At the end of last high school baseball season, Gardner-South Wilmington coach Jon Posing knew he was going to have to make a decision.
Posing had been the Panthers head coach since 2006, but his son Tyler had already been through the program and graduated, and his thoughts started moving towards his daughter Lexi.
He submitted his resignation as coach, then declined the invitation to take the head softball position, where he could guide Lexi and her teammates. After the season, softball coach Michelle Lardi also stepped down.
"Having talked to the people at the school, I told them that if I had it to do over again, I would have asked for a little bit of time before I made my decision," Posing said. "I told them at the time that I just wanted to be a dad and to watch my daughter play."
Which is exactly what Posing did. Lexi was playing on Wiers Academy's travel team out of Morris while GSW and athletic director Shane Tucker went to work on filling both the baseball and softball positions for the 2013 season.
"We went through the normal process of hiring coaches. We posted our positions and then conducted interviews of potential candidates," Tucker said. "We selected our people and then took it to the school board for approval."
In the meantime, Posing went from interested father to actually helping coach Lexi's team.
"I really enjoyed it. It was refreshing," Posing said. "Over the summer as time went by, I got to help the team and I enjoyed it."
At the same time, Posing, a physical education teacher at GSW, knew that the softball position hadn't been filled yet.
"Over the summer, nobody had been hired yet, and eventually I called Shane and asked if I could put my name in for the job," Posing said. "After that, I put together a letter and sent it in. I didn't feel like I was a shoo-in at that point, but I'd have been really disappointed if I hadn't applied."
In August, he found out that the job was his.
"We felt that Jon's experience with baseball was a positive and that the success he had with the team was important," Tucker said. "Jon is also a teacher at the school, so from an AD's perspective, that is important. He is able to keep a watch on his program and have easier contact with the administration."
Posing said that there are certainly things that make the game of softball much more different than baseball.
"The biggest difference is the size of the game," he said. "Since the game is smaller, there's a lot more manufacturing of runs. There's a lot of small-ball involved. Obviously, you also need that in baseball at times, but there is more strategy involved with it in softball."
Another big difference for Posing to deal with is going from coaching boys to girls.
"I guess you could say that girls forget things easier and move on," Posing said. "That's not saying that girls aren't competitive, but they forget quicker. If they make an error or strike out, they don't carry it with them as long, and that's refreshing. Unlike the boys, they don't go on and on about it. It's definitely nice.
"Also, so far in practice, I've found myself toning it down with what I am saying," he added. "They know what it is you want them to do. The only time I have had to raise my voice with them is when I have been upset about their energy levels."
As far as leaving the baseball diamond behind, Posing says he feels fine with the appointment of Todd Grieff.
"I don't feel I know everything about baseball, but he's asked me about this thing and that thing so far and I told him that I'd help him any time," Posing said. "Especially when it comes to knowing about teams in the (River Valley) conference. I think he'll do a good job. I feel that the program is in good shape."