EAST ST. LOUIS — East St. Louis native Richard "RJ" Krause believes in doing the right things in life, helping others and doing what he can to make life better for those around him.
And for nearly all of his adult life, the 62-year-old Krause and his brother, Russell, have done all they can to help the youth of the metro- east -- and, more specifically those in East St. Louis, Washington Park and Centreville -- become good citizens.
"My parents always believed in the Golden rule -- treat others as you would want them to treat you. It's just a very simple thing to do when you think about it,'' RJ Krause said. "Through my involvement with kids as a coach in many sports over the years, we've done our best to make a positive influence in their lives.''
The Krause brothers were honored for their positive influence and for their contributions to basketball recently when they were inducted as Friends of Basketball into the Illinois Basketball Coaches Association Hall of Fame on April 27 at Illinois State University in Normal.
"It's a tremendous honor for both Russell and myself,'' Krause said. "Coach (Robert) Mason from Dupo, nominated me. Then I had to drive 200 miles to get the application in on time. It was a great gesture, and next year I plan to nominate him.''
RJ Krause has been a coach for 49 years and both Krause brothers were IHSA officials for more than 30 years. RJ Krause has coached more then 6,200 games in sports such as basketball, softball, track and field, football, tennis and cheerleading everywhere from St. Phillip Catholic School to East St. Louis High to Nelson Mandela Elementary.
RJ Krause said estimated last week that he has coached more than 5,000 young people in the metro-east, including NFL tight end Kellen Winslow Sr. and former Major League baseball player Homer Bush.
He also coached Jim Stiebel, former Althoff standout and current Mater Dei head football coach; Erika McCaster, the all-time points leader for Belleville West girls basketball; and Rodney Cameron, former East St. Louis High quarterback.
"I've been very fortunate to have worked with and coached a lot of fine athletes who grew into solid, productive citizens,'' Krause said. "We've also had a lot of help from good, caring people who just want to help kids."
RJ Krause also coaches and runs the RJ Krause All-Star Sports Club on North 71st Street in East St. Louis.
Since its beginning in 1979, Krause's All-Stars have attended more than 250 St. Louis Cardinals games and 138 University of Missouri football games, and have made 30 trips to Six Flags.
But the All-Stars are far more than making trips to games and playing sports.
"We take the kids on educational and recreational field trips and we also stress the importance of getting a good education,'' Krause said. "We stress saying no to drugs, and staying away from gangs, violence and vandalism. We stress helping the elderly and those with special needs.
"We teach the kids about good sportsmanship and just to follow the golden rule.''
Russell Krause is a longtime coach of All-Stars teams, and took on more coaching duties to keep the program going after his brother was seriously injured in a fall at a track meet in 2005.
Donations to the RJ Krause All-Stars Sports Club can be made by calling 618-398-1201.
2013 IBCA Hall of Fame inductees
Michelle Hasheider-Burianek -- The All-State guard led the Okawville Rockets to the 1994 Class A state championship, and scored an school record 2,660 as a four-year starter. Hasheider went on to play at the University of Colorado and now is the girls varsity basketball coach at Okawville.
Ken Wildhaber, of Highland.
Dave Collins, longtime metro-east official from Bethalto.
Longtime Centralia sportswriter Randy List in the media category.
Two of Edwardsville High girls basketball coach Lori Blade's former teams -- the 2001 and 2002 Carrollton High state championship squads
Inducted as Friends of Basketball: Joe Bates, Harvey Cloyd Sr., Bobby Cole, Sr., R.J. Krause, Russell Krause and Don Stovall, all of East St. Louis, and Granite City's Dan Manoyan, who wrote "Men of Granite," a book about Granite City High School's 1940 state basketball championship.