The end of a high school sports season usually means a time of transition and change. Sometimes that change is that of a coach or coaches leaving their post, whether it be by their choosing or the school’s.
In Archbold, it was announced earlier this week that long time softball coach Joe Frank was stepping down from his position that he held for 15 seasons.
Taking over ahead of the 2002 campaign, Frank compiled a 334-86 record that included a pair of trips to the state tournament in 2004 and 2010. The Blue Streaks also had some nice runs recently under the veteran skipper, reaching the Division III Regional Final in each of the last two seasons. Most recently they dropped a 2-1 decision to Milan Edison in the regional final at Bellefontaine on May 28.
The Streaks endured a bevy of success in the NWOAL under Frank’s watch as well. Archbold won a total of 12 league softball crowns under Frank, including 11 straight from 2006-16.
As for a reason to walking away now, the coach, who also serves as a varsity assistant boys basketball coach at Archbold, simply felt that he could not continue to serve the girls of the softball program to the best of his ability.
“The key issue was me not having the energy and passion to continue coaching softball,” explained Frank. “I was, at times, going to basketball practice and then softball practice 3-4 hours after teaching. I didn’t have the energy and motivation to do that and that is basically it. This program and the girls deserve to have the very best a coach has to offer and I did not feel I could do that any longer.”
However, despite the departure, he now has dozens of memories to reflect on from many years worth of success.
“My 15 years as head coach of the softball program meant so much to me,” he said. “I was blessed with so many good people to work with, including players, as well as assistant coaches. It really didn’t feel like a job it was so much fun! I will certainly miss the relationships with the kids, assistant coaches, and the competition with other schools.”
It was an experience that the coach will not soon forget. Furthermore, the mark he left on the program will be difficult to replace.
“In the end, I can look back on the 15 years and say it was a blast and I learned as much, if not more, from the kids than they learned from me,” said Frank.
While Frank’s presence will undoubtedly be hard to replace, with him stepping down at this time, it gives Archbold Athletic Director Allan Gladieux and others involved in the hiring process all summer to pick the right person for the job.
Max Householder can be reached at 419-335-2010
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