John Carder's final season as coach of the Marysville High School baseball team was a memorable one.
He led the Monarchs to their first district title since 1992, defeating Watkins Memorial 7-2 in a Division I final May 23. Marysville also won 20 games for the first time since 1989, finishing 22-8 with a 10-1 loss to Gahanna in a regional semifinal May 30.
Carder, who resigned last month to become an assistant principal at Marion Harding, said he "couldn't have asked for anything more" from his team.
"Leaving is bittersweet simply because we did so much this year with this group," he said. "I really feel like the last three years we've really moved our players in the right direction and all the things we've been trying to put in our program really came to fruition last year."
Marysville played in its first district final since 2003, when it lost to Upper Arlington 11-5. Marysville defeated Briggs 6-5 for a Division II district championship in 1992.
The Monarchs went 9-5 in the OCC-Central Division to tie Olentangy Liberty for second behind Thomas Worthington (11-3) and ahead of Dublin Coffman (8-6), UA (8-6), Hilliard Davidson (6-8), Central Crossing (5-9) and Westland (0-14).
Carder, 34, is a 1997 graduate of Marysville. He said he will remain a loyal follower of the program.
"I'm an alumnus of Marysville, so I went there and there's still a lot of pride for Marysville schools and Marysville athletics and particularly the baseball program," he said. "I definitely will keep a watchful eye on it and I'm really hoping for the best, and I'm really hoping that what we did this past year sets the stage for our baseball program for a lot of years to come."
Senior third baseman Billy Kidd, a first-team all-league and second-team all-district honoree, said Carder will be missed.
"I was definitely surprised since we won our first district championship in 20 years under his coaching," Kidd said. "I was a little disappointed. I definitely enjoyed having him around. This was my third year being with him and now we don't even know who our head coach is for next year. I'm going to miss him. He connects with the players really well. We all enjoyed being around him and just enjoyed his presence."
Carder, who lives in Lewis Center, was a science teacher at Marysville for 10 years. He coached the baseball team for six seasons, finishing with an overall record of 85-73.
Carder was with the program for 11 years, serving as a coach at the freshman and junior varsity levels for three years and as a varsity assistant for two before replacing Ed Starling as coach in 2008.
"John was a tremendous teacher in the classroom and an excellent coach on the field," athletics director Joe Bline said. "He continued the tradition of excellence Ed Starling had built and guided the program to its first district championship in a long time."
Carder said he applied for the position at Marion Harding during regional tournament play.
"It was something that I've been wanting to do," he said. "For my career it was a direction I knew that I wanted to go. I had applied for a lot of positions during the spring. I was open with the kids about it."