Great Bend High School is getting ready to honor its 2019 inductee to the GBHS Hall of Fame. Recognized will be Steve Gotsche, a 1979 GBHS graduate, former professional golfer turned golf pro.
The Hall of Fame ceremony and luncheon are scheduled for 11:45 a.m. Friday, Jan. 3, at the GBHS Jack Kilby Commons, 2027 Morton St., and ticket sales will run Dec. 9-20. The cost is $15 and tickets can be purchased in the Activities Office at the high school.
Luncheon tickets will not be sold at the door.
The induction ceremony will take place between the girls’ and boys’ basketball games against Buhler High School that night in the GBHS gym. A reception will follow the games in the commons area and the public is invited.
This marks the 12th year for the HOF. Past inductees include globe-trotting JanSport founder Skip Yowell and microchip inventor Jack Kilby.
After the nominations come in, a committee made up of administrators, teachers, school board representatives and local residents make the final determination. Nominees must be students, teachers or community members who have made a significant contribution to community or country.
A display case in the GBHS commons contains plaques and memorabilia paying tribute to all the recipients.
Below is the biography of the inductee as submitted by those who nominated him.
Steve Gotsche attended Great Bend schools throughout his education and graduated from Great Bend High school in 1979. He was a three sport letter winner in Golf all four years, football for three years, and basketball for one year.
After graduation he furthered his education on a golf scholarship at Barton Community College. During his year there he earned conference Individual Champion of the Jawhawk Conference and later was inducted to the Barton Community College Hall of Fame. In 1981 Gotsche attended University of Nebraska on a golf scholarship where he majored in Math and was twice elected to the “1st Team all Big 8 Team.”
Gotsche began his amateur golf career in 1974 by traveling to local and regional junior events culminating with victories in both the Kansas Junior Amateur (1979) and the 6A Kansas High School Individual Champion (1979) and then went on to win the Kansas Amateur in 1984.
He then turned professional in the spring of 1985 and it didn’t take long to begin winning events throughout the Midwest and qualifying for his first of nine United States Opens. Upon winning the Kansas Open 1990 he completed the Kansas Slam of winning all four major events that were offered and he is the first and only person in history to have won all these tournaments. After accepting the position of assistant golf professional at the Petroleum Club in Great Bend in 1988 he then qualified for and won the 1990 PGA Assistants Championship in Brockton, Massachusetts. Later in 1990 he was named the head golf professional at the club and was awarded the national Spalding Player of the Year later that same year.
After successfully growing the junior program and watching his pro shop business expand regionally he found time to also start his coaching career at Barton Community College and to volunteer his time to help others as was his father’s passion by coaching 5th- and sixth-grade basketball and doing community service projects such as collecting cans for Kans for Kids, helping initiate bikes for perfect attendance for the elementary schools of USD 428, Meals on Wheels emergency driver, tornado and flood storm cleanup and raising money for many other projects with “Secret Santa” being a favorite.
In 1994-95, Gotsche earned his way to the PGA Tour and recorded his best PGA Tour finish of his career, a fifth-place finish at the New England Classic.
He then joined the Nike Tour in 1996-99, where he had his breakthrough season by winning on the Nike tour twice in 1999 with victories at the Nike Monterrey Open and the Nike Upstate Classic. Gotsche was highly esteemed as he was the second fastest player in tour history to reach $100,000 in official PGA earnings. Gotsche then played the PGA tour in 2000 and although injured most of year achieved his highest ranking on the official money list. He played on the Nationwide Tour again in 2001 and 2002 and returned to be the Head PGA Professional at the newly acquired Stoneridge Country Club in Great Bend to pursue his passion of being an excellent PGA club professional.
During his professional career, Gotsche qualified nine times for the U.S. Open, competed in the U.S. Senior Open, has won over 70 mini-tour tournaments throughout the country and holds many course records, many of which still stand today including a 56 (-15) at The Club at Stoneridge.
Once his touring days were limited, Gotsche returned to his Barton County Community College roots where he coached the men’s golf team for nine more years and has since taught thousands of golf lessons to juniors, individuals, touring professionals and groups for many years. After being named the Head PGA professional at Stoneridge he continued to own his Golf Pro Shop, hosted tournaments, and taught lessons.
To promote the game he loved and learned so much from, he then begin to branch out by doing 16 “Golfing with Gotsche” informational videos and doing a weekly show with a local radio station to enhance his business and to help educate the public on tour life and golf in general. In May of 2014, Gotsche accepted the Head PGA Golf Professional position at Colbert Hills Golf Course in Manhattan where he is currently employed and directing those same duties.
Gotsche has been married for 35 years to Linda (Wilson), a native of Macksville. Linda has been teaching elementary students for over 36 years, with 30 years of service in the Great Bend school district. They have two sons, Adam and Ryan, both GBHS graduates now living in Kansas City and Oklahoma City, respectively. Adam and his wife Kelsey are the parents of toddler Collins Gotsche.
During his spare time, Steve enjoys bass fishing, reading fiction mystery and studying the unique Kansas weather.