After 24 years of coaching baseball and mentoring countless student/athletes at Eatonville High School, Cruiser baseball head coach Mike Moeller has decided to step down.
Moeller coached his last game this past Friday evening at home in front of a large crowd of current and former players as well as community members who showed up to honor him in his final game. The Cruisers hosted Washington and gave Moeller one final win by defeating the Patriots, 9-3.
Moeller cited a need for a break as to why he decided to step down.
"No outside factors or major issues led to this decision,” he said. “My health and family are great. Just after careful consideration and months of reflection, I just knew it was time to take a break after the summer season was over. I have had the honor to have been coaching high school baseball for 30 years, 24 years at EHS, and next year Katie and I will be celebrating our 30th anniversary. I am ready to have time to do some other things together outside of baseball for a while, without the demands and time commitment that it takes to run a quality program in this day of age."
This may not be the last time people see Moeller out on the field helping, though.
"I won't call it a retirement as who knows what the future holds as I still love the game, love the kids, love coaching, love Eatonville High School and plan to someday be back on the field again in some capacity. Also, I will still be around to help in any way needed as I plan to stay at Eatonville teaching for many years to come."
In closing, Moeller thanked the Eatonville community and said he was excited about the baseball program’s future.
"I look forward to the next chapter of Cruiser baseball and am excited about its future and will be its biggest supporter. The program is in great shape, and we have an amazing group of kids and supportive parents here at EHS currently, as well as coming up in the next few years. Thank you to all my former players, parents and colleagues for your amazing support through the years!"
Following the game, Moeller was presented with a wood bat that was signed by many of his current and former players and was also presented the game ball from the final out of his final game. Also, one of Moeller's former player's grandfather grilled up hot dogs for everyone to enjoy just like he used to do back when his grandson played for Moeller.
Numerous former players and parents of players had kind words to say about Moeller and how he has impacted their lives.
Former player Jordan Osborn who graduated in 2004 and drove over 400 miles from Oregon to be at the game said, "Coach Moeller is a model of integrity, passion and excellence as a baseball coach, teacher and mentor. He always did things the right way, and by doing so has impacted countless young men in Eatonville. I am thankful I was able to be coached by him in football and baseball for four years as well as be in his history class during my years at EHS."
Candace Storm, whose son Brandon played for Moeller and graduated this year, as well as her youngest son, Riley, who currently plays for the Cruisers also had positive things to say.
"I have loved seeing both my boys play with coach Moeller the past four years,” she said. “He has helped mold them into the players and young men they are becoming. We will miss him on the field for the next couple of years while my younger son finishes his baseball career at EHS. You will be missed!"
2002 graduate Daryl Osborn also had nice things to say.
"Coach Moeller believed in me and pushed me to be the best player I could be, as a freshman being called up to varsity for the playoffs and all the way through my high school baseball career,” he said. “Moe was a class act, and I am proud to say I was able to play for such a great coach! Enjoy the next part of your life coach!"
Former Cruiser assistant coach Chris Hunke also weighed in with a few words about Moeller and how working with him helped shape him as a coach.
“I had the great fortune to assist coach Moeller for 15 years from 2003 to 2017,” he said. “I was always impressed by the way he built relationships with his players. He was always prepared and put his teams in the very best position to be successful each, and every, year. As a coach, I learned a tremendous amount from coach Moeller. Many of his drills, concepts and ideas are still reflected in my coaching today. He established a tradition of winning and success at Eatonville that has now become the standard for the baseball program. His legacy will carry on long beyond his years.”
Moeller finishes his 24-year career at Eatonville with 258 victories, making him the winningest coach in school history. During his tenure, he guided his teams to eight WIAA State appearances and was voted the league coach of the year nine times.
Use the comment form below to begin a discussion about this content.
Sign in to comment