Helping Out


Stepping Up to the Plate

Alums John and Kari Schultz go to bat for Pointer Baseball

Jeanne Nagle | April 21, 2021 | Helping Out

Photo courtesy of Velocity Clubhouse

There are many ways for University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point sports fans to show that they actively root-root-root for their home teams. For instance, pre- and post-pandemic, they could gather at any of the fields, courts and gyms on campus, stomping their feet and shouting encouragement as the university’s student-athletes take on the competition. Virtual support can mean decking themselves out in purple and gold logo apparel, or sharing stories of their team’s successes on social media. 

Or they can make a donation to UWSP Athletics. And, if they’re like John ’94 and Kari (Baumann ’95) Schultz, they can go one step further and designate where their gift should be applied. In the case of the Schultzes, that would be toward supplementing the salary for a full-time Pointer Baseball head coach.

The Schultzes had established strong collaborative ties with Pointer Baseball as the owners of Velocity Clubhouse, a sports training center serving athletes and athletics in the greater Stevens Point area. Players under then part-time Head Coach Jeremy Jirschele could take advantage of Velocity’s indoor training facilities in the off-season, while UWSP Baseball coaches and staff provided programming and acted as trainers for the center. The connection grew even stronger when the couple’s son, JD, enrolled at UWSP and made the team as a pitcher.

“When JD joined the team, we had more access to the inside narrative,” says Kari. “Many players expressed disappointment in not getting enough time with the coach. It wasn’t the coach’s fault.  He was only able to spend half his time with the team. It was a lose-lose situation.”  

“It always seemed the Baseball program had a slight deficiency in not having a full-time coach,” John agrees. He feels as though recruiting, programming and fundraising were hampered because of the position’s part-time status, a situation that began in 2015 due to funding constraints. 

JD Schultz

Once their son joined the team, John says, the couple felt compelled to offer financial assistance, “to give JD and the other players the resources and the quality program they deserve.” 

The Schultzes met with Athletics Director Brad Duckworth and Ryan Weir, development director for student affairs and athletics, to get the ball rolling. Kari says, “Brad and Ryan made it clear what the needs were, and that any support would be welcomed and put to good use.”

“They were delighted to discuss any ideas that we had,” says John. 

The product of these efforts was a two-year, $50,000 gift, pledged biannually, earmarked for supplementing the head coach’s salary.

“It was easy to decide on our gift given the clear direction they were taking with the program,” says Kari.

Once the gift was recorded, the university reposted the coaching job as a full-time position. Former Point second-baseman Nat Richter ’06 seceded Jirschele as head coach prior to the start of the 2021 spring season.

The Schultzes’ ties to UWSP extend well beyond the baseball diamond and Velocity Clubhouse. Kari had worked as a conference and meeting planner in the university’s Continuing Education and Outreach office for nearly two decades. John currently serves as the alumni advisor for the university’s chapter of Theta Xi, which he helped start as a student in the 1990s. Each had received the Chancellor’s Leadership Award during their time as undergrads.

Both also were accomplished athletes in high school. Kari was a four-year varsity letter-winner on the Wausau East High School swim team. “I wasn’t great at any land sports, but I enjoyed the water,” she says.

John won varsity letters in track at SPASH as a hurdler. “I had dreams of running track at UWSP, but I joined the military ROTC program to pay for college and didn’t have the time to devote to a college sport,” he says. Intramurals were another matter. “I was part of a team that won the intramural all-sport championship,” he proudly notes.

This affinity for athletics, coupled with community pride and spirit, led the Schultzes to open Velocity Clubhouse in 2017. The motive behind their involvement with the facility mirrors that of their recent gift to Pointer Baseball—they saw a need and attempted to fill it. 

“The idea for Velocity was born out of an interest in giving our area athletes the same opportunities other teams had,”  says Kari. “When competing against other teams who had access to year-round facilities, we saw they had a leg up on us.”  

Initial plans called for renting a small space that could accommodate a single baseball batting cage and a pitching lane. As word got out and more parents expressed interest, the concept blossomed to include training for additional sports, as well as expanded baseball practice areas. Neighbors got wind of the Schultzes’ subsequent need for a larger space and offered up a commercial property they were looking to sell or lease.

“The financial resources came from us,” says John, owner and CEO of Schultz Financial Consulting, “but we were blessed with parents, high school and college students investing their time in cleaning, painting and building.” He says that several parents also volunteered to be on Velocity’s board, overseeing human resources, technology, marketing and program development functions within the organization.

“It really was a community effort,” his wife says.

Kari also views Pointer Baseball’s tremendous success this season as a communal effort, spearheaded by Head Coach Richter.

“When a coach wants success, it spills onto the players and they want it just as badly,” she says.  “Nat brings a lot of enthusiasm and hunger. The players really enjoy him and are happy to have his leadership. That shows in their performance so far. The excitement is definitely there!”

As of this writing, the team is 17-4 overall, including 12-2 in conference play. The performance has John dreaming big on the team’s behalf.

“It wasn’t that long ago that we had a conference championship,” he says, referring to the team taking the 2015 WIAC tournament title.  “I’m too old to be on the field, but I definitely want to do everything I can to bring the pennant back.”

John and Kari believe that by making a gift to Pointer Baseball, they have helped bring the team closer to being crowned champions once more. They urge other Pointers to join them in supporting the program—and the university as a whole.

“The success of the team depends on multiple gifts of any size,” says John.

“Every little bit helps,” adds Kari. “When everyone joins forces to give of their resources, time and talents, it pays off in big ways.”

If you would like to make a gift in support of Pointer Baseball, UWSP Athletics or student scholarships at the university, please contact University Advancement at (715) 346-3908 or go to

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