Keep Fueling the Passion 2 Legendary Baseball Coaches Sparked – WHIO TV 7 and WHIO Radio
COLDWATER, Mercer County – Coldwater High School is working to restore the leadership lost by the deaths of two baseball coaches, who developed a community of deeply passionate players and coaches between them.
>> RELATED: Longtime Coldwater baseball coach Lou Brunswick has died
“The baseball program is kind of representative of what our city is like, a tight-knit family, tight-knit teammates, good quality coaches, or great men to lead our kids,” Principal Jason Hemmelgarn told Molly on Tuesday. Koweek from News Center 7.
Filling this leadership void in Coldwater has taken on particular urgency with the recent deaths of Brian Harlamert and Lou Brunswick, both longtime baseball coaches and teachers at Coldwater Village exempt schools.
>> RELATED: Longtime Coldwater baseball coach, teacher Brian Harlamert has died
Harlamert, 51, died Sept. 21.
Brunswick, 93, died Oct. 1.
Brunswick and Harlamert have taught players and coaches how to build that community by passing on that passion, whether you play football, baseball, or any sport.
“If you want to be good, you have to share your guys,” said Coldwater head football coach Chip Otten.
The commitment and passion that fuels it is unique to the village, Hemmelgarn said. “I think it’s hard when you’re an outsider to understand, you know how this community works.”
Hemmelgarn was part of the 1987 varsity baseball team that won a state title. The coach? Braunschweig.
Brunswick’s teammate was Harlamert, who would take over the program in 1998, passing on his knowledge and that special passion for Coldwater to college baseball assistant coach Cory Klenke.
“To coach alongside him, I was able to continue my learning,” Klenke said.
And it doesn’t stop at coaches; the passion spreads to the players.
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Braxton Howell, a junior and dual-sport athlete, is one who learns more than just playing strategies from Klenke and Otten.
Otten, who played for Brunswick in the late 1970s, said Brunswick “set expectations that we’re going to do it right, we’re going to play hard, we’re going to learn.”
And it just trickled down to his sons Brian and Corey.
Brunswick and Harlamert’s legacy stretches back to 1959. The two coached all but four of those 63 seasons.
“To lose two iconic legends of Coldwater baseball practice like that, you know a week apart, it was just, you know, a little heartbreaking,” Klenke said.
Howell, the man of both sports, said he knows the heartbreak baseball has been through will be difficult because the first pitch is just months away.
It will be “very emotional, I think. It’s going to be tough, but I think we can, if we all pull together, I think we can at least stick together and do well.
The teammate mentality, the sharing of resources between sports teams, came from Harlamert, Braxton said.
He also learned something from Brunswick, who taught college boys the curveball catch.
“I know Coach Bunswick loved it,” Klenke said, “just as much as the boys loved you knowing how to hang out with him and, like I said, pick his brain.”
Brunswick and Harlamert have taught generations of baseball players more than curveballs, how to execute double plays or when to throw a pitch while batting.
They were able to “show people how it’s supposed to be done the right way, and play as hard as you can, win a lot of games, lose a few, handle both with dignity and know how to do it,” Hemmelgarn said.
“And so that’s kind of what this city is. it’s not very big. What we’re doing here is pretty special, in my mind, and these are the kind of guys that help make it happen,” he said.
Harlamert’s funeral took place a week ago.
Brunswick’s final services will take place on Thursday.
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