WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) — Some co-workers call him the ‘hero’ of the ballclub, while others identify him by his red shoes and football-loving attitude. Nonetheless, Jacob Koch is well known around Riverfront Stadium.
“Anytime someone asks me what I do, I just say everything,” laughed Koch.
Koch is the corporate sales and services coordinator for the Wichita Wind Surge. It’s a long title with an even longer list of duties. On game days, Koch arrives hours before the first pitch and stays long after the final play.
“We have six-game homestands, so for example, yesterday we were here at 9 a.m., I believe. I didn’t get out of here until about 10 p.m., and then we were here at 8 a.m. today,” he explained.
Beyond making sure corporate sponsorship deals are good to go, Koch helps the groundskeeper, the front office employees, the fan hosts, and really anyone on the Wind Surge crew who may need an extra hand.
“There is very rarely something that I haven’t done in the stadium yet,” he said. “There’s always someone that needs help, and I can help, so that’s what drives me forward.”
Koch’s path to the baseball diamond was not quite a home run. He started his college career at Friends University, where he played football for a year. After the University dropped its education program, he transferred to Kansas State.
“Finished there, got a full-time gig coaching football and teaching at Council Grove High School teaching chemistry,” he explained.
Koch soon realized the teaching gig wasn’t for him. That’s when he decided to get his Master’s in Sports Management from Wichita State.
“Part of their program is you have got to do an internship, and they were offering internships here with the Wind Surge,” Koch said.
That 2021 internship soon turned into a full-time job.
“Opening day was basically my first day, and then after that, they just never told me to leave,” Koch laughed.
“(Koch) Did everything at the ballpark. He ended up being our main operations guy. Oversaw ushers, ticket takers, made sure if a garbage can was filled, would get it taken care of, helped fans if they were hit by a foul ball or needed anything extra. Always went the extra mile,” said Wind Surge Director of Broadcasting and Team Travel Tim Grubbs.
One of Koch’s co-workers was so impressed with his work ethic she made him the star of her book detailing the Wind Surge’s inaugural season.
“He inspired me with the hero of the book because I saw that he had a hero’s journey to take from where he started to where we were going to end up at the end of the season,” said Cindy Amos. “We are like his fan club, all of the staff, the game day staff, we are standing up cheering in the background because we really bonded with Jacob, and we wanted him to hang around.”
While Koch always dreamt of working on a football field, he told KSN the baseball diamond isn’t so bad. He’s proud to wear the Wind Surge logo and looks forward to what’s to come.
“Just wanting to help people. Like I said, that is just something I found. I really honed in on that. I like doing it, and so that is something I am able to do every day, whether that is during a game where we have all the fans or on an off day up in the office,” he said.