Hall of Fame baseball coach John Froedge will coach his final game next spring — with his successor right by his side.
Brett Motz was approved by the Crawfordsville School Board to not only join the varsity coaching staff, but to take over for Froedge at the conclusion of the 2020 season.
“We are excited to have Brett assume the head coaching position at Crawfordsville High School,” Crawfordsville athletic director Bryce Barton said. “Coach Froedge recommended Brett for the job early in the process. This will allow for a seamless transition into the baseball season.”
Motz, a 1995 Crawfordsville High School graduate, helped lead the Athenians to 105 wins in four varsity seasons including an IHSAA Regional title during his senior year.
“It is an honor to take over for my former coach (Froedge), and I have tremendous respect for him and what he has done here, and the commitment level that he has provided for our community,” Motz said. “Getting back on board and on the high school staff will hopefully make this transition as smooth as possible.”
The 2001 Crawfordsville Athletics Hall of Fame inductee holds nearly every career record batting statistic for the Athenians baseball program — batting average (.457), hits (187), runs scored (163), RBI (164), home runs (25) — and was an Indiana All-Star in 1995. His 187 hits in a career was a state record at the time, and is still third most in the state’s history.
Motz is no stranger to coaching either. After a four-year playing career at the University of Evansville, Motz spent time as an assistant at Purdue, before assisting at North Putnam in 2004 and taking over the head coaching job for the 2005 and 06 seasons. He spent the next few seasons as an assistant under Froedge, including the Athenian’s first Class 3A state title in 2008.
“His previous experience as a player and assistant coach in the Athenian baseball program will allow him to carry on the great tradition of CHS baseball,” Barton added about Motz. “But he will also bring his own coaching style gained by having previous head coaching experience at North Putnam.”
Motz, who spent three years as the athletic director and dean of students at Crawfordsville Middle School, before returning to the high school as a physical education/weightlifting teacher this fall, is no stranger to the current crop of high school baseball players, as he has spent the last several years coaching at the youth level.
“It’s been eight or nine years since I’ve been on the high school staff, and I look forward to getting my mind back on track with coaching more high level baseball to help get me back in coaching shape,” he said. “There’s no doubt that when that decision was made, I’ve always had a passion for baseball, and I just tried to prioritize where I spend that time and being able to be with my kids and their friends, and see the fruits of that and interaction with them and have the opportunity to coach them at a higher level, and I’m looking forward to those moments.”
Motz’ oldest son, Austin, is a sophomore at Crawfordsville.
As he eases back into varsity baseball before taking over the program next summer, Motz realizes the shoes he will have to fill in Froedge, who will enter his 39th season next spring, but isn’t worried about measuring success by comparing wins and losses.
“I can only do what I do,” he said. “I’ve got my own style and my own way of doing things, but I’ve also learned and taken a lot of different aspects of coaches and what our roles are. “My passion for the game of baseball allows me to use my strengths as a teacher and a coach to hopefully positively influence young men. If I don’t win as many games as traditionally happened in the baseball program or win as many titles, but if I can build relationships, and create an environment where young men can learn life lessons and help them become better men along the way for their future, then I will 100 percent believe that I was meant to take over this program.”