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

New baseball coach ready for challenge

By By Paul [email protected]

The new varsity baseball coach at Hauser Sr. High School is ready to pick up where his predecessor left off.

Nate Long, who had been the junior varsity head coach and an assistant in the varsity program, was promoted to the varsity head coaching position shortly after longtime Coach Jerry Schoen stepped down last month.

Long beat out fewer than 10 other applicants, an accomplishment that Principal J.P. Mayer credited to the 30-year-old Hauser graduate's familiarity with Jets baseball, his relationship with the players and the vision of success he shared with Schoen.

By choosing Long, the Jets don't have to start over, Mayer said. They just need to play the kind of baseball that was already expected of them, with a coach they already know who cares about them and challenges them to succeed in life as well as sports.

"He filled the bill on every level," Mayer said. "He's a real down to earth guy who loves baseball through and through."

That love runs just as deeply for Hauser in general.

Long played Jets baseball for a number of years under Schoen, highlighted by a Semi-State win in 2004. He graduated from Hauser that same year and became a pitcher at the college level, making him one of 15 or 16 Schoen players over 20 years to make the leap from high school to college baseball. He ultimately rejoined the Hauser program in a coaching capacity. During the last five years he has headed the school's junior varsity program and assisted Schoen at the varsity level.

Long said he will do his best to fill Schoen's shoes -- if such a thing is even possible. Other than the Semi-State victory, Schoen also led his teams to three Regional titles.

Brian Rose, president of the Flat Rock-Hawcreek School Board, called Schoen "one of a kind" the day the board accepted the longtime coach's resignation. He said Schoen had done a fantastic job teaching players about life and instilling in them a sense of pride.

It is that philosophy that motivates Long.

"I like to see a player's progress from start to finish," he said. "Not everyone is going to be a top-tier athlete. You just try to reach them so they become better people on and off the field."

His baseball family aside, Long does have a family of his own. He and his wife of six years, Stephanie, have two daughters: Emma Sue, 4, and Addison, 6 months.

He hopes to inspire them as well.[[In-content Ad]]