15th win of season is 300th of career for Rockford coach

Rockford varsity baseball Coach Ian Hearn notched his 300th win at Grand Haven on Friday, May 14. That’s no small feat for someone just 38 years old. It often takes many coaches 18 years, 20 years or even longer to hit the 300 mark. It took Coach Hearn just over 11 seasons. That also qualifies him for entry into the Michigan High School Baseball Coaches Hall of Fame.

The Rockford varsity baseball team gathers after a recent practice to recognize Coach Ian Hearn’s (back, second from right) 300th victory as a high school baseball coach.

Hearn was a standout athlete at Central Michigan University (CMU). At CMU, he played two sports, baseball and wrestling. Coming to CMU, he was an outfielder and hitter. What he found was that the wrestling commitment was so intense that by the time the wrestling season was over, and baseball was just beginning, he didn’t have his full strength and stamina to give to baseball. Having a good arm and being left-handed, the decision was made that if he continued to wrestle, he would become a pitcher. He was an effective lefty for the Chippewa baseball team during his time at CMU.

After graduating from CMU with a degree in education, Hearn took a teaching job at Owosso High School. He also was the wrestling coach while there. He had been there just one year, when he and his wife, Michelle, moved to Traverse City. He was a substitute teacher and JV baseball coach at Traverse City Central (TCC) for his first year. The varsity baseball coach soon recognized Hearn’s talent and abilities and, with his impending retirement, decided to offer Hearn the role of taking over the varsity program.

Soon after taking over as the head varsity coach at TCC, Hearn was well on his way to 300 victories. At TCC, Hearn coached several standout players. Many have gone on to play at the college level including Division I, University of Michigan. Coach Hearn left Traverse City and took the coaching job at Rockford, but not before notching 239 wins there.

At Rockford, Hearn won 20 games in 2008 (his first season at Rockford) and 26 games in 2009 as the Rams won the OK Red conference championship for the first time in over 20 years. So far this season, the Rams are 16-6 under Coach Hearn, and hope to do well in district and regional play.

Coach Hearn knows the game well, displays great leadership and encourages his players to “get better every day” (GBED). His goal is to build the Rockford baseball program to be as successful as some of their other sports programs. He has two great assistant coaches in Scott Doyle, who played baseball with Hearn at CMU, and Steve Fusee, who is a former Ram baseball and football standout. Hearn has three children and a “saintly” wife who respects his commitment to Rockford baseball. Be sure to come out and root for the Rams as Hearn begins racking up his next 300 victories.

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