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Geneseo Republic - Geneseo, IL
  • Pettit steps aside as head softball coach

  • After 14 years at the helm of the Lady Leaf softball team, head coach Bob Pettit has decided to step down and take on a role as assistant coach.
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  • After 14 years at the helm of the Lady Leaf softball team, head coach Bob Pettit has decided to step down and take on a role as assistant coach.
    Assistant coach Pat Mitchell will take over the role as head coach for the 2015 season.
    “Honestly, Pat Mitchell has been doing all the head coaching work and it is just his time,” said Pettit. “It is time for someone else to take over. The transition will be seamless and this was the right time. This was in the best interest of the program and I look forward to working as hard for him as he did for me.”
    Pettit said serving as an assistant will finally allow him to fill the role he applied for 18 years ago — coaching high school softball.
    “Coaching is the fun part, and I am looking forward to doing that,” he said. “God gives each of us a passion for something and I just still have a love for softball. I feel a passion out there to help people get better.”
    Pettit has been involved with the Geneseo softball program for 17 years with 14 as head coach and three as assistant coach with Rich Bassier.
    “I have enjoyed the relationships I have established with people,” he said. “The real thrill is when former players come back and coach, and I have had the opportunity to coach with eight or 10 former players and have several former players coaching elsewhere. It is really exciting to see kids come back and know the sport made a difference in their lives.”
    In those 17 years, the Lady Leaf program has compiled a record of 459-151-5 with 11 regional titles.
    In the 14 years with Pettit at the helm, the Lady Leafs have gone 402-114-5 and have been 37-14 in the postseason. The girls have won 10 regional titles, five sectional titles, made one state appearance and won six conference titles. The team also placed second in conference six times and third twice.
    “I can’t pick just one highlight and it is not the wins and losses that are important,” said Pettit. “What is really important is to see these young people turn into contributing adults in the world. That is the best part of coaching. It is a thrill to be part of people’s lives and that is why I look forward to staying around.
    “I am not going away. I just get to do the fun stuff and I am very much looking forward to it.”
     

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