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Shawnee hires Springfield’s Cassell as new baseball coach

Rob Cassell shocked himself with his decision to leave the Springfield High School baseball program after six seasons as head coach to take the same job at Shawnee.

“It just kind of came about this summer,” Cassell said. “I didn’t anticipate leaving Springfield at the end of the year. I’ve been there 15 years between North and Springfield.”

Cassell, 38, was approved as the new Shawnee coach at the school board meeting Tuesday. He has been the only head baseball coach Springfield has had since the merger of North and South high schools in 2008. Prior to that, beginning in 2000, he worked on Mark Stoll’s coaching staff at North.

The Shawnee job came open, Shawnee Athletic Director Steve Tincher said, when Andy DeWitt’s contract was non-renewed after the 2014 season. DeWitt coached for six seasons.

“Some people talked to me about (the job),” Cassell said. “People in the community said it was open. One thing led to another. I talked to Steve Tincher. I guess sometimes you’re ready for a change. It was just my time for a change.”

Cassell, a 1994 Southeastern graduate, also moved from teaching at Snowhill Elementary School to a new position as a student support facilitator at Simon Kenton Elementary School.Telling his former players at Springfield he was leaving was difficult.

“I loved every minute of it there,” he said. “I’ve had great kids. I’ve had great coaches. I’ve learned under great people: Mr. Stoll, Mr. (Greg) Newland, Mr. (Mike) Dellapina. It wasn’t a decision made easily. It was something I thought about for a long time before I decided to actually do it.”

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