The Central baseball team’s season ended Tuesday with a close play at the plate in a sectional championship game against Delta. For Bearcats coach Rob Fisher, that marked the end of his tenure.
Fisher told his players after the game he is resigning from his position. He spent five years as the Bearcats’ head coach after 12 years as an assistant in the program.
Fisher resigned from the position once before, but his planned successor was later unable to accept the job, and Fisher returned for another two years.
This time, Fisher assured his resignation will stick. He recently became a grandfather for the first time and said his departure will allow him to spend more time with his family and young granddaughter. He said he will look back fondly on his tenure as the Bearcats’ coach.
“It’s been a huge part of my life and I’m going to miss it terribly,” he said. “But for me, it’s the kids and the relationships I’ve developed with all these guys over the years. I still hear from them. I heard from a bunch of them this week. I’ve heard from several of them today actually. That’s what it’s meant to me.”
Fisher said he’s optimistic his successor will inherit a program with a pipeline of younger players in the system. The Bearcats have sometimes struggled with numbers in recent years, but Fisher said he expects larger classes in upcoming years.
“The numbers are good,” he said. “I just think more kids need to buy in to the fact that it’s the offseason stuff that makes them better. It’s just not from April until the end of June. But I think for the most part, there’s some good kids coming.”
Central athletic director Chip Mehaffey said the Bearcats’ assistant coaches will assume control of the squad’s offseason program until Fisher’s successor is appointed.
Mehaffey didn’t have a specific timetable in mind for hiring that next coach, but hopes to take his time to make sure he hires the right candidate.
“The best way you can evaluate a coach is to hear what his players think of him,” Mehaffey said. “And I know that Rob’s players think the world of him, and they’ve all been a lot of fun, to watch them compete and play for Coach.
“(Tuesday) night was a devastating loss, but at the same time, it was neat for me to see how much our players cared about the game, and about each other, and about their coach. And I think that’s a strong testament to the job that he’s done.”