Gus Henscher’s obituary (1926 – 2022) – Amarillo, Texas

Guss Hrncir spent 35 years of his life dedicated to teaching and coaching high school baseball and soccer, but he will forever be remembered for so much more. At the age of 95, Gustav “Gus” Vince Henscher died peacefully at his home in Amarillo on the morning of March 16, 2022, with his beloved wife, Vineta by his side.

Goose is survived by his wife Vineta Henscher, Amarillo, Texas, sister Emily “Mickey” Sebesta, Rosenberg, Texas, daughter Deborah Walker and husband Stephen Walker, Palm Desert, California, son Jim Henscher and his wife Jan Henscher, Irving, Texas, daughter Sherry Gibson and husband Rob Gibson , Farmers Branch, Texas, son of Pat Henscher and wife Carla Henscher, Dallas, Texas, son of Clay Gibson and April Mackie, Amarillo, Texas, and grandchildren Jack Walker, Channing Lugrid, Taylor Henscher, Justin Gibson, Charlie Gibson, Cameron Gibson, Ciara Gibson, Forrest Gibson, Hayden Hensher, Jack Hensher, and Bobby Hensher. Additionally, Joy Lacy has been Guss’ loving sister-in-law for over 50 years.

Death was preceded by his father John Paul Henscher, his mother Emilia Seppa Henscher, Sister Margaret Humbula, Sister Anita Jakobeck, Brother Leo Hernscher, Brother Otto Hernscher, Sister Janie Jakobeck, Brother Helmer Hernscher and Edwin Hernscher.

Arrangements are made by funeral directors Boxwell Brothers, Amarillo, Texas. The Hrncir family will host a visit on Tuesday, March 22 from 5:00-7:00 p.m. at Boxwell Brothers Funeral Director, 2800 Paramount Blvd. , Amarillo, TX. Joss’ funeral will take place on Wednesday, March 23, at 2:00 p.m. at the Boxwell Brothers Ivy Chapel with Father John Valdez of St. Thomas the Apostle Catholic Church, followed by a referral service to the Military Graves at Lanno Cemetery, Freedom Square. For those interested in celebrating the life of Guss, the Hrncir family will host a reception at The Barfield Hotel, Autograph Collection, 600 S. Polk, Amarillo, TX beginning at 5:00 p.m.

Gus Henscher was born in Sugarland, Texas on April 26, 1926. He was the eighth of nine children with four brothers and four sisters. Gus’s grandparents were second-generation immigrants to the United States from Moravia, Austria, and his great-grandfather was among 17 children. During his last days, Joss proudly asserted that he and his family were “Bohemians,” referring to the lands of the Bohemian crown, later controlled by Austria and Czechoslovakia. Raised in Rosenberg, Texas, Jose attended Rosenberg High School and excelled in soccer, volleyball, basketball, tennis, and track. He learned to play baseball from his older brothers, a game in which he eventually made his mark in college, semi-professional, and Texas High School coaching.

After graduating from Rosenberg High School and shortly after his eighteenth birthday, Goss joined the United States Navy on July 14, 1944, following the lead of his older brothers in his county service. He served for two years in an amphibious transport group in the Pacific, transporting Marines to and from the battlefronts in Okinawa, Iwo Jima, and eventually sailing to the waters off Nagasaki Beach shortly after VJ Day. Coach Hrncir wasn’t just a history teacher, he and his brothers lived through World War II history in both Pacific and European theaters.

Discharged with honor from the Navy on June 10, 1946, Goss returned home to work in Rosenberg and soon learned that, as a US Navy veteran, he could attend college in American Soldiers Act. He attended the University of Texas and instantly became a multicultural sports star. At the request of friends and family, he tried to go out and walked the University of Texas baseball team. At first frustrated and unwise, Gus reluctantly gave up his dream of playing for the Longhorns during his sophomore year, but soon learned he missed the match and made the second attempt. During his freshman year, he had playing time and had moderate success during the 1949 Longhorns National Championships, but was deeply disappointed that coach Bibb Falk did not give him a speech.

Highly motivated Guss Hrncir is back in his freshman year and starting to hit really well, especially while playing the Southwest Conference while playing on the right court. The Longhorns won the Southwest Conference in 1950 and found themselves again in the NCAA Championship, facing the Arizona Wildcats in the District 6 playoff. The Texas were defeated by Arizona in Game One and faced elimination, and Joss came for the Longhorns in Game 2. The Arizona took Leading 8-6 in the ninth inning before the Texans held the bases down the ninth. With two wins, Guss Hrncir cut a double to the left of center to score three runs and the Longhorns won the match, 9-8. They also came from behind again in Game 3 to earn another trip to the NCAA College World Series that was first to be played in Omaha, Nebraska at what later became Rosenblatt Stadium.

Joss made his first plane trip in June 1950 to Omaha. Texans dropped the first game of the series for Rutgers, and then behind Yemeni player Hennesser, Texans won the next four games before facing Washington State in the Finals. Joss secured the final on the right field to defeat Washington State 3-0, earning Texas their second consecutive NCAA National Championship. Hrncir notched 0.522 for the series, led in 12 rounds, and today still shares the record for the most doubles achieved in a College World Series with the likes of Sal Bando, Barry Bonds and Robin Ventura.

After graduating from the University of Texas, Gus began his coaching career at Orchard High School from 51 to 53 while also playing in summer minor league baseball at Abbeville Athletics (52) and Lake Charles Lakers (53). He soon realized that his passion for coaching outweighed his desire to play professional baseball. After spending one year at East Bernard High School, Gus was hired to be a baseball coach at Lockhart High School where he collected the record 101-42 over the course of 7 years, winning six district titles and three regional championships. His success earned him an opportunity to become the head coach of Lockhart’s football but after one season, he was offered the position of head baseball and assistant football coach at Amarillo High School, by the legendary Pom Phillips in 1961, where he led Sandys for the next 18 years until his retirement from coaching. 1979. During his tenure as head coach at Amarillo High School, coach Henscher won 260 games for 186 losses, won four domestic championships and took the 1977 Sandys to the Texas State Quarterfinals.

Gus finished his 28-year high school coaching career in 1979 with 395-249 (.613), but more importantly, he won the respect and hearts of many of the singles players he coached throughout his career. Even in his later years, Gus could still remember key kicks, fouls, great defensive plays, excellent shooting performances, big wins, close losses, bad calls by players in vivid detail, and the individual players by name who made them. Coach Hrncir’s wit was colorful, bringing wit to intense and seemingly hopeless baseball situations to help players relax and play within themselves. He valued and rewarded desire and effort, whether it was a talented raw college student or a talented great hire.

During the fall, coach Hrncir easily moved onto the football field where he enjoyed working with the offensive unit and individual players in mastering technique and execution. His sophomore and JV team played hard and were well prepared for the college classes. Equal to his talents for coaching, he is considered by many AHS students as one of their favorite teachers, bringing American and world history to life and going beyond textbooks with his unique style and interaction to make learning fun. After retiring from coaching, Gus continued to teach world history at Amarillo High School for another seven years

Professionally, Gus has received numerous honors and Coach of the Year awards. The City of Lockhart has declared Coach Gus Henscher’s Day in his honor, and the new weight room and state-of-the-art training facilities at Amarillo High School bear his name thanks to the generosity and respect of one of his former favorites. In 2010, Joss was honored in the College World Championship final held at Rosenblatt Stadium along with his surviving teammates in Texas. Joss also had the privilege of being invited on a flight of honor to Washington, D.C., an adventure on which he accompanied his son Clay Gibson, a US Marine Corps veteran.

As an added bonus to coaching and teaching, Gus developed and cherished his longstanding relationships with fellow coaches, teachers and former players, many of whom he considered his close friends. Gus loved his family and always did his best to plan an adventurous and meaningful summer vacation, whether it was Wimberley in his days in Lockhart, camping and fishing trips to the mountains of New Mexico and Colorado, trips across the western United States, with stops along in Las Vegas, or annual visits To be with his parents, fun brothers and sisters, and their families in Fort Bend and Brazoria counties in South Texas. Through his love of the outdoors, Gus taught his sons and daughters how to hunt quail, fish, golf, play basketball and baseball, and thoroughly enjoyed every minute of it.

Even with age, his natural athletic talents never diminished. His excellent hand and eye coordination made playing pool or handball, throwing horseshoes or washers, shooting, or strategically dumping dry fly under a trout steam bank, easy. He could pick up an old wooden tennis racket or a rusty golf putter with little or no practice, and play and outsmart more experienced and younger competitors.

Coach Hrncir will be greatly missed but not soon forgotten. From his devout Catholic upbringing and strong Christian values, it was so important to Gus that the same love for Jesus Christ passed on to his children as is evident in the way he lived his life. Guss and Vinita’s love, devotion to one another, and goddess has kept their relationship strong and resilient through life’s storms and even recent health-related setbacks. Now Gus is with the person who created this talented athlete, a wonderful coach, teacher, husband, father, son and brother. He definitely made a comeback in the 1950’s College World Series where he will be forever until we see him again.

Posted by Boxwell Brothers Funeral Directors – Amarillo from March 19 to March 20, 2022.