Jason Rettinger believes it’s the right time to go.
The Ross High School baseball coach confirmed that he has resigned, effective at the end of the season, from the helm of a team that’s won the last two Southwest Ohio Conference championships.
“I told the kids yesterday because I didn’t want them to find out from someone else,” Rettinger said Sunday after his Rams defeated visiting Badin 5-4. “It was a really tough decision, but our youth program and our high school program are in a great spot. It’s time to let someone else do it.”
Rettinger, a 1995 Ross graduate, is 246-128 in 14 years as the Rams’ head coach. In conference play, his teams have won seven championships while going 126-44. He’s the winningest coach in program history.
The 41-year-old Rettinger was an assistant coach at Ross in 1996, 1997 and 2004, also assisting at Aiken for one season and Roger Bacon for two.
He said it’s time to be a more dedicated family man. Rettinger and his wife Juliet have a 7-year-old daughter, Rachel.
“I preach family to these guys all the time, and I don’t think I’m doing a very good job of that,” he said. “My daughter’s asleep when I leave in the morning, and she’s asleep when I get home. I’ve got the best wife in the world who’s allowed me to do this and hasn’t said a word.
“I need to be more available for the family. Just today, they got up and went to the zoo and I couldn’t go. A dad should go to the zoo with his daughter.”
Rettinger said he’s thankful for former athletic director Doug Noonan — “He took a shot with me when I was young and stupid,” he said — and coaches he’s worked with through the years at Ross, especially Jay Lytle, Ray Hamilton and Rich Dunn.
“It’s been very emotional,” Rettinger said. “I don’t want the kids playing for me. I want them doing things for the program and for each other, but they’re good kids and of course they want to do stuff for me.
“I am the most fortunate person in the world to coach where I went to school and where I teach. I’ve enjoyed every second of it, and I want to make sure when I go out that I’m enjoying every second of it. I don’t want to get burned out. It’s time, but that doesn’t mean it’s not hard.”
Asked if he hopes to return to coaching someday, Rettinger said he’ll never say never.
“I guess if my daughter’s 18 and gone and my wife is sick of me, then maybe I’ll take another look at it,” he said. “But this isn’t a couple-year thing. I won’t coach anywhere else because for me, this is the apex of anywhere you could be. You’re coaching at your alma mater … it doesn’t get any better than that.”
Ross (20-5) will begin Division II tournament play at home Thursday against Roger Bacon or Batavia.