Aside from helping out with his son’s Little League team the past couple of years, Scott Weiss has been out of baseball for more than a decade.
In fact there was a time, after a shoulder injury ended his playing career at the double-A minor league level, that the sight of a ball diamond was tough for him to take in.
The game, however, never left him.
“I always knew I would come back to baseball,” Weiss said Thursday. “This was the time. I’m thrilled.”
Monarch High hired Weiss this week to try and lead its once-proud baseball program back to contender status.
Weiss, 42, replaces Matt Jensen, who resigned in April in the middle of his second season. In the end, Weiss won the job over fellow finalist Aaron Allen, a longtime Coyotes assistant who served as interim coach since Jensen’s departure.
Both Weiss and Monarch athletic director Mark Sibley acknowledged the new coach’s time away from the game. He last coached high school ball in the 1990s and has never been a head coach. The absence was the biggest red flag for the interviewing committee as they questioned Weiss, but it didn’t outweigh his other experiences in the game.
Sibley said he believes Weiss is someone who can bring more structure to the program and “someone the players will respect and vice versa.”
“I think he just is going to give us the change that I think our community needed,” Sibley said.
Weiss, who grew up in California, played at Stanford University from 1987-91, reaching the College World Series twice and pitching for the 1988 national championship team. He was drafted in the 10th round by the Chicago Cubs following his senior year at Stanford, and played three years in the minors before his injury.
He served as an assistant at his high school for a couple of years after that, but eventually settled into the business world. The Superior resident has lived in Colorado for 11 years now and is currently a project manager at Market on Demand in Boulder.
The coach — who hopes to someday coach his 9-year-old son at Monarch — said he’s had his eye on the Coyotes job for some time now. He said he’ll model his program as closely as he can to the one he was part of under coach Mark Marquess at Stanford.
“I think with my baseball background and the experience I have, even though I haven’t been a head coach, I think I have a lot to bring the kids,” said Weiss, who is no relation to former major leaguer Walt Weiss, though he gets the question a lot. “I think my job as a coach is basically to prepare the kids for the next level. I’ve been through that whole route, and I know what it takes to get there.”
Weiss takes over a Coyote program that has struggled the last two seasons. After six straight postseason appearances under former coach Carmen Rivas — including a Class 5A final four appearance and three Front Range League titles — the Coyotes missed the postseason each of the last two years and finished with a pair of losing records.
Sibley, who kept the MHS job open all summer, said the search was the most thorough he’s been a part of. Of the 10 candidates who ended up applying, six were interviewed initially, with three of those earning a second interview. From there the field was narrowed to Weiss and Allen, a teacher at Louisville Middle School.
“I’m excited that the time is here,” Weiss said.