HARDIN VALLEY --- Joe Michalski can’t remember the last time he wasn’t thinking about baseball. But the game won’t be on his mind as much during the 2018-2019 academic year.
“I can’t remember not having baseball on my mind for any more than two weeks in my entire life,” said Michalski, who resigned recently after five seasons as Hardin Valley Academy’s varsity baseball head coach. “This was really a very difficult decision for me because baseball has always been such a big part of my life.
“I’ve coached some great kids and I’ve met some great people and I have some great memories. I’ll always have a lot of love for the Hawks.”
While leading Hardin Valley to the Class AAA state championship in 2015, Michalski, 34, was named the District 4-AAA Coach of the Year in 2018 after guiding the Hawks to a second-place finish in Tennessee’s toughest high school baseball league.
However, the Hawks finished 0-2 in each of the last two District 4-AAA Tournaments, and were eliminated in the opening round of the 2016 Region 2-AAA Tournament.
“I’ve experienced the highest of highest, the lowest of lows and everything in between,” said Michalski, who compiled a 113-57-1 record in his five seasons.
He also spent two seasons as an HVA assistant, handling pitchers for then head coach Kirk Renegar.
Michalski said he will continue to teach math at HVA.
“I took some time off from baseball and took some time away from the field,” he said. “I took a couple of vacations this summer, and I went to see my folks and my family. I decided that I just didn’t have the passion that it took to go through another season. I teach math and I enjoy that. I’m looking forward to continuing to do that.”
Looking ahead, “I’m thinking about getting my Ed.S degree and maybe using that to go into administration, or maybe not,” Michalski said. “I may return to coaching after I take a couple of years off, and I’ve said that to our principal (Sallee) Reynolds.
“At Hardin Valley, I’ve been fortunate to have the support of a great administration.”