Mark Liefeld’s second stint as Bexley High School boys tennis coach is over, but he may not be done coaching.
“I’m stepping down as head coach because even though I loved coaching the kids, I got tired of the administrative duties that were part of being a head coach and also always having to watch the weather radar throughout the spring,” Liefeld said. “Someone else can do that now. I told the kids that if they needed someone over the summer to hit with or they wanted to work on some things, I’d do that. I’m not planning on giving that up.”
Liefeld compiled a 95-52 record in nine seasons at Bexley, including a 47-23 mark the past four seasons. This spring, the Lions finished 11-4 overall and 3-2 in the MSL-Ohio Division.
In 2017, he guided Bexley to a 14-6 record and the Ohio Tennis Coaches Association Division II state team tournament championship, its first state team title since 1975 and second overall. He also led the Lions to the Buckeye Athletic Conference title in 2002 and five league runner-up finishes.
“Mark stepped down and we’ll have some tough shoes to fill,” athletics director Eli Goldberger said. “He’s done a lot of things for us and is also a retired teacher in the community.
“He felt like he was wanting some flexibility in his life. He was a great leader for us and he also won a state championship for us a couple years ago. He helped out this year in girls basketball (as an assistant) and helped out Shelby (Cheses) last fall with the girls tennis program.”
Liefeld was an assistant under former boys tennis coach G.J. Seckel in 2001 before leading the program from 2002-04. He returned to the Lions in 2008 as an assistant and remained in that position until replacing Seckel again in 2014.
“I probably coached 61 teams in my 41 years,” said Liefeld, who also guided the girls tennis team in 2002 and was an assistant at various levels of the girls basketball program. “I have always loved being around and teaching the kids.”
A 1974 Bexley graduate, Liefeld also coached basketball and tennis at Logan Elm from 1978-84 and Reynoldsburg from 1984-2000. He taught science at Bexley from 2000-13.
“For now, I’m retiring, but who knows?” he said. “I can never say never because I might want to come back to coaching.”
girls basketball coach
Brycen Baugh has been named girls basketball coach, replacing Joshua Price, who resigned after five seasons.
Baugh is a familiar face at Bexley, having taken over as coach of the girls golf team last fall and having spent 13 seasons as an assistant coach with the boys basketball team. He also teaches U.S. history and government at the high school.
“I’m really excited about the opportunity to be a varsity (basketball) head coach and continue what Joshua has started,” said Baugh, who will continue to lead the girls golf program. “When Joshua took over, he had a tough time getting kids out (for the program) and they had three teams (varsity, junior varsity and freshman) last season. I’m excited to have my own (basketball) program and work to make it a success.”
Last season, the Lions finished 15-10 overall after losing to Granville 34-30 in a Division II district semifinal and went 6-2 in the MSL-Ohio to place second behind Worthington Christian (7-1).
Leven resigns as
girls soccer coach
Ryan Leven has stepped down after two seasons as girls soccer coach.
“Ryan resigned … because of increased work demands,” Goldberger said. “That happens sometimes when you get coaches who work out of the (school) district. Real job demands can take a toll.”
Under Leven, the Lions were 11-16-9, including 4-4-5 in the MSL-Ohio. Last fall, they finished 4-7-7 overall and 1-2-3 in the league.