The 2005-06 varsity baseball season was John Hatfield’s 13th and last as head baseball coach at Glen Este High School.
A 1980 graduate of Glen Este High, he moved up fast to become the head man of the Trojans’ diamond program. He served for one season under his head coach at GE, Paul Campbell, before taking over as the head honcho.
“I really liked playing for Paul. You knew exactly where you stood with him and when he left to go to Anderson it was neat coming back to coach here.”
It has been a successful career for Hatfield who won 60-percent of his games as head coach. His very respectable overall varsity record was 219 victories and 151 losses.
“I have really enjoyed it. I had a great time,” he said. “This is the best coaching job you can get in West Clermont (School District). We had a lot of good baseball players. I am very lucky to have had so many. They have been great. We had a great time together.
“I was with and worked with a lot of good people, friends, coaches, and community. And the coaches were especially good friends. I will miss being in that fraternity. Zach (Taylor), Gary (Denton), and me spent a lot of time at that school. Zach and Gary are the hardest working coaches I’ve ever known.
“My wife (Mindy) was very understanding of all the time I took and spent working on baseball.”
Hatfield, an Eastern Hills League all-star, is pleased and proud that he is leaving the baseball program in good condition.
“I was having fun. There are no messes to clean up and a lot of nice players coming up through the program. There will be five returning lettermen. I’m glad to leave a good facility and good equipment.”
The current baseball field was opened for play beginning Hatfield’s senior year.
“We built a heck of a field,” he said. He credited the hard work and assistance of coaches Paul McDonald, Butch Hammack, Greg Kasten, and Rick Hines.
Hatfield’s final edition was 14-12 overall and 8-6 in the Fort Ancient Valley Conference Buckeye (FAVC-B) Division. He had three conference all-stars – shortstop/pitcher Steve Adams and pitchers Josh Godfrey and Jarred Jones.
Hatfield led the Purple and White to one FAVC-B championship and four crowns in the Queen City Conference. His teams made three appearances in the Division I district tournament and one in the regional.
He is very proud of his alma mater’s diamond distinction.
“We haven’t had a losing season since ’78 and we always play tough schedules. We play a lot of (Greater Catholic League) and (Greater Miami Conference) teams.”
The new head coach will be Mike Hatfield, no relation. He was the successful head baseball coach at Turpin last season. He becomes one of five Amelia High School graduates serving as head coach of six Glen Este varsity teams (the others – football, boys soccer, girls soccer, girls tennis, and girls basketball).
“Mike Hatfield is going to do a great job.
“(Glen Este High School athletic director) Dan Simmons was always a help. It was very good of him to let me help in the selection of my successor. Mike is a good friend and is already in place on the faculty teaching in the middle school.
“I knew I was getting close to making the decision (to resign) last year. I had pretty much decided to do it sometime soon back in 2002 or 2003. When looking back on it all, I’d like people to think that I took care of something special in the Glen Este community and that I kept things going and never backed down from anybody.
“I’ll still be teaching American History, but now I will be able to go to a lot of good high school baseball games around the whole area.”