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Cattaraugus-Little Valley Icon Senn Steps Away With Too Many Fond Memories To Mention

It was way back in 1966 when Chuck Senn began his high school coaching career for the Cattaraugus High School Big Red. It’s now the Cattaraugus-Little Valley Timberwolves – and the iconic coach has been there every step of the way.

He’ll still be there – but now as a spectator and volunteer as the legendary Senn has retired from coaching after more than five decades of success.

“I have a lot of experiences in my career that I could talk about forever,” Senn said last week. “I’ll remember a lot of great things in the 53-year span. When you coach that long, a lot of great things happen and I don’t want to single out any particular one.”

Senn has been forced away from coaching the C-V baseball program after 46 years as the head coach because of health reasons. After more than four decades – and more than 600 victories – he still has the mind to match wits with anyone around, but his body simply won’t allow him to coach at the level he demands of himself.

“If I was healthy, I would still be coaching,” he said. “The bad weather affects me too much. I can’t run my team, I can’t be the boss, I can’t do this … and I can’t coach that way. I have to run my show. So I step out.”

Senn coached it all in Cattaraugus County – varsity and junior varsity football, varsity and JV soccer, JV and modified basketball … but his mark was made on the baseball diamond and a 46-year run that earned him a Western New York Baseball Hall of Fame induction in 2017.

According to The Salamanca Press, Senn posted a varsity baseball record of 604-340-5, ranking third all-time in wins in Western New York behind current Williamsville East coach Jerry Gasz and Orchard Park great Bob Barrows.

It was on a field named for Barrows as OP that Senn enjoyed his final hurrah. He coached in the first Chuck Senn Senior All-Star Game, featuring the top graduating seniors from around Western New York. He joined Depew’s Dennis Crawley and West Seneca West’s Jeff Helmbrecht on the coaching staff of the squad dubbed Team Coach Chuck Senn Sr., by event organizer Tom Prince. The team lost 13-11 to Team Chuck Senn Jr., led by his son and current Orchard Park head coach.

“It was awesome,” Senn Sr. said. “I cared about getting beat by him, that’s for sure. But it was awesome. He played for me, we had some fabulous teams. We were on quite a run for 40 years but the last few seasons have been kind of dry for us.

“When you coach out in the country where, baseball isn’t quite as big out there as it is here … it’s great to get recognized in a game like this.”

Senn won’t be going very far. He still plans to see the Timberwolves play next season – and also expects to be around Orchard Park and his son as well.

“I’ll be a fan,” Senn Sr. said. “I might help with our (C-V) team when I’m available and I might help with his (OP) team when I’m available. I’m going to be around. I’m not disappearing. I just won’t have the responsibilities.”

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