The only head baseball coach that Emerald Ridge High School has known will no longer be calling signals from the dugout.
Tim Spears, who led the Jaguars’ program since the school opened in 2000, recently resigned from the post. He compiled 156 career victories in 14 seasons.
Spears said it was time to move on.
“It was an extremely tough decision,” he said. “I’m certainly going to miss the competition and coaching aspect of it.
“Overall, I’m satisfied with my time at ER. Starting up the program from scratch and having the success we did was a great opportunity. I think we have built a good foundation and hope the success of the program continues upward and onward.”
Spears said he was 80 percent sure going into the 2013 season that it would be his final one.
“It was hard going into last season knowing there was a pretty good chance I might step away,” he said. “I knew it was a pretty good chance, but I wanted to be sure, so I didn’t announce it at the team banquet. I waited until the dust had settled from the season. After talking it over with my wife, I met with the assistant coaches and let them know about my decision.”
Spears expects the Jaguars will be in contention for the South Puget Sound League South Division title next spring.
“This is going to be a great team next year,” he said. “They have tremendous team speed and have some young pitchers who gained valuable experience last year as freshmen.”
Emerald Ridge hasn’t won a league title in baseball.
“Not being able to nab a league championship is a little bit of a sore spot,” Spears said. “We were close on so many occasions. We had opportunities and breaks that just didn’t go our way.”
Spears said he doesn’t think he will fully grasp what it feels like to sit in the bleachers until next March, when the baseball season begins.
“Right now, it doesn’t feel that strange, but I know in the spring it’s going to be very odd,” Spears said. “When I was growing up, I had a dream to be a head coach of a baseball team, and I was able to live that dream. I was going through some of the scorebooks the other day from past teams. I’m glad I was a small part of their lives. There are so many great players, individual games and great memories that stick out in my mind.”