Arlinghaus' baseball season can't be long enough

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    Dec 05

    Arlinghaus' baseball season can't be long enough

    From the
    By Marc Harmon

    When it comes to describing the infectious personality of baseball coach Brad Arlinghaus, recent Conner High School graduate Jake Samad probably summed it up best when he said during the season that his coach is an "overgrown high school baseball player who's a lot of fun."

    Arlinghaus, who turned 29 on June 2, took it as a compliment.

    "There's been a bunch of Samads, and they all know what they're talking about," the coach said, laughing.

    Samad was serious.
    "Coach knows how to get you ready to play," Samad said as the Cougars were making a second consecutive run to the regional tournament semifinals. "At one time, he was in our shoes."
    Arlinghaus' wide-eyed enthusiasm for baseball, his knowledge of the game and uncanny knack for being able to relate to teenagers greatly appealed to Walt Terrell seven years ago when the former major-league pitcher and head coach of the Kentucky Colonels 18-under elite summer traveling team was looking for an assistant.

    In 2003, Arlinghaus, a former Covington Catholic standout first baseman, had graduated from Eastern Kentucky University and was looking for a way to get back into the game after forgoing a college career in order to focus squarely on academics. He majored in education.

    Arlinghaus played three seasons for the Kentucky Colonels, from 1997-99. He called those summers the best days of his life. One day, he and Terrell hooked up and decided it would be a good idea to mesh Arlinghaus' fun-loving temperament with Terrell's no-nonsense, old-school approach to teaching the game.

    "He's still so close in age that it really helps make it easier for the kids," Terrell said of Arlinghaus. "When he talks to them, they listen because he's really not much older than them. He gets to be the good cop. And, of course, I'm the bad cop."

    Arlinghaus took to his first coaching role with typical unbridled passion. He was named first-base coach, became an instant hit with the players, learned more about the game's complexities from Terrell from whom he also learned how to manage a roster and a game.

    When Conner needed a baseball coach four years ago, Arlinghaus was ready to lead his own team.
    "Baseball's been my life," he said. "It's all I wanted to do."

    But it's not all he does. It just seems like it.
    For the past four years, Arlinghaus has coached between 90-95 games every spring and summer by turning in his Conner uniform the first week of June and immediately jumping into his Kentucky Colonels uniform - a jersey, a pair of shorts and tennis shoes.

    "When I'm done with the high school season, the Colonels have already started," Arlinghaus said. "So I go from one to the other. I like summer ball because it's stress-free. I get to wear shorts and enjoy the game and the kids without the pressure of high school games.

    "In high school, it's all about winning. In summer ball, it's about developing the kids as players and getting them seen by college coaches."

    When the Colonels' season concludes this week in Indianapolis at a 48-team national tournament, Arlinghaus will have coached 93 baseball games in four months, in six states.

    Arlinghaus, a social studies teacher at Conner, also coaches the Cougars girls' golf team. He started practice two weeks ago. Within the last month, he completed his master's degree in special education at Xavier University.

    "I've been wearing many hats lately," he said. "But nothing is getting in the way of summer baseball. I just hope I can keep doing it and Walt will keep me."

    Theoldguy would like to echo the above comments and wishes Brad only the best. Brad is an outstanding educator, coach and all around great guy to know.