The Kenston High School Athletic Department has announced the hiring of Joseph Hritz as its next baseball head coach. The announcement was made by Athletic Director Reid Guarnieri following the approval of Hritz’s hire by the Kenston Board of Education and upon the recommendation of Principal Tom Gabram at Monday’s monthly meeting (September 20).
Guarnieri said, “Coach Hritz originally came in with the highest of recommendations from some of the more accomplished professionals in the area. Those opinions were quickly confirmed as we were quite impressed with Coach Hritz’s work on our staff last year. When the varsity position opened, we felt he might be ready to assume a bigger role.” Guarnieri continued, “In meeting with him during our interview process, we verified very quickly that he is in fact ready and has an incredibly sound and thorough plan to elevate the program from top to bottom. The relationships and connections that he has already built with the players and families in our program and his presence as a leader and educator in the Kenston school system will be invaluable.”
Hritz’s knowledge and love of the game developed as a player at Mentor High School where he played under the tutelage of legendary head coach Len Taylor. From there, he continued his education at Slippery Rock University where, knowing that his professional goals included a career in high school coaching, he studied physical and health education with a minor in coaching. Upon graduation, Hritz accepted coaching assignments in basketball and volleyball at the St. John School system in Ashtabula before being named the varsity baseball head coach there.
When Hritz was offered a health and physical education position at Hopkins Elementary School in Mentor, he also jumped at the chance to take over a baseball team at his alma mater. Here, he retained head coaching responsibility with the freshman team and also served as an assistant for the varsity squad that finished as State Runners-Up in 2019. A family move to the Kenston vicinity then prompted Hritz’s transition into a health and physical education teaching position at Kenston Intermediate School with an accompanying leadership role within the Bomber baseball program offered thereafter.
Coach Hritz is anxious to get started stating, “I am excited to have the opportunity to lead a baseball program that is full of student-athletes who hold the potential and drive to find success during their high school playing careers and beyond. Whether it be from an academic, leadership, or athletic standpoint, every individual on the team will have the chance to pursue a goal to help build, shape, and orchestrate their own high school baseball experience.”
Looking to put his own stamp on a traditionally successful program, Hritz continued, “The program will look to capitalize on the strengths our student-athletes contribute and allow for the ability to expand on them. With a team-first mentality, the Bomber Baseball program will have a shot to become a well-rounded and extremely competitive program in the State of Ohio.”
Though it graduated a number of players continuing their athletic careers in college, the program returns a plethora of talented performers and will look to build upon the success of a varsity team coming off of a 2021 season where it finished with a 17-10 overall record and 9-5 second-place finish in the WRC.