Having spent the last 17 years coaching the Olmsted Falls Bulldogs Baseball team, the 2018 spring season will look a lot differently without the leadership of Head Coach Dan Largent.
Coach Largent has informed the athletic department that this past spring season will be his last. Largent indicated the need to spend more time with his family and their ever enjoyment of youth sports and community programming.
Largent was kind enough to pen his final farewell:
You can only worship so many gods…
This is a line that I have told my players over and over throughout my career as Head Baseball Coach at Olmsted Falls High School, and it’s one that applies to me more than ever.
Effective immediately, I am stepping down as the Head Baseball Coach at Olmsted Falls High School.
This was a very tough decision to make, and it was my decision alone. I would like to thank our Athletic Director, Rob Coxon, all of my assistant coaches, my family, and most of all, my players for making the past 17 years a ride I will cherish forever.
I am a firm believer that if you are going to do something, you need to commit to it 100%. This year, for the first time, I really felt that I was no longer able to do that.
I’ve had opportunities to leave OFHS for schools that some may feel were better opportunities, but I never once considered it because, to me, Olmsted Falls is the greatest school district in the world.
There’s only one team that I would ever leave OFHS to coach, and that’s my team at home, which has a starting lineup of my wife April, my daughters Brooke (9), Grace (8), and our rookie son Luke (2). They are the most important team that I will ever coach, and I don’t want to miss any more time with them.
I know that this is not the end of my coaching career, but it definitely will be put on hold until they’re older.
I have not known what a spring/summer without baseball is like since I was 7 years old.
At age 8, I began my playing career for the Pirates in the Berea Baseball Association. This was the start of my baseball odyssey, and there has never been a game that had captured my heart and passion in the way baseball has.
I went on to play through high school, and immediately began my head coaching career at the young age of 18, where I coached my alma mater’s high school summer team for the next four years.
Upon graduating from college, I was fortunate enough to be hired by Olmsted Falls as a 7th grade teacher. I was also given the opportunity to coach football and baseball.
For the next 9 years I was fortunate enough to learn from Hall of Famer Dick Szalay, until taking over the program as head coach in 2010.
The 2010 baseball season was magical. We started the year off in South Carolina going 4-0 and winning the Bluffton BATR-UP tournament against some very good teams.
Unfortunately, we didn’t have enough pitching to compete in the brutal SWC, and finished 3-11 in the conference.
We averaged 7 runs a game, and started to turn late inning losses into an art-form. Thankfully, our team knew we would have a second chance in the postseason.
Boy, did we make the most of it.
We made national news headlines as the under .500 team that knocked off powerhouses St. Ignatius, Strongsville, and Perrysburg on our way to the school’s first ever State Final Four, before losing to eventual State Champ St. Ed’s.
The next year we battled to finish 13-13, and fell to St. Ignatius in the District Tournament.
The next few years were tough, and it wasn’t until 2014 that we really started to compete again.
While we never won the SWC in my 8 years as head coach, we definitely established ourselves as one of the better programs in NE Ohio.
We played a brutal schedule, year in and year out, never shying away from the best teams in the area.
We started the Cure Tay-Sachs Classic in 2011, and went on to raise over $20,000 over 5 years. At one point we had 24 teams competing in it.
I’ve always said that Olmsted Falls baseball is bigger than any one player, and certainly bigger than any coach. Whoever takes over is going to inherit possibly the most talented team that has ever been at OFHS, and that made this decision so much tougher. However, even knowing that, it is time for me to step down and focus on my family.
I know that some of my players will feel abandoned, but I can assure you that is not the case. I will continue to help the players that I have been get recruited and will be there to help the transition to whoever is lucky enough to get to coach them.
To my former captains and players, we will continue our tradition of summer and winter get togethers, and I have loved watching all of you grow up into the fine young men you are today.
Thank you again to everyone who made the past 17 years as a baseball coach at Olmsted Falls High School so memorable.
“The Olmsted Falls Bulldog’s Athletic Department is extremely grateful for Coach Largent’s service to our programs. Having served as an assistant football coach (12 years), an assistant baseball coach (9 years), and as the head baseball coach (8 years), Dan has had an incredible influence on our students, families, and the alumni. His easy to approach personality, his true spirit of competition, and the love for student pride and success, has lead to a positive impact on the overall Bulldog Culture. Coach Largent brought with him a level of energy and enthusiasm that our student – athletes have gravitated towards. We are very proud of Coach Largent’s accomplishments both on and off the diamond, and we wish him the very best as he spends more time with his loving family. Thank you Coach Largent, for your Commitment, Pride, and Bulldog Leadership!”