Baseball coach resigns; team goes forth
By Brodee Gillam
Weeks before the 2019 season starts, LCC baseball head coach Drew Huard resigned, as of Feb. 8.
LCC’s Director of Public Relations Marilyn Twine gave The Lookout this statement regarding Huard’s resignation: “Mr. Huard had great success while at LCC and we wish him well. We are committed to ensuring an uninterrupted execution of our winning baseball program.”
For all who have followed the LCC baseball program since Huard took over, this may come as a huge surprise. The resignation follows two years of major success as the Stars’ head coach.
In 2017, Huard led the team to a 41-17 record and an appearance in the NJCAA World Series semifinal. That was followed by a 40-12 season and a trip to the NJCAA Region XII District I Quarterfinal in 2018.
The timing of the resignation, at the very least, seems interesting. Put that alongside Huard’s since-deleted Twitter post shortly after the news broke and it raises some eyebrows.
“I was unexpectedly forced to resign my position as head coach at Lansing Community College on Friday, Feb. 8, 2019,” Huard tweeted. “I am completely devastated by this due to the impact it will have on the 40 student-athletes on the team, coaching staff, the student-athletes’ families, and my family. I am taking every available step to reverse this unjustified outcome so I can continue coaching my team during the 2019 season.”
Huard’s “forced to resign” comment seems to contradict LCC’s statement. Twine and Athletic Director Greg Mallek declined to comment on the controversy besides stating that Huard resigned.
Mallek said the 2019 season will continue as planned with the first game on March 3, even without an official head coach as of Feb. 21.
“Right now, what we have set up is for all of our assistants to come back (for the season),” Mallek said. “Moving forward, we will be looking for a permanent head coach.”
The assistants are Paul Davison, Kyle Peters, Mike Franco and Jared Helmic.
“They’ve already communicated to me, at least a couple of those coaches, that they’re doing it this year for the kids, to help them get through the season as seamlessly as possible,” Mallek said. “Then they will be stepping away at the end of the season.”
Outside of the coaching situation, the immense confidence in the baseball team doing well in 2019 is still there. Mallek said he expects great things out of the No. 20 ranked Stars this season.
“We’re going to be competitive,” Mallek said. “We’re going to be really, really good. Coming into the season, with the recruiting that was done by the staff, we have high expectations. We had several kids already sign letters of intent with four-year schools in the early signing period (last) November.
“Michigan State, Ball State, Louisiana Lafayette (who are) all major Division I institutions … we have a lot of talent. From what I have got to hear from our coaching staff, our pitching depth is really good. We’ve got one of our top hitters, (sophomore catcher) Alex Strickland coming back.”