Northwestern and Western have enjoyed terrific runs of baseball success over the last 10 years. The Tigers were the Class 2A state runners-up in 2005 and regional champions in ‘07. The Panthers won the Class 3A state title in 2012 and took a regional title last year. The Panthers also won regional titles in ‘04 and ‘07.
Now, former standout players are moving into skipper roles for those squads.
Quentin Brown is the Panthers’ new coach. He was a key player on the 2004 regional title team — he hit a walk-off homer to give the Panthers the win in a one-game regional against Blackford. He belted 17 career homers and was a 2005 Indiana All-Star. He went on to play at IPFW.
Brown replaces longtime skipper Ty Calloway, who led the Panthers to 662 wins over his Hall of Fame career. Brown spent the last two seasons as an assistant coach.
“I think the guys are hungry to play baseball,” Brown said. “There are some differences in terms of philosophy, but at the end of the day it’s still baseball. I respect everything Coach Calloway did and I was a product of that. All I’m trying to do is continue the tradition and win ballgames.”
Kyle Beachy is the Tigers’ new coach. He started on Northwestern’s 2005 and ‘07 teams. He batted a county-best .462 as a senior in ‘07. He went on to play at Indiana Wesleyan.
“I’m extremely excited,” Beachy said. “It’s been a dream of mine since I stopped playing a couple years ago to be a varsity head coach. I know it’s not going to be easy. I believe I’m up to the challenge.”
Beachy noted he took a lot from his high school coach, Ryan Berryman.
“He was a big influence on me. In college, I had a couple coaches at Indiana Wesleyan who also were pretty big influences. But I’d say most of the stuff I try to apply to my team comes from my experience playing for Berryman.”