Baseball: Jeff Moeller steps down at Westminster Christian
By Erik Jacobsen firstname.lastname@example.org June 10, 2012 10:38PM
Westminster Christian coach Jeff Moeller resigned Sunday after 12 seasons guiding the Warriors. | File~Sun-Times Media
Updated: July 12, 2012 6:13AM
Westminster Christian marked the end of a highly successful era for its baseball program Sunday when it announced the resignation of coach Jeff Moeller.
News of Moeller’s decision was passed along by athletic director Rick Palmer on Sunday morning in a message to families associated with the school. The resignation ends a 12-year run that saw Moeller take the Warriors from humble beginnings to unprecedented heights.
The crowning moment of Moeller’s tenure came when Westminster Christian captured the Class 1A state championship in 2010. The Warriors also made an appearance at the state finals in 2007 and claimed four regional titles under Moeller.
“I’m really proud of the kids we’ve coached, and I’m proud of my coaching staff,” said Moeller, who was named Courier-News Coach of the Year in 2007 and 2010. “It’s been an incredible ride.”
Westminster Christian had a streak of five straight 25-win seasons snapped this spring when it posted an 18-12 mark. The Warriors typically had four freshmen in their lineup during the campaign, which was their second competing at the Class 2A level.
In addition to guiding the program through challenging times that included a 1-17 record in 2002, Moeller also oversaw the development of Westminster Christian’s home field.
“The program has seen amazing change under Jeff’s leadership,” Palmer said in a statement. “He developed a program that is highly respected and a field that is viewed as one of the best in the area.
“I am grateful for the time he spent developing a winning program, and for the many hours he has invested into the development of the baseball field.”
Moeller runs the Elgin Warriors travel baseball program, and he cited a growing time commitment with that organization among the reasons he is stepping down. He also faced the prospect of overhauling his coaching staff after assistant Nathan Perez and pitching coach Juan Perez stepped aside after the 2012 season, and those departures combined with some other changes within the program factored into Moeller’s decision.
“It seemed like it was a good time to move on,” Moeller said. “I always thought I’d go into a year knowing it would be my last year, but the situation kind of dictated otherwise.”
Moeller likened his team’s rise to prominence to a Disney story, pointing out Westminster Christian had no gym or baseball field when he first took over as coach. Now the school is home to a thriving athletic program that includes a baseball program that ranks as a perennial state powerhouse.
“It’s incredible where we are now compared to where we started,” Moeller said. “We were a small school that really hadn’t had success in any program, and all of a sudden the baseball team came around and started winning and all the other programs started to improve too.”