Less than a month after playing in a Division I district final, the Hilliard Bradley High School baseball team is undergoing a coaching change.
Nate Hillery has stepped down after two seasons as coach and, pending school board approval, will be succeeded by Xander Uxley, who served as an assistant with the Jaguars the past two seasons.
“There was no teaching position available for me (in Hilliard City Schools) and I was not going to do another year of being in two (school) districts,” said Hillery, a physical education teacher at Karrer Middle School in Dublin. “I didn’t want to leave. Bradley was a great place with good people. Xander will do a great job.”
Hillery compiled a 34-24 record at Bradley, including a 16-10 mark in the OCC-Cardinal Division.
This spring, the Jaguars finished 17-13 overall and 9-5 in the league and reached a Division I district final for the second time, losing to Lancaster 1-0.
Uxley, a 2010 graduate of Pickerington North, played at Shawnee State before an arm injury ended his playing career. He was an assistant at Pickerington North and Ready before serving as an assistant at the collegiate level with Defiance and Albany.
“This is the first time I will be a head coach, and it’s big for me that it’s at Bradley,” Uxley said. “After being here for the last couple of years, I know the kids and created strong bonds with them.”
Uxley is a paraprofessional with Dublin City Schools and also works as a hitting and defensive instructor at Bo Jackson’s Elite Sports.
“Nate did an awesome job, and we would like to thank him for his investment in the program and his enormous impact on our young men during his time as head coach,” athletics director Cort Hamilton said. “Xander has been on staff for the past two years and brings a wide range of baseball experience to the program.”