HAMLER - Greg Inselmann has decided to go out on top.
Inselmann, who guided the Patrick Henry baseball team to the Division IV state title this spring, announced his retirement as coach of the Patriots.
"Actually, I had originally targeted 2006 as the year I would retire," said Inselmann, who will continue to teach at PH. "But my oldest son, Jeff, joined my coaching staff and convinced me to stay for another year or two.
"I told my staff before this year began that it probably would be my last season. I knew we'd be competitive, but I still think it's ironic that I'll be going out on top."
Inselmann never had a losing record in 27 seasons as a coach and posted a 505-133 career mark. He spent 18 seasons at Defiance, where he went 303-85 from 1981-98 and won 10 Western Buckeye League titles as well as five district titles and the 1992 Division I state crown.
"I took a year off from coaching after I left Defiance and coached a traveling Little League team," Inselmann said. "I took that year off because my sons wanted me to see them play.
"Then the Patrick Henry coaching job opened and Gar Tussing, the [athletic director] at that time, came to me and asked if I would take the job."
Before Inselmann took the job in 2000, the Patriots had enjoyed just one winning season in the prior 16 years.
"I talked to one of the players [before I took the job], and he said, 'Coach, you know we'd like to play baseball anywhere but here,'•" Inselmann said. "So I knew we'd have to make some changes in the perception of the program."
So Inselmann and community volunteers helped upgrade
Parratt Field, the team's playing facility. He also helped reorganize the school's youth and summer ACME programs.
"I wanted to shock the players with this new direction," Inselmann said. "When they witnessed all those people working on the field, they knew we meant business.
"Then we were more demanding in practice, and we started to have success right away."
Patrick Henry won the first of its four league baseball titles just three seasons after Inselmann arrived, and the Patriots also won four district crowns as well as regional titles in 2002 and this season. Inselmann, who was voted the Division III coach of the year by the Ohio High School Baseball Coaches Association, posted a 202-48 record at PH.
This year the Patriots, who were ranked first in the Division IV state coaches poll, posted a 28-3 record and claimed the state crown with a 10-0 win over Berlin Hiland in the title contest. In seven tournament games this season, Patrick Henry outscored its opponents 75-15.
"One of the things I'll always remember is the consistency of never having a losing year in 27 seasons," said Inselmann, who was voted into the state high school baseball coaches hall of fame in 2007. "That's a tribute to having assistant coaches who were loyal and hard-working as well as to kids who were willing to be coached and who played hard.
"I'll always appreciate having the opportunity to coach my two sons, Jeff and Mike. I'll also remember the state title at Defiance, and the state title here at my alma mater.
"I attended Patrick Henry along with my brother, [PH football coach] Bill [Inselmann] at the same time as [former PH basketball coach] Dave Krauss. All three of us won [state] titles at our alma mater, and I thought that was special, too."
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