April 4, 2018 at 5:30 p.m.

Long-time Hauser coach stepping away

By By Paul [email protected]

For Coach Jerry Schoen, the timing to step aside was perfect.

Twenty years had passed since the now 48-year-old started coaching Hauser Jets baseball. His baseball player son, Jared, had just graduated with the Class of 2016 and was ready to play at Franklin College.

It was an ideal time for Schoen to let someone else have a go of it. And that's exactly what happened on Tuesday, when board members ruefully accepted his resignation during their regular school board meeting.

As a tongue-in-cheek gesture of support, board member Andrew Hunnicutt was the only member to vote against the resignation, knowing well that an era was coming to an end and that his "nay" vote didn't matter.

Board President Brian Rose, who has had two sons play under the coach, called Schoen "one of a kind." He said Schoen has done a fantastic job teaching players about life and instilling in them a sense of pride.

Schoen, a star player at Cincinnati Western Hills High School who went on to a two-year tour in the minor leagues, began his coaching life at Hauser when he took charge of its Junior Varsity program in the mid 1990s, the Hauser Jets Facebook page says. Two years later, he became head coach for the varsity program and ultimately lead his teams to three Regional titles and a Semi-State victory.

His last game as coach was on May 30, when his team lost in the sectionals.

Schoen refused to take full credit for his teams' accomplishments, or that 15 or 16 of his players have gone on to play in college. He said success happened only because of a collaboration among volunteers, coaches, supporters and players who reached high. He gave credit to the Hope Summer Playground, which, because of the magic generated on its own fields, has fed a steady supply of talent to the Hauser program.

But the journey to success has been even more rewarding than the success itself.

"I always liked the practices, and those are some of what I'll miss," Schoen said. "For me it's the most gratifying to see a player improve from Point A to Point B, because he has that drive to get better."

Schoen said he has seen players who could barely throw a ball 90 feet improve to throwing 130 feet.

However, the coach is not ready to give up that thrill. He will continue to mold young minds and bodies as a physical education teacher at Hauser, he said, and he will continue to support the school's baseball program by making himself available. After all, he said the new coach -- whoever that may be -- is bound to have questions that only someone of Schoen's experience is qualified to answer.

"It's time for a new face and a new voice," Schoen said.

Hauser Athletic Director Dave Irvine could not immediately be reached to comment about Schoen's departure, or about the search for his replacement.[[In-content Ad]]