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Softball coach enjoys helping local athletes
by Aaron Retherford
Apr 10, 2013 | 2660 views | 0 0 comments | 6 6 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Tribune file photo -- Sparks resident and Reed softball coach Jon Wunder hits some ground balls to his squad during in preparation for last May's state tournament. Wunder moved to the Rail City in 2004 and is in his third season heading up the RHS softball program.
Tribune file photo -- Sparks resident and Reed softball coach Jon Wunder hits some ground balls to his squad during in preparation for last May's state tournament. Wunder moved to the Rail City in 2004 and is in his third season heading up the RHS softball program.
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Jon Wunder grew up in northwest Reno, but moved to the Rail City in 2004 as an adult. While he’s most known in Sparks as the Reed High varsity softball coach, Wunder’s day job is as a risk-management consultant for an insurance company, a job he has been doing for 12 years.

“I work with different businesses everyday, sometimes two or three businesses each day,” Wunder said. “I get to see different industries from manufacturing to construction to school districts to hotel/casinos. I’m always meeting new people. I work from home and it gives me the flexibility to coach softball.”

Wunder has been coaching softball for the last 13 years. His daughter, Tia, graduated from Reed in 2009 and currently works at a ski resort up at Lake Tahoe. During her playing days with the Blue and Gold, Wunder was an assistant under longtime coach Ray Charles.

For the past three seasons, Wunder has continued the tradition of excellence at the east Sparks school as the head coach, qualifying for state last year. Reed reached the regional championship game for the second straight season under Wunder.

Wunder said he enjoys meeting new athletes each year and learning more about them. He also likes helping them become better people and possibly aid in their quest to play collegiate softball.

It hasn’t been hard helping his Raiders become better people. He says they are already top-notch girls. Plus, the staff around Wunder makes coaching at Reed High very enjoyable.

“What I really enjoy is that I have a great support staff with Curtis. He’s been there for 14 years,” Wunder said. “I’ve coached with Todd Cohen who is another assistant. His daughter, Chelsea, and my daughter, Tia, grew up together, so we’ve coached together on and off for probably the past 10 years.

“We work well together as a team and we all support each other. I may wear the hat of the head coach, but we’re all in it pretty equally. We have a very supportive athletic director and principal. Overall, we always have good kids, not just good softball players. We don’t have to worry about their grades or them getting in trouble outside of softball.”

Wunder used to coach summer travel ball, anywhere from 10-U to 18 Gold squads. That has allowed him to work with a lot of the area’s best softball talent and is something he truly appreciates looking back at his time coaching.

“It’s exciting when you’ve been coaching this many years. I can rattle off a whole list of girls at UNR who I’ve coached from Megan Fincher, Sara Parsons, Karley Hopkins and Karlyn Jones,” Wunder said. “So it’s exciting to see these kids you’ve worked with on and off over the years reach that level. You’d like to think at some point, you had a little bit of influence in that.”

Now that Wunder is not coaching summer ball, he likes to play the occasional round of golf and go camping. He still watches a lot of softball, and attends UNR sports as well as Reno Aces and San Francisco Giants games.
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