Huntertown Utility office manager. So she asked Scott what he thought.

He surprised her by saying he’d help as her assistant coach.

That kind of made sense because he had coached their three kids’ teams in softball, baseball and basketball and he’d definitely support her, but he didn’t know much about gymnastics. The closest he had come was watching Rosemary compete when they attended Northrop and when he took a few physical education classes, so the Scheeles would sit at home watching videos of college meets on TV. He also took some training at a local gymnastics business.

Then he had to be introduced to the team.

“When he first walked in, he said, `I’m going to hate this,’ ” she said. “The girls were not comfortable with him, but they already knew me. `The girls don’t look at me, they don’t talk to me.’ ”

But he stuck with it, and eventually, the girls started trusting him as a spotter and he earned their respect as a coach. Coaching the team became something the Scheeles enjoy doing together, partly because of the kids they get to work with but also because they are good at it. The Chargers are 145-15 since 2005, are currently the state’s No. 2-ranked team and recently set a school record with a 111.80 score.

“He always says the program is successful because of me, but he’s a huge part of it,” Rosemary said.

Scott says everyone looks at them as co-coaches unless team members don’t want to do something, and then they go to Rosemary who is considered more of a soft touch. Listening to the interview while they are stretching from a nearby floor exercise mat, the Chargers all laugh in agreement at that.

It also seems that Rosemary is the more talkative of the pair, and Scott seems to be more taciturn, but he’s actually got a dry sense of humor.

“That’s because she tells me I can’t talk,” he said. “I will yell at them in a teasing way, but when the freshmen come in they may not get that right away. What it comes down to is she’s the boss, she’s the most knowledgeable, so if I get twisted I just defer to her.”

Eventually, the freshmen and the coaches all figure it out and become part of the Chargers’ culture.

“I think it adds a lot more of a family feel to the team because you already have a married couple who accepts us as daughters,” senior Selah Hochstedler said. “That’s really cool. You come to practice and you feel like you are close with everyone. They are an example of a marriage and what it’s like. We see sides of it where it can get hard sometimes, but it doesn’t change anything.”

That’s a great example for the athletes who say they appreciate that the Scheeles are almost always in a good mood.

“They are not afraid to share information, and I really like that,” senior Jill Hoffmann said. “If you talk to one coach, you know it will get to the other coach, too. After talking to Rosemary about something, sometimes I will talk to Scott about it and he already knows. It just makes things easier.”

That’s likely because the Scheeles talk about gymnastics all the time. They can’t help themselves.

“We leave here, we go home and we talk about gymnastics,” Rosemary said. “Sometimes when we are burned out, then we say we’re not going to talk about gymnastics this weekend and the first thing we do is start talking about gymnastics, of course.”

It’s just part of the family business.

“These kids are a family to us and we try to treat them like we would treat our own daughters,” she said. “We always tell the girls, we don’t care if you are friends outside these doors, but in this gym, you are family.”