116 3rd St SE
Cedar Rapids, Iowa 52401
SOLON - The symbolic gesture came July 10, when Jim White placed his cleats at home plate following a season-ending loss.
Now, it's official.
A seven-time state-championship softball coach, White turned in his resignation Thursday morning to Solon Athletics Director Zach Wigle.
⧉ 2022 UPDATE: Former Solon, Clear Creek Amana coach accused of sex abuse
'When I left Clear Creek Amana (in 2012), it was a very traumatic experience,” he said in an interview with The Gazette shortly after he met with Wigle. 'This time, I'm more at peace. I've been thinking of all the good things I've been fortunate to have experienced.”
White departs with a 23-year career record of 995-151, including 186-33 in five years at Solon. In June, he was named the national softball coach of the year by the National High School Coaches Association.
'I think he's so successful because he's really good at understanding girls,” said former player Mallory Madsen, who played for White both at CCA and Solon. 'Girls can be kind of drama-oriented, but he's really patient with us.”
A native of Burlington and a graduate of Cornell College, White coached seven teams to state titles - six at CCA (1997, 2002, 2004, 2006, 2009 and 2011), where he accumulated an 18-year record of 809-118, plus a 2015 3A crown with the Spartans.
His teams played in Fort Dodge 17 times.
'He is very good about finding a team's weaknesses, and he certainly found ours,” Mount Vernon Coach Robin Brand said after the Spartans swept the Mustangs in a doubleheader in July.
Solon was 30-13 last season, ending with an 11-3 loss to Albia in a Class 3A regional final. After the game, after nearly everyone had left the facility, White silently left his cleats at home plate, symbolizing the end.
He did not confirm his intentions that night, saying a decision was coming in the fall.
And it came Thursday.
White, 53, first hinted at the 2014 state tournament that his days of coaching were growing short as his boys were growing up.
His sons Brett and Brady, now 12 and 10, are heavily into baseball, and White intends to be an active part of that in future summers. He coached Brett's team in a league game Wednesday night.
When informed of White's decision, Benton Community Coach Eric Stenberg said, 'Jim has had success everywhere he's been. He put together some teams at Clear Creek Amana that had unparalleled success, and he's had some very quality teams at Solon.”
White is hopeful that his wife, Erin, will succeed him as the Solon varsity head coach, and if that's the case, he would like to serve as a middle-school coach.
Erin coached the Spartans from 2007 through 2010, capturing a state title in her first year.
'In an ideal world, she becomes the varsity coach and I become the junior high coach,” he said. 'It's not something we're taking for granted, but it's something we're hoping for.
'If that doesn't happen, Erin would be a great candidate at a lot of other schools where there are openings.”
White also said he could consider volunteering for a college team and/or giving individual lessons.
'I love softball,” he said. 'It's an unbelievable game. I hope to stay involved somehow, some way.”
l Comments: (319) 368-8857; firstname.lastname@example.org