For 17 years, Mike Walsh guided Elyria’s girls basketball program.
“He’s all I’ve known for Elyria basketball,” athletic director Heather Beck said Wednesday.
But all things must end sometime.
Walsh turned in his resignation Wednesday. He didn’t leave out the possibility of returning to coaching, but his decision wasn’t based on another position elsewhere.
“It was a great run,” Walsh said. “We accomplished a lot of things we wanted to accomplish this year.
“We won the Gold Ball back after losing the Lorain County tournament two years in a row. We got to the district final. We had a pretty decent year (16-9) and we’ve got a good nucleus coming back.”
The Gold Ball is the traveling trophy given to the winner of the Lorain County Holiday Classic. Elyria won it the first
10 years and again this season.
Walsh declined to elaborate on any specific reasons he’s stepping away, but there are probably a number of things that helped him decide this was the right time.
“I’m leaving the program in good shape,” he said. “I can’t believe it’s been 17 years.”
Beck said Walsh didn’t give her a reason.
“I was shocked,” she said. “But at the same time, I thought it might be coming at some point. He’s got three young kids, and they’re very active.
“I definitely understand. But it’s a hard one to accept.”
Walsh’s career record — which includes two years as Elyria’s boys coach — is 272-157. He won 20 or more games three of four years starting in 2002 and narrowly missed a chance at the state tournament in 2005, when his team finished 22-2.
He’s spent his entire career at Elyria High and won a number of conference and district titles. His first of two boys teams in 1994-95 was the last to win a conference championship.
Beck doesn’t know who will replace him.
“It’s going to be weird not having Mike Walsh coaching us next year,” she said. “I do wish him the best in everything he does.”
Beck believes Walsh will coach again, perhaps as an assistant.
“I cannot see Mike Walsh completely giving up coaching,” she said.
Contact Tim Gebhardt at 329-7135 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.