Gerry Gentner

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“Just Show Up” was his motto. Gerry Gentner encouraged his athletes to “just show up”, and if they did, good things will happen. Good things did happen to the Williamsville South softball program once Gerry Gentner “showed up” in 1997.

Gentner started out as a physical education teacher at Hamburg High School in 1966 before leaving the teaching profession for a career as a financial planner at L&M Financial Services in 1970. In 1968 he coached the boys’ varsity soccer team to an 18-0 record, allowing only one goal, en route to a regular season and a Section VI title.

After his years at Hamburg, Gentner was involved in Amherst Girls Softball for 16 years as a volunteer, coach, and board member.

In 1997, he came back to the high school coaching ranks, this time with Williamsville South as the girls’ varsity softball coach. Gentner would stay there until 2011, amassing an incredible record of 259-65. During that time, the Billies were league champions in 12 out of the 14 seasons he coached, 8-time Section VI champions, and won state titles in 2000, 2004, and 2006 with Gentner being named Coach of the Year all three years. In 2000 his Billies went 20-0 and in 2004, 28-0. From 2003 to 2008 he led Williamsville South to an incredible 59-game league winning streak. Williamsville South also established a state record by winning 46 consecutive games, that ended in the 2005 state championship game.

His coaching was not only reserved for the Billies as he held Saturday pitching clinics all over Western New York for anyone who wanted to attend, including Williamsville South’s competition.

Along with coaching his daughters Julie and Laura, Gerry Gentner also coached 14 All-WNY players including three-time honoree Michelle Fridey, Canadian Olympian Caitlin Lever, and 2006-07 Gatorade New York State Player of the Year, Chelsea Plimpton.

Gentner is a member of the New York State High School Softball, Amherst Avenue of Athletes, Hamburg High School, Section VI, and Western New York Softball Halls of Fame.

Gerry Gentner is remembered throughout Western New York in multiple ways. “Just Show Up” was spray painted behind home plate at a remembrance in his honor. A golf tournament in 2018, with funds going to Roswell Park, was established in his memory along with an annual scholarship he established for senior softball players at Williamsville South. In addition, the press box at Cortland State is named in his honor.

Gerry passed away in January of 2012 as a result of abdominal cancer.