ALTON - The Waldo family has always had a love of sports. Mike Waldo, the famed former Edwardsville coach, started the trend.
Many probably don’t know this, but Mike coached Sam and Adam Waldo when they played T-Ball through ninth grade for the Bethalto Boys & Girls Club in the 1990s. He also was an assistant baseball coach for many years at Edwardsville High School, along with serving as head boys' basketball coach.
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Diane Waldo submitted some information with photos and said now 30 years later it is time for the next generation of Waldo coaches and athletes to take shape.
“Sam Waldo’s daughter, Ryn and Adam’s daughter, Tilly, are playing T-Ball at Gordon Moore Park,” Diane said. “Sam and Adam remember the coaching nuggets taught to them by their father, starting when they were 5 years old. Now that the girls are 5, it’s Sam and Adam’s turn to follow in their footsteps. They are following in their father’s tradition of coaching their own children.”
Coach Mike Waldo credited the key to his success as a coach to his wife, Diane, in a previous riverbender.com interview after his 600th career basketball coaching win in 2016. He was coaching the likes of A.J. Epenesa, Mark Smith and Oliver Stephen at this time. Mike Waldo closed his high school basketball coaching career with a 727-266 record, 21 regional titles, seven sectional titles and 10 Southwestern Conference championships. He also coached at Marquette for five seasons and won 81 games. He had four 30-win seasons and 21 20-game win seasons at the command of the Edwardsville boys squad.
“My wife, Diane, always took care of everything at home and was a great mother, wife and a very strong person," Coach Mike Waldo said in a 2016 interview. "I think me being able to coach for a long time goes to her. She never, ever, made me feel guilty about being gone. I think the fact that we have a great situation is that she has allowed me to do what I had to do.”
Diane still supports Mike. She remembers Mike coaching at the Catholic Children’s Home where she was a teacher. Now, he is in the twilight of his career and is a special assistant to the head men’s basketball coach with Southern Illinois University-Edwardsville. Waldo started the position in July 2021.
Diane is extremely proud of her boys and their children.
“They love working with the kids,” she said. “Adam has been a substitute teacher for quite a few years and Sam helps out with youth at church, too.”
Meanwhile, Mike Waldo is still making a difference in young lives in his assistant coaching position at SIUE.
Mike leads an academic group for some of the SIUE men’s players in addition to his assistant coaching responsibilities.
Diane said Mike still loves what he does with youth.
“You know you have done a good job when 20 years later, kids still stay in touch with him,” she said. “He made such a difference in many lives.”
When Diane Waldo snaps the photos shown here, it likely brings back vivid memories of when her own children were out on the field with their dad.
Mike Waldo was and still is a father figure to his players at SIUE and was always the best as a father to his own children, Diane said.
It is certain Diane and Mike's boys will continue their father’s example and develop future athletes in their own right.
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