Koester began coming to games in December 2006.
“It first started with soccer, volleyball, basketball, and then softball. I try to get to as many baseball games as I can,” Koester said. “I like to attend the games, because I’ve never been around teams that have won steadily before. The big idea is winning here at Lee.”
Koester has supported the Lee University athletic teams year-round, and in nearly every game he attends fans can see him wearing his famous cowboy hat.
“I have several hats, but the one I used to wear was a hard hat in case of the rain,” Koester said with a chuckle. “People know me from my hat, but they don’t know me exactly.”
Koester rarely misses a game and it seems that the coaches appreciate his constant support.
“Mr. Koester was always a consistent fan and went the extra mile to make clothing to show he supported the team,” Lady Flames volleyball Head Coach Andrea Hudson said. “The volleyball team’s fan support always has its ups and downs, but Mr. Koester was always there for our team.”
Koester is very familiar with Lee University and was here when it first became a college in 1947. He attended the Bible Training School in Sevierville which was later moved to Cleveland, changing its name to Lee College. He is currently an Encore student, studying Spanish a couple of times a week.
“He began the program in its inaugural semester, fall 1997,” said Merica Stum, director of the Annual Alumni Fund said. “He is a U.S. veteran and is exactly the type of person we envisioned when we launched the Encore program. I look forward to seeing him each semester because his joy is simply contagious.”
Koester moved away from Cleveland to later receive his master’s degree in secondary education at the University of Illinois.
“I came back to Cleveland in 2001, because I love it and the cold in Illinois was getting too cold for my family and me,” Koester said. “I don’t know of anything I love so much as I love Lee.”