Eight years manning the third-base coach’s box provided Rob Coddington plenty of thrills.
Coddington served as head coach of the Durango High School varsity baseball team for eight seasons, but he is stepping down to spend more time with his 9-year-old son.
“My son has been hanging out in dugouts with me since he was 2. I split time seeing him and only get him half the week, and I want to commit as much time to him as I can right now,” Coddington said. “He loves baseball, and I want to be around while he is coming up as a ball player.”
Coddington, who played collegiate baseball at the University of Wyoming, has spent 15 years coaching baseball and football at DHS and was the head baseball coach the last eight. In those eight years, the Demons had a regular season record of 90-62 and a playoff record of 9-7. DHS was 36-34 in league games during that span while winning league titles in 2009 and 2012. The Demons reached the final four of the state tournament in each of the last two seasons.
“I never had any issues coaching at DHS. I enjoyed every year of it, and I would love to come back and coach again when my kid is around the age to play high school ball,” Coddington said. “Baseball is what I do, but the time has come for me to focus on my boy and maybe work on a master’s degree.”
Coddington will continue to teach social studies at DHS.
During summers, Coddington, who also is a fishing guide when school lets out, led the Durango summer league Connie Mack team in the Farmington city summer league. He said he will miss coaching games at Ricketts Park and hopes the new coach will continue to help the players develop in the summer league.
“One of the issues for me was the amount of time I could personally commit. I love being a fishing guide in the summer, and I travel a lot for it. The boys at the high school need a guy who can come in like I did eight years ago and coach summer ball; the guys deserve that,” Coddington said. “I hope someone can come in and keep the program going in the direction we had it.”
Coddington credited all of his assistant coaches and the head coaches that preceded him at DHS for his success. Having his father Jim Coddington in the dugout alongside him also was a big asset to the coaching staff.
“Dad did an amazing job working with the hitters, and it was awesome having my dad out there with me,” Coddington said. “He brought a lot of old-school baseball stuff into the program. We were one of the top hitting teams, and I think we had a top-10 offense every year.
“I consider all of the assistants my best friends, and I have been lucky to do what we’ve done together the last eight years and last 15 years.”
DHS graduated nine talented seniors off of the 2014 team that reached the final four for a second consecutive year. Even with that mass exodus, Coddington said a new coach will inherit a quality club with the potential to get back to the same stage at the state tournament next season.
“I honestly think next year’s team has a chance to come back and compete to get to the elite eight again. That made stepping away even tougher,” Coddington said. “They will have tremendous pitching with Casey Dunlap, Lawrence Mayberry, Dayne Rowley, Hayden Sill and Chris Jaworsky. We’ve had a good run of players at DHS with a good thing going with baseball here right now. The next coach is going to be lucky.”
Coddington hopes his departure is only temporary, and he would love to take over again someday when the time is right.
“We have really good baseball around here. I’m going to take a few years and then get back into the game,” Coddington said. “Baseball is my love for sure. It will be a few years, and then I will crank at competitive baseball again.”