After 10 years of coaching softball, a sport he had never coached before, Scott Hardison has stepped down as Geneseo’s junior varsity softball coach.

After 10 years of coaching softball, a sport he had never coached before, Scott Hardison has stepped down as Geneseo’s junior varsity softball coach.

“June 21st of last summer, the day my daughter was born, was the first day I contemplated it,” said Hardison. “Being a varsity head coach in a sport like basketball, I needed to commit time to family, and also I am teaching a couple of AP classes, which also takes more time. I didn’t have the time and wouldn’t do everything at 100 percent because I would try to do everything.

“(Being involved in a sport) was ongoing from October through the end of May. It was really hard to juggle everything and not see my family for such a long time.”

Hardison said when he made his decision and informed head coach Bob Pettit and the girls on the team, everyone was understanding.

“Bob understood because he had dealt with being a father, husband and coach, and the girls were surprised, but understood my devotion to my family,” he said.

Hardison spent his first year the assistant junior varsity coach and the last nine years at the helm of the JV.

“Really, I got into coaching softball as a necessity,” said Hardison. “I came in coaching basketball under coach Pettit and he came to me during basketball saying he needed an assistant JV coach. I told him I would do anything, but I had never coached softball before.”

Hardison had to learn on the fly and use his baseball knowledge to help him get acclimated to the game, which he says also has changed over the last 10 years.

“As most coaches, I did a lot of homework, watched video, read books and talked to other people,” he said. “It was a lot of learning on the job and I am sure I made more mistakes than I would like to admit, but that is how you learn. We are human beings as coaches, too.”

Hardison said what he enjoyed most about his time with the Lady Leaf softball program was the off the field interaction.

“I enjoyed the camaraderie with the coaches and getting to know the kids on a different level and interacting with the great kids in the community,” he said. “It was not so much about the wins and losses, you have to love practice and that is where you learn.”

The biggest struggle for Hardison was learning the game.

“Softball is always changing. It went from a defensive and pitchers’ game to an offensive game,” he said. “No two days are the same and you have to be willing to make adjustments.”

The big highlight for Hardison over the years has been the relationships he has created more than any certain game.

“I’ve learned through each of my coaching positions, it is what I have been called to do — to be a teacher, coach and mentor kids,” said Hardison, who will begin his third season as the Geneseo varsity girls’ basketball coach in the 2013-14 season. “Ten years as the JV coach really solidified that in my mind. I have a lot of good memories of the kids and coaches I have coached with.”

Through his years in the softball program, coach Pettit served as a friend and mentor to Hardison.

“Bob has taught me there is a lot more in life then coaching,” he said. “He taught me how to get through to kids in a different way, and it is not just about the Xs and Os, but about how to be a better person. I’ve got a friend that will last a lifetime.

“Without a doubt I found joy,” said Hardison. “It was hard to give it up, but my wife and 1 year old daughter made the decision for me. I need to devote more time to them.”