Richmond High School’s coaching staff is coming together.
Two varsity coaches were approved during Wednesday night’s school board meeting: Brian Turner for swimming and Matt Haynes for boys soccer.
Tyler Lairson has accepted the baseball coaching position and is expected to be appointed at a future meeting.
Haynes is a Northeastern graduate, and RHS graduate Tommy Brown will serve as his assistant.
“Matt brings experience with youth level stuff and has been in programs, has a wide range of experiences and we’re really excited,” athletic director Chad Bolser said. “He’s going to be a teacher here at Richmond High School and we’re going to be in the building. … We think that the combination of those two (Haynes and Brown) is going to be a really nice thing.”
RHS and Earlham College graduate Sam Byrd stepped down in February after leading the Red Devils to four straight sectional titles and an NCC crown last fall.
The Red Devils finished 14-5-2 overall and advanced to the regional in Columbus before falling 1-0 to state-ranked Columbus North.
Turner is a Franklin Central graduate who has been a coach in Florida for five seasons.
“(Turner was) trying to make a move back to the Midwest and back to his home state and it just so happened that he was a perfect match in terms of his experience level,” Bolser said. ” … He is also going to be a new teacher here in the building, so we couldn’t be happier with that.”
Jennifer Ahaus led the RHS swimmers for nine years, guiding the girls to seven NCC titles and four sectionals, while helping the boys to four NCCs and five sectionals.
Turner said he is excited about the move to Richmond.
“I’m looking forward to it,” he said. “There’s a lot of talent at Richmond and a lot of history. It’s kind of unbelievable how many state championships, sectionals, regionals they have. I have big shoes to fill.”
Lairson is a 2004 Richmond graduate who played at Southern Illinois University and later for the Southern Illinois Miners of the Frontier League.
He has coached the Richmond RiverRats of the Prospect League since the team’s first year in 2009.
“There’s no question that with his experience level and his influences throughout the game and the collegiate, the professional — all those things that he’s been involved with lends itself to a real positive direction for this program,” Bolser said. “I think he’s going to hit the ground running and this thing’s going to be up and running pretty quick.”
Richmond baseball has won 29 total sectional championships, including a four-year run from 2001-2004. Richmond also has won 12 regional titles and four semistate crowns.
Lairson is expected to replace Josh Amyx, who stepped down in June after five years. Amyx guided the Red Devils to a sectional title in 2011 and a 16-12 record this past spring as they contended for the top spot in the North Central Conference.
“I’m thrilled,” Lairson said. “I’m really excited that I get to come back to my old high school and be back to my own home town, offer something to the kids and take them to the next level. I’m very grateful for the opportunity.”
Lairson was unsure of his role with the RiverRats beyond this summer, but he does hope to be involved in some capacity.
“I’ll be with the ‘Rats as long as they’re going to be here,” he said. “I’ve been with the ‘Rats since their first year. It’s something that I love being around those guys and helping those guys make it to the pros.”