After 37 years of teaching and coaching, Stewarts Creek baseball coach Mike Bartlett is calling it a career.
At least as a coach, that is.
Bartlett informed his players following Friday's season-ending 8-4 loss to Powell in the TSSAA Class 4A state baseball tournament that this was his last season coaching the Red Hawks.
It was a decision, however, he made several months ago.
"I made the decision in October or November," said Bartlett, who has been Stewarts Creek's baseball coach since the school opened in 2013. "I didn't want anyone to know, other than who had to know. High school baseball should be about the players, not some old coach ready to retire."
Bartlett, 59, said he plans to continue teaching at Stewarts Creek, where he has three years before reaching 30 years of teaching in Tennessee.
"I've got three full years to get full retirement," Bartlett said. "Then I guess I'll ride off into the sunset with my wife. I don't plan on coaching anything else."
Bartlett, who has also coached football during his career, started in Arkansas, where he spent 10 years before taking over as the baseball coach at Lebanon in 1995.
He left for Siegel Middle in 2003 and then Siegel High in 2008, where he was an assistant baseball coach until taking over at Stewarts Creek.
At Stewarts Creek he led the Red Hawks to the state tournament four times, including a Class AAA runner-up finish in 2017. His 2022 squad finished 29-9.
"Success is measured years after your players graduate," Bartlett said. "All the wins and losses are documented, but if you're not trying to make a difference in your players' lives, then you're just playing baseball games.
"That's what we tried to do, and win some games as we went."
This article originally appeared on Murfreesboro Daily News Journal: Stewarts Creek baseball coach Mike Bartlett announces retirement