MUSKEGON — A former high school baseball coach in the area was given an assistant coach of the year honor last month.
Warren Kent Jr., who had head coaching stints at Greenville, Montabella and Vestaburg, was named the Michigan High School Baseball Coaches Association assistant coach of the year Jan. 14.
Kent is currently an assistant coach at North Muskegon, helping out his son Warren III with the Norsemen.
It was his son who nominated him for the honor, completely unbeknownst to Warren Jr.
“I didn’t know I was nominated and I was very surprised when I got the award,” Kent Jr. said from Florida, where he is currently vacationing.
Kent Jr. has spent the last seven springs at North Muskegon.
“I’m pretty much his gofer since he teaches at Mona Shores and doesn’t get to North Muskegon until after three,” Kent Jr. said of his son. “I don’t know who taught him baseball but he really knows baseball.”
Kent Jr. was also a varsity head coach at Vestaburg from 1988-1992 and at Montabella from 1996-1998. Kent Jr. has also coached at Greenville at the freshman and JV level.
At Vestaburg Kent Jr. had a 44-67-2 record. At Montabella his record was 14-64-1. He was 64-84-3 in Greenville combining both freshman and JV records.
The Greenville resident’s total career record as a head coach in baseball is 292-385-6.
“This spring will be my 46th year of coaching baseball or softball,” Kent Jr. said. “Of that 46, 23 were as a head coach. I managed to make it to 200 (varsity) wins the last year I coached at Montabella.”
Kent III credited his dad with what he has been able to do in baseball coaching.
“My father has helped me get to where I am today,” Kent III said in a press release. “Growing up, I saw the dedication my father put into everything that he did. I saw how much joy he had when he was working with students, whether it be in the classroom or on the athletic field. He has been influential to me because I have followed in his footsteps.”
Kent Jr. has a fond memory of his head coaching days.
“One at Fulton, we won at district, and we won our district without our best pitcher who was at the state track meet winning the high jump,” he said. “We won the district with our No. 2 pitcher and a JV pitcher.
We went on to face the No. 1 team in the regional and beat them. Then we lost to the eventual state champion Bay City All Saints.”
Kent Jr. was also part of the North Muskegon team that went to the state semifinals in 2008.
“We had one bad inning all year and that was at the state semifinals,” he said. “We lost 8-5.”
The Norsemen are 178-85 under the Kents.
“We’ve had good kids, the best baseball players around,” he said. “I don’t know what there is about it. I don’t know if it’s my son or not.”
Kent Jr. said he’ll keep on coaching as long as it’s still fun.
“I told him (Kent III) I’ll keep doing it until I don’t enjoy it,” he said. “Being retired I got nothing better to do. I enjoy it. I like working with the kids.”
Kent Jr. also coached football at various levels at Greenville, including two years as varsity head coach.