Thursday, December 12th, 2013
Dorner to be inducted into Hall of Fame
By Gary R. Rasberry
In a few months, John Dorner will begin his 25th year as St. Henry's baseball coach with an additional title - Hall of Famer.
Dorner will be inducted into the Ohio High School Baseball Coaches Association's Hall of Fame on Jan. 17 as part of the annual OHSBCA Coaches' Clinic in Columbus.
"I'm a little flabbergasted. I look at some of the names that are in there, especially from this area, and what tremendous careers that they had," said Dorner, who has a record of 428-209 at St. Henry. "To be included in the same organization with them is an unbelievable honor.
"Through the years, they put together a nice program at the state (for the Hall of Fame). You read each year about the coaches that are inducted. As time goes by, the numbers of wins and success have slowly accumulated. It's just a real nice honor. I appreciate the opportunity to take that spot in the Hall of Fame."
Dorner becomes the fourth Mercer County coach to earn Hall of Fame honors, joining Coldwater's Lou Brunswick (inducted 1975), and Parkway coaches Don Black (1986) and Mike Schumm (2010).
Dorner is a Wapakoneta graduate who made coaching stops at Findlay and Houston before arriving at St. Henry in 1990. Dorner had hopes of building a powerhouse program and he has done so, leading the Redskins to three state championships (1999, 2000 and 2003), five Midwest Athletic Conference titles, 15 sectional titles and eight 20-win seasons. The Redskins are coming off a 24-6 campaign in 2013.
"It comes down to the fact that I've been here for 25 years now, having tremendous assistant coaches helping me out. In fact, most are former players at St. Henry. The athletes that we have here, year in and year out, are very dedicated and love to play the game of baseball. You have to have that to be successful," said Dorner. "The parental support has been awesome for 25 years. I've been lucky to have the whole package each year at St. Henry. The school administration also supports you. If you can justify you need something, they find a way to make sure you get it."
Dorner has coached 27 first team All-Ohio players and his coaching staff has five current assistants that played for him.
"It's kind of neat. It's very rewarding," said Dorner. "I have six assistant coaches on the coaching staff beside myself, and I coached five of them. The other played baseball at St. Henry before I got here. Everyone one of them, except for myself, is a former St. Henry Redskin. I'm a Wapak Redskin, so I guess we're all Redskins on the coaching staff.
"Now I'm starting to see people like Andy Mikesell hired at Celina. I think he can do a fine job out there. It's very rewarding to see former players take up the same position. I look forward to seeing a lot of these guys coach in future years," added Dorner.
Dorner credits his success to his family, wife Brenda, daughter Nora and son Mitchell, who currently plays for the Redskins.
"The final piece of the puzzle, which is important to me, is the support from my family," said Dorner. "Knowing how much time I put into baseball, most of that time is away from the family, and they have supported me. That's one of the most important things to me over the years."
Years at St. Henry: 25 (1990-current)
MAC Titles: 5
Sectional Titles: 15
District Titles: 6
State Titles: 3
All-Ohio Players coached: 38 (27 first team)
State Coach of the Year: 2 (2002, 2013)
Source: Ohio High School Baseball Coaches Association