By Brad Morris
Running and maintaining a program at a high level is a time-consuming endeavor, especially for Westfall softball coach Fred Redman.
So, following 11 seasons of leading the Mustangs, Redman recently decided to step aside so he could spend more time with his family.
“I have two grand kids now and I want to spend more time with my family and enjoy watching my grand kids grow,” Redman said. “I believe in making a program the best it can be and that requires putting in a lot of time year-round and going the extra mile. To do anything less wouldn’t be fair to the players.”
Redman holds the distinction of being one of only four Pickaway County coaches in history to lead a team to the pinnacle of high school athletics, when the Mustangs defeated Bloom-Carroll 1-0 in 14 innings to win the 2014 Division III state championship.
He also led the Mustangs to five Scioto Valley Conference championships, four district runner-up finishes and three district championships over his tenure.
“I’ve been blessed to have kids who want to work hard and become better players,” Redman said. “I hoped I’ve helped those kids become not only better players, but better people and helped prepare them to be successful in life as an adult.
“We’ve had a lot of success and won a lot of games, but it’s those friendships you make and having players you used to coach come see you or keep in contact with you that lasts.”
Josie Williams, a member of the Class of 2020, considers herself fortunate to have been able to play for Redman.
“Fred is like no other coach I’ve ever had in any sport, honestly,” she said. “He made coming to practice enjoyable and made me look forward to every single game, something I can’t say I truthfully felt before I played for Fred.
“We had fun while working hard and he made me a better person and player. I really don’t know where I’d be without him. He taught me so much when it comes to softball and I’m so thankful for that. I’m so lucky to have gotten to play for Fred for all four years of high school as well as five years of travel softball, and even started hitting lessons with him when I was only eight years old.”
Redman felt the 2020 Mustangs, which were never able to take the field due to the COVID-19 outbreak, had an opportunity to return the program to the state level.
“We had a core of talented players who had been starting since they were freshmen and they all had fully bought into putting the team before themselves,” Redman said. “That’s what we had back in 2014 and what I felt like we had a good opportunity to have again in 2020.
“I felt with the leadership and talent we were going to have that we had a good shot at getting back to Akron for the state tournament. I still feel for those kids that they didn’t get to have their senior season and all that entails.”
Redman credited part of his success to having a tough non-conference schedule.
“The only way you get better is by challenging yourself,” he said. “We went into every game expecting to win, but you can sometimes learn more from a loss than you can by beating someone you’re expected to beat.
“We played all the county schools, we played big Division I schools like Gahanna, Lancaster and Hilliard Davidson over the years and then we played some pretty good Division II schools like Lakewood, Bloom-Carroll and Sheridan.”
Williams credits Redman for creating a culture of success.
“Fred will forever have an impact on me as a person and player,” she said. “It’s obvious how amazing of a coach Fred is based off of his success and he really deserves so much credit for the softball teams that have came through Westfall since he’s been there.”
Copyright 2020 SportingPumpkin.com. Any unauthorized republication of content on this website is prohibited by law.