One of the messages Ray Noe preached to his Pickerington High School Central baseball team the past three seasons was if his players had a chance to achieve a dream, sometimes the decision to actually take advantage might be difficult.
Noe is going through that himself, having resigned this week after three seasons to become a full-time baseball coach at IMG Academy in Bradenton, Florida.
Noe worked at IMG Academy for most of the summer, getting to interact with former Cincinnati Reds third baseman Chris Sabo among other former major league players, and said their job offer last week took him by surprise.
“The dominoes fell my way,” said Noe, whose first day at IMG will be Aug. 15. “My goal is ultimately to coach in the collegiate ranks and this is one of the best academies in the country. I tell my (Central) kids all the time that at some point, you are going to have to make a hard decision, no matter how good that decision might be for your future. I loved all of my time at Central, the interaction with the kids and interaction with other coaches.
“I think we helped put Central baseball on the map.”
Last season, the Tigers went 15-10 overall and 10-5 in the OCC-Ohio Division, falling to New Albany 2-1 in a Division I district final.
Noe went 52-32 overall and 26-17 in the league at Central, but each of his teams lost in district finals by one run.