Meet the coach: Erik Kehoe embarks on inaugural season with Desert Mountain baseball

Desert Mountain baseball coach Erik Kehoe. (Independent Newsmedia/Josh Martinez)

The 2018 high school baseball season is underway and Desert Mountain High School will embark on its journey with a new skipper at the helm.

Erik Kehoe is in his first year as head coach of Desert Mountain, replacing two-year coach John Casey who accumulated a 26–34 record during his time at the school.

Coach Kehoe comes into the job with 22 years of prior coaching experience at the varsity level. He will lead a school that has only made one appearance in the playoffs since winning the state championship in 2013. As of Monday, March 12, the Wolves are 7–2 on the season.

In establishing his philosophy at Desert Mountain, Coach Kehoe said he has a simple goal for the type of program he wants to establish in his players each day.

“We want to play the game the right way, compete, play hard and have fun,” he said in a March 1 emailed response to questions.

By the time his players leave the program, Coach Kehoe said he hopes his players take away many lessons from the program.

“Hopefully, they learned a little about the game of baseball but more importantly, (they learn) how to be better men, students, future husbands and family men,” he said.

The Scottsdale Independent reached out to Coach Kehoe to better understand who he is and what type of coach he wants to be at Desert Mountain. This is what he had to say:

Why did you get into coaching?

I love the relationships you build with the players in this great game of baseball. I love the competition and seeing the players develop.

What is your coaching philosophy?

No one player is bigger than the program. We want to play team baseball and be great teammates.

What about coaching is the most rewarding to you?

The relationship part of it.

What are the components to a successful team?

Talent, to be unselfish, do whatever it takes to win a game. Great kids who buy into what you are asking of them.

Why do you think sports are important to a high school?

The life lessons that present themselves and how to deal with them. The brotherhood is unbelievable.

Describe the moment you fell in love with the sport you coach:

When I was 7 years old playing little league baseball. I just loved the competition of it all and the great relationships you build through the game.

If you weren’t coaching the sport you are, what sport would you want to coach? Why?

Football, there is nothing like a football under the lights on a Friday night!

Which coach in sports, current or retired, is one you look up to the most? Why?

A couple of my high school coaches that were in football and baseball. Great people and mentors.

When you are not coaching, what are you doing?

Being the best dad I can be with my 2 daughters. Trying to workout at the gym as much as time allows.

News Services Reporter Josh Martinez can be contacted at jmartinez@newszap.com or at 623-445-2738

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