FORTVILLE — Mt. Vernon may have finally found a long-term match to coach its baseball program.
Ryan Carr, a former MV assistant, was recently approved by the Mt. Vernon Community School Board Corporation as the Marauders’ fifth varsity baseball head coach in the past six school years. Carr, 32, will also teach social studies at Mt. Vernon High School.
Carr takes over for Scott Johnson, who retired from coaching in June after going 30-24 in two seasons at MV.
Carr, an assistant coach with the Marauders in 2012 under former head coach Dustin Glant, plans on adding stability to what’s become a managing position with a high rate of turnover. Prior to Johnson, Glant (2012), Eric Nielsen (2011) and Mike Gibson (2004-10) coached the squad.
“I’m in for the long haul,” said Carr, a product of Norwell High School and Manchester University. “After putting a few years in IPS (Indianapolis Public Schools) – getting this teaching job without the coaching job would have been a dream come true. I want to be here, you know, forever.”
Following Glant’s resignation in September 2012, Carr applied for the open position. After Johnson was handed the job, Carr was an assistant at Indianapolis Tech in 2013 before resurrecting the Emmerich Manual program last year.
“When Johnson got the job, I was up for the job as well. His resume was really good – he had 300 wins and I had never been a head coach before, so I understood that,” Carr said. “I didn’t burn any bridges when I didn’t get that job. I had good relationships with people here.”
During his first stint at Mt. Vernon, Carr was a long-term substitute for physical education teacher at MVHS. The fall after he coached at MV, Carr guided an eighth-grade team from the Mt. Vernon area. Carr coached many of those same players – now rising sophomores – again this past summer as the coach of the 15U Mt. Vernon Pythons.
“I know the seniors and the sophomores. The incoming freshmen, I don’t really know. The juniors were ninth-graders when I was there, and I know some of them. I’ve followed Mt. Vernon a little bit just to see how the players I used to coach were doing,” said Carr, who added he is undecided on who he will select as his assistants. “I’m really excited about the talent we have. I’m really excited about the direction we’re going.”
Last spring at Manual, Carr generated a baseball team from scratch after no outfit was fielded in 2013.
“I came in and basically had to create a baseball team out of thin air over there. I was walking the hallways, finding good kids that had good grades and getting them to play baseball,” said Carr, a prolific offensive player at Manchester who aided the Spartans in advancing to the 2004 Division III College World Series. “As you can imagine, I was asking a lot of kids that never played baseball before to play baseball. We won one game. We beat John Marshall in the city tournament.”
The rebuilding project was still fruitful to Carr.
“The thing I was most proud of was that nobody quit and the parents were really, really supportive. We played Cardinal Ritter in our sectional game at Triton Central and we had more people in the stands than Ritter did, so I was really blown away,” he said. “People wanted baseball to be there, but it hadn’t happened the year before and we put a team on the field.”
Carr will enter a much different situation in Fortville.
Though the Marauders were 12-13 overall and 5-7 in Hoosier Heritage Conference play in 2014, the team is slated to return a pair of all-conference selections in shortstop Noah Powell and pitcher James Sticker. Nathanael Lash and Zach Spears, two hurlers who garnered all-HHC Honorable Mention status, are also eligible to play in 2015.
Carr will have a call-out meeting for players in the near future, and has plans for a measured introduction into his philosophy.
“Most kids in the program played all spring and played all summer. That can be a grind. I want to put the bats and balls down for awhile and get some strength and conditioning going early on,” he said. “We can get outside and run. We’ll move on from there as football winds down and basketball starts up. Then we can start getting hitting going on.”
Education: Norwell High School; Manchester University
Occupation: Social Studies teacher at Mt. Vernon High School; Head Varsity Baseball Coach at Mt. Vernon
Experience: Played at Manchester; Assistant coach at Mt. Vernon (one season) and Indianapolis Tech (one season); Head Coach at Emmerich Manual (one season)
>> New varsity head coaches for 2014-15 school year:
Position Former coach New coach
Greenfield-Central boys tennis (F) Frank DeLois Ryan Smith
Greenfield-Central boys cross country (F) Hunter White Aaron Smith
Greenfield-Central boys soccer (F) Jared Manning Isaac Beal
Mt. Vernon girls soccer (F) Casey Dodd Steve Williams
Mt. Vernon volleyball (F) Kris Lashaway Eric Bulmahn
Eastern Hancock football (F) Pat Echeverria Jim O’Hara
Eastern Hancock swimming (W) Debbie Froman Derek McCormick
Mt. Vernon girls basketball (W) Julie Shelton Steve Doud
Greenfield-Central boys basketball (W) Josh Johnson Michael Lewis
Mt. Vernon baseball (S) Scott Johnson Ryan Carr
Notes: Mt. Vernon softball and Greenfield-Central baseball have varsity head coaching openings. Key: F=Fall sport; W=Winter; S=Spring.