Created on Tuesday, 16 July 2013 Written by MATT HAMMOND
Indian Lake turned to one of its own Monday to fill the vacancy in the high school baseball program.
Ryan Lillard, a former standout player for the Lakers and a 1998 graduate, was hired as the school’s new baseball coach during the Indian Lake board of education meeting.
“This is something that is really important to me,” said Lillard. “I’ve been a part of the program as a player and an assistant coach. I understand the tradition here and what the baseball program means to the school and the community. I want to continue our success and continue to bring pride to the community.”
Lillard served as an assistant coach for the Lakers over the last four years under Kevin Eyink, who recently stepped down to take a teaching position at Ft. Recovery.
“I feel like it will be a seamless transition,” he said. “I have a good rapport with the student-athletes in our program and they understand what I am going to expect from them.”
Lillard, who will also teach physical education at Indian Lake, inherits a squad that has won three straight Central Buckeye Conference Mad River division championships.
“My first goal is to continue the success we’ve had in the Mad River division,” said Lillard. “I also want to compete better against the larger division in the CBC. The next thing that I really want to strive for is to get to the district championship game. I hope that is something we can accomplish in the near future.”
After leaving Indian Lake, Lillard played four years of college baseball at Ohio Northern. He has not lost his passion for the game, transferring it to the coaching profession.
“We are going to do some of the same things we have done in the past and I also have some of my own thoughts and philosophies that I want to bring,” said Lillard. “We are going to stress small ball and I want to be a little more aggressive than we have been in the past. I also want to surround myself with a good coaching staff.”
Indian Lake is coming off a 12-12 season. The Lakers went 17-7 in 2012 and 15-8 in 2011.