WEST MADISON — Scott High baseball coach Brett Kuhn has resigned, and the head coach position was posted by Boone County Schools last week.
Kuhn has spent a decade as a head coach in a career that started at Sherman High School, where he compiled a 26-43 record in three seasons when the school was the smallest Class AA in the state. In seven years with the cross-county Skyhawks, he went 128-85, with his teams winning three Class AA sectional titles, a regional title and — in his best season in 2019 — he led the squad to the West Virginia State Baseball Tournament and finished No. 3 in final rankings.
Kuhn’s Skyhawk teams have finished in the top 10 three times, and he topped off his career with an appearance in the North/South Classic as a coach.
The skipper said that it isn’t that he has lost his passion for the game that he has loved since he was a boy. He can still talk about his beloved Los Angeles Dodgers as long as there is a willing ear to bend, and his love of prep baseball is as strong as ever. He is simply “shifting gears” into another phase of his life.
“There were two factors at play for me,” Kuhn said. “First and foremost, I felt that, with my responsibilities and duties as a Boone County Commissioner, that I wouldn’t be doing the citizens of Boone County justice if I was trying to devote my energies to both of these jobs. Whatever I do, I’m going 110 percent after it. High school coaching today is 365 days per year with fundraising, field conditioning and off-season workouts.”
Kuhn’s son Nathan, who is a freshman on the West Virginia State University baseball roster, also factors into his decision.
“I want to spend some time watching him play and he has a golden opportunity to see some playing time as a freshman,” he said. “If I can’t commit and give all I have to the program, I can’t ask our boys to do that.”
Once the Skyhawks were eliminated from the state tournament last spring, Kuhn knew it would be his last time walking off of the infield grass.
“I knew it then, but I wanted to make sure that the program was in top shape for the next coach and that some loose ends were tied up,” he said. “We had several fundraisers to do in the fall and I wanted our outfield repairs to be finished and I didn’t want to dump that in the lap of the new coach.”
Kuhn said his memories of seasons gone by, the excitement of infield practice for the first time on chilly spring afternoons and daily interactions with his players and coaches will be missed.
“In 1997, we had a special team at Sherman,” he said. “I was in my second year as an assistant. In 1996, AB Brown was the coach and when he left to take the job at Scott the next season, I coached under Aaron Pettry. Sherman dropped from Class AA to Class A and we were back and forth during those years (in classification). We were in the same section as Van and Harts. Van had won 18 section titles. We beat them twice that season. We lost to Scott twice in the regular season. Van had upset Scott earlier and the Skyhawks were defending Class AAA champs and had fallen to Class AA. We took care of business and we were section champs.”
Kuhn said he enjoys hearing from his former players.
“That is just the biggest joy for me,” he said. “We all have busy lives and when someone takes the time to reach out, it is a treat for me. It is just phenomenal.”
The Boone County Commissioner said each of his sectional champs at Scott are special in their own way. The state tournament appearance of 2019 is the icing on the cake.
“I knew coming into the season that we had a real chance to be special,” he said. “These boys had something to prove and I think they had unfinished business. They were very business-like in their approach. They were professional about it and they were mature. We played a demanding schedule.”
Last year’s squad produced four collegiate players in Carter Lyles (West Virginia University), Isaac Miller (Fairmont State University), Peyton Brown (Alice Lloyd College) and Nathan Kuhn (West Virginia State University).
“Coaching special kids like that is a joy and they deserve all of the good things coming their way,” he said. “I’m a lucky man to have been a part of all of these teams and every young man that played for me. Those memories are forever.”