Schuchardt new Dowagiac baseball coachPublished 9:17pm Wednesday, October 23, 2013
Dan Schuchardt was the easy choice when it came to hiring a new varsity baseball coach at Dowagiac High School.
The Dowagiac school board approved the hiring of Schuchardt on Monday night. Schuchardt replaces Bob Turner, who resigned as coach late in the summer.
“Dan emerged immediately because of his want and desire to be a varsity baseball coach,” said Dowagiac High School athletic director Brent Nate. “He brings a lot of enthusiasm to the job. He understands the tradition of Dowagiac baseball and he wants to bring it back.”
Last year, the 27-year old Schuchardt was an assistant baseball coach at Dowagiac. In 2011, Schuchardt was the junior varsity baseball coach at Lake Michigan Catholic High School. In 2012, Schuchardt was a varsity baseball assistant coach at Lake Michigan Catholic High School. Schuchardt currently teaches at Dowagiac Middle School.
“I’m really excited to be a part of the Dowagiac baseball program,” Schuchardt said. “It’s something I’ve wanted for several years. This is where I teach and I like being part of the community. I feel it’s a great program historically. When I coached at Lake Michigan Catholic and we played Dowagiac I respected Dowagiac’s baseball program.”
Schuchardt is a 2005 Hudsonville High School graduate, who played varsity baseball for two years.
“We always had some pretty good teams,” Schuchardt said.
Schuchardt is taking over a program that has struggled in recent seasons. The Chieftains have gone 16-43-1 over the past two seasons.
“I think success starts at the very beginning,” Schuchardt said. “We’ve got to build up Dowagiac Little League baseball. We’ve got to speak to the coaches and players about what we want to do at the high school level.”
Schuchardt wants his players to be mentally prepared for every game.
“It’s a challenging game,” Schuchardt said. “There’s a lot of skill involved. There’s situational hitting, getting bunts down and knowing how to steal a base. Even though it’s the varsity level there’s still a lot to learn about baseball.”
When practice starts in March, Schuchardt is counting on several veteran players to lead the team.
“There’s a lot of returning talent,” Schuchardt said. “In terms of next year, I don’t want to pinpoint the number of wins I expect. I just want a winning mentality.”