By GREG MENGELT
Former Little League World Serires and Jeffersonville assistant baseball coach Derek Ellis was named the Red Devils’ head baseball coach at Wednesday’s Greater Clark County school board meeting.
“I’m excited, humbled and honored to be the head baseball coach at Jeff High,” Ellis said Wednesday evening.
Ellis, whose son Drew is the starting shortstop for the Red Devils, had been a volunteer assistant for the Jeff baseball program since 2008.
“There were a lot of quality candidates for this position and I believe Coach Ellis will be a great fit for the Jeffersonville High School baseball program.”
Jeff won a sectional championship a year ago and figures to be contenders to accomplish at least that much with most of its talent returning in 2013.
“We have high expectations for our student athletes, in the classroom and on and off the field,” Ellis said. “I’ve been coaching these young men for a few years now and they know what I expect of them. The transition from assistant coach to head coach will be seamless for them.”
Ellis, who is taking over Lonnie Oldham, who was relieved of the position in August, was an All-State baseball player at Jeff before becoming the captain of the Indiana State baseball program.
“These guys have been through a great deal of adversity over the past few years, but their attitude and work ethic continue to amaze me,” Ellis said. “We have a group of hard nosed, mentally tough and talented kids that care about each other and get after it every day. I’m blessed to be a part of their journey.”
In 2008, Ellis led the Jeff/GRC Little League to a Great Lakes Region championship and a berth in the Little League World Series.