LONGMONT — Skyline High School is losing the man who has been the face of the school's baseball program for the past decade.
After 10 years coaching the Falcons on the diamond, veteran coach Michael Hoog has stepped down from his post. While Hoog will be missed, he will at least be replaced by a familiar face.
Assistant coach Travis Schlagel has been named the team's next head coach.
"It's great to be back in the city and have the opportunity to coach where I grew up in and played," Schlagel said. "I'm super excited about it. Mike was great and I know that they've had a lot of good people over there. I've had a lot of good mentors over the years and I'm excited to keep that going."
Schlagel, who graduated from Longmont High in 2004, accepted the Skyline job in December. After graduating from Longmont, Schlagel went on to pitch at Otero Junior College in La Junta, Colo. He finished his bachelor's degree in kinesiology at the University of Louisiana at Monroe and afterwards earned his teaching license at Colorado Mesa University.
In the years since, Schlagel has been a junior varsity coach or varsity assistant at Longmont, Fruita Monument and Greeley Central. In 2014 he took over as the junior varsity coach at Skyline, where he teaches science, and was a varsity assistant for the Falcons in 2015.
Very much a product of Colorado prep baseball, Schlagel said the ability to coach and teach in his hometown makes his recent promotion more satisfying. He is also excited to continue the Skyline Falcons baseball program where Hoog left off.
"I think the biggest reason that Mike wanted me in there was so that there wouldn't be as much change as there would be with a new guy coming in," Schlagel said. "We're excited about the direction of the program and we've been real consistent with our assistants, and not a lot will change as far as our offseason program and the way we approach things.
"It's a huge benefit to have someone coaching who has been in the building teaching and in the dugout for a few years. I feel like I've built a good relationship with these kids as a teacher and a coach so I think we're in a great position to keep improving."
The Falcons went 10-8 last season but graduated eight seniors.