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Crawford coach nominated for award

Gogel in running for state Coach of the Year

November 12, 2008
The accomplishments of the 2008 Crawford County varsity baseball team were largely due to the talent of its players. However, these athletes could not have achieved their success without a leader with talents as well. These coaching skills, in fact, have already gained statewide attention.

Greg Gogel arrived at Crawford County High School fresh off a stint at Hanover College as a football and baseball player. Gogel had previously worked at Crawford County as a student teacher in the position he currently holds.

When the opportunity arose to assist with the new football program, Gogel readily accepted. While obviously enjoying his football duties, his passion for coaching truly rested with baseball.

At the beginning of his first year teaching for Crawford County, the head baseball position became available.

With his extensive experience, Gogel was the natural choice.

"Baseball is such a great game, and the opportunity to continue an involvement with a sport that has meant so much to me personally was a tremendous honor in itself," Gogel said. "I was anxious to take on the task."

Baseball players were expected to attend after-school weights and training throughout the fall and winter months in order to prepare for the season. Players were aware of Gogel's expectations from the beginning. With his mind clearly set on a distinctive season, Gogel posted specific agendas each morning outside his door for each session and continued his postings throughout practice as well.

As early as the 2008 season opener, it was evident that the players were prepared to make this a season worth remembering.

In Gogel's inaugural season, the Wolfpack finished the season with a 15-9 record, an impressive feat for a team who was recovering from a 5-24 finish the previous year.

With this record, the team clinched the Patoka Lake Athletic Conference baseball title for the first time since 1985 when Crawford County won the title outright. Three years ago, the Wolfpack did secure a first-place PLAC finish, sharing the title with two other teams. Four of Gogel's 2008 players were named to the All-PLAC team, and one player was named to the North/South All-Star team, a first in Crawford County history.

"This past season was a special year filled with many emotions," Gogel said. "The successes we did have were grounded in the idea that we must come together with a drive to improve and work hard. As a coaching staff, we felt like we had those types of kids, and the post-season honors represent that."

The Indiana High School Baseball Coaches Association (IHSBC) is a statewide organization that spearheads coaches' activities throughout the state. In order to do this efficiently, Indiana is divided into separate districts. Crawford County is a member of District O which extends from Harrison County to Pike County and as far north as Orange County.

Coach Gogel was surprised to find out he had been nominated for the District O Baseball Coach of the Year. Following the votes of the baseball coaches of District O teams, Gogel was indeed selected as the District O Baseball Coach of the Year. Now, Gogel is in the running for the Indiana Baseball Coach of the Year, an award rarely bestowed upon a first year coach.

"This is a tremendous honor and one that I never thought about when becoming a coach," he said. "Although we didn't achieve some of our team goals, we were focused on maximizing our potential as young men and playing to the best of our capabilities. Our district has some of the most renowned coaches in the state of Indiana, and to be selected by those guys is something I will never forget and couldn't have without the help of my assistants Jason Sturgeon and Michael Barron."

Voting for Indiana Coach of the Year continues through December by IHSBC members. The final tally will be counted and announced at the annual IHSBC conference in January.

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