Baseball Head Coach Todd Mooney resigned from his coaching position Wednesday morning. Mooney has been reassigned as Strength and Conditioning Coach for all Oberlin athletes. Assistant coach Eric Lahetta is now poised to step up to the plate and assume control of the team.
"It was Coach Mooney's idea, he'd like to try this," Athletic Director Don Hunsinger said. "We really appreciate his willingness to serve in this capacity."
According to Hunsinger, Mooney thought the department would benefit from the change.
Mooney refused to comment.
"It will be a great support system for our athletes to work with him," Hunsinger said. "It is my personal belief that this is positive for all involved to better serve our student athletes."
Early in November, 14 players signed a six page petition citing grievances with Mooney. Several of the players said they would not play for the team if Mooney remained head coach.
The group then appointed representatives to discuss their concerns with Mooney, Hunsinger, Athletic Committee head Heather Hogan, and Clayton Koppes, dean of the College.
In November, Hunsinger pronounced, "Baseball will go on, and Mooney is our coach."
Oren Gradus, OC '97, a former Yeoman pitcher, said, "I don't think Oberlin will do anything about the petition. I don't understand what Oberlin wants."
Koppes said the decision to demote Mooney was made in Philips.
I think this is a good outcome all around. I think this enabled the coaches concerned to work in their areas of greatest strength," Koppes said."Eric's been the assistant coach and has had good relations with the players. We have always known Eric's been interested in taking a role in the baseball program."
Once the announcement was made, seven veteran ball players returned to practice with the team according to co-captain junior Carson Keeble.
I appreciate the cooperation displayed by everybody: Todd Mooney, Eric Lahetta, Don Hunsinger and the baseball team," Koppes said.
The Yeomen agreed as a team not to comment on their past problems with Mooney. Sophomore Matt Burns said, "I think the whole team struggled a lot. It was a frustrating situation over all."
While they remained tightlipped about anything related to the past, the Yeomen spoke candidly about the upcoming season. Junior Carson Keeble said, "Its gonna be a positive season. I hope we do a lot better and have some fun."
The players worked out with enthusiasm, and there seemed to be an air of excitement in Jones Field House Thursday. Players took batting practice, and worked out their throwing arms. Mandatory practices start Monday.
As far as Lehetta is concerned, the players are more than satisfied with his abilities. Senior Nathaniel Walsh said, "He had a team meeting last night. He knows a lot about baseball, a very wise baseball person."
Keeble said, "I am very happy it worked out the way it did. He is a really positive guy. Very personable, and knows a lot about the team."
Lahetta was not available for comment.
Copyright © 1998, The Oberlin Review.
Volume 126, Number 13, February 6, 1998
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