Assistant coaches feature


Logan Connor, Feature Editor

When fans and parents watch events, they are not thinking about the assistant coaches. Players and head coaches are interviewed and asked their opinions after every game, but assistant coaches are nearly forgotten every time. 

The work assistant coaches do behind the scenes go unheard often by the outside world. But to many players and other coaches, they are appreciated more than anyone else on the team. 

“Someone that helped me the most this offseason has been Coach Morris,” sophomore Mavrick Pauley, infielder, said. “He does a lot from hitting to fielding and has a lot of knowledge to share with us.”

For the baseball team, Coach Connor Morris, more commonly known as “C-Mo,” Coach Jon Bowen and Coach Lance Patterson all support and spread their knowledge of the game to the players.

“C-Mo and Bowen both know it first hand,” Pauley said. “They played here and went on to have college careers, too. They know a lot about the recruiting process and help us that way. L.P. (Coach Patterson) has been around the game basically forever so he has a lot of connections and even more knowledge to share.”

Having assistant coaches who have been through the similar experiences as their players allows for connections and bonds to form through the sport. Having experience at GHS helps players get through not only athletics but school, too.

“They are really huge on academics,” senior Noah Rollings, infielder, said. “Since C-Mo and Bowen went here, they can guide us through the school part, too. Last spring and into the summer, I talked a lot with them about classes to take and what they enjoyed to do. Having them be closer to our age lets us really bond with them.”

Along with boys baseball, girls softball also has similar coaching staffs assuming similar roles. But unlike the baseball team, there is no JV team allowing for coaches to focus more on just one squad.

“Having no JV team has its benefits and disadvantages,” junior Courtney Hankenhoff, pitcher, said. “Since we don’t have a JV, there isn’t a lower team for us to develop on. But now we have all three of our coaches available to help all 14 of us at all times. It makes practice easier for coaches to focus on smaller groups rather than just one coach over the whole group.”

Perhaps the team with the most assistant coaches is the football team. From the JV to varsity teams, there are nearly 15 coaches. From coordinators to film and video specialists, everyone has a role.

“All the coaches are there for a reason,” senior Ethan Pringle, wideout said. “It sounds dumb, but really every single coach has a role, and they’re important in all of them. Coach Ruppert is responsible for our film and cutting up game video, and without him, we wouldn’t have highlights, film study for ourselves and other teams and we wouldn’t really know what exactly we need to do at practice. It’s a small role but an important one.”

Assistant coaches can often fill roles of moderator between upset coaches and players who have made a mistake. When players have mishaps during games and their head coaches are too mad to communicate with them, assistant coaches can come in to explain and overcome the situations.

“C-Mo really does a good job of explaining why our other coaches are upset with us,” Pauley said. “If I have a screw up and Bass is upset with me, it can sometimes be easier for myself and for him to just talk to another coach. Emotions get high during games, and having someone from the outside is good on the field and off the field.”

Maybe the most important job for assistant coaches and head coaches is serving as role models. Athletes who come into their sports with bad home lives become connected to father figures on the field in their coaches.

“I know some guys who came in and they didn’t really have someone to look up to,” Rollings said. “It’s hard not having a father figure in your life, and people who don’t have that can find theirs in our coaches. We’re really blessed here at GHS to have these men who model for us how to be a man and a respectful person. Coach Bass always says his job is to win baseball games but more importantly to shape respectful young men. They do that through the relationships and bonds they make with us.”