One consequence of Bill Templin getting hired as the new athletic director for the Elizabethtown Area School District was the hole he left behind as head coach for the Elizabethtown Area High School baseball team. Thankfully for him and the Bears, they didn’t have to look far to find a replacement.
Per the personnel report from the school board meeting on Tuesday, Jan. 22, junior varsity baseball coach and varsity assistant Herb Miller has been promoted to head coach. He’ll take over a Bears squad that went 38-22 during Templin’s three seasons at the helm.
“It just made sense for me to throw my hat into the ring and see what happens,” Miller said. “I’m excited about the opportunity to work with the boys at a different level. JV is more about the fundamentals, while you get into a lot more strategy with varsity. I’m ready to see what we can do.”
“We’re thrilled to have him as the head coach,” Templin said. “He’s been around the program a long time, he brings a huge amount of baseball knowledge and he’s coached at every level from 10U to varsity. The amount of experience he brings is impressive.”
A graduate of Lampeter-Strasburg in 1981, Miller played baseball from 1982 to 1985 at Elizabethtown College, striking out 147 batters and finishing with a 3.64 career ERA, both of which are still in the top 15 all-time for the program. He began coaching at the youth level for the Rheems Athletic Association shortly thereafter before joining the high school coaching staff at Elizabethtown as a volunteer assistant in 2005 alongside Templin. When the latter was hired as head coach in 2016, Miller was named the JV coach as well.
The Bears began 2018 extremely well, shooting out to an 8-2 record in their first 10 games before collapsing in the second half of the season, going 2-8 to finish at 10-10, missing both the Lancaster-Lebanon League and District 3 playoffs in the process. Moreover, eight seniors graduated at the end of the year, most notably former L-L All-Stars Austin Denlinger and Chad Caley.
Still, Elizabethtown should see its remaining seven players, who were all juniors last season, return for the 2019 campaign, including All-Stars Cole Patrick, Nick Kreider and Cole Livingston. Miller’s time as JV coach should also be beneficial in getting the younger players moving up ready to see game action when the time comes. If all goes according to plan, the Bears will be in good position to rebound.
“Going into the season, I think we’re gonna compete,” Miller said. “That senior class is strong, so that’s a really good nucleus. I want to install the mental toughness of not taking anything for granted because every game counts. With that strong senior leadership, I think it’ll progress into something really worthwhile. I like our chances this year.”