Kibler Decision Baffles Arizona’s Baseball Community
By now I’m sure most everyone who follows high school baseball in Arizona has heard the news regarding Horizon High School’s decision to force longtime Coach Eric Kibler into retirement after 38 years on the job.
There has been an incredible show of support for Coach Kibler from the community and from baseball people around the state.
A meeting has been scheduled for Monday April 23 with the Horizon administration, where letters of support will be presented.
If you are interested in sending a letter, please e mail it to firstname.lastname@example.org or feel free to send it to me at email@example.com and I will re-direct it.
Here is my letter:
To Whom It May Concern,
My name is Ron Benham. I am the creator of the Arizona Diamond Report website, which provides coverage of high school baseball as well as information on high school and junior college players to college coaches.
I have closely observed high school baseball in Arizona for the last 18 years. In a typical high school baseball season, I will see somewhere between 100 and 120 games and around 70 teams, and always see the Horizon team multiple times every year.
When I heard the news regarding Coach Eric Kibler and his impending dismissal at the end of the 2018 season, I was shocked.
This is a man who, from day one, has created arguably the finest high school baseball program in Arizona. Coach Kibler’s teams are always well disciplined, respectful of their opponents, and fundamentally sound.
When Horizon players advance to the next level, they are incredibly well prepared for the rigors of college or professional baseball.
For the last 38 years Coach K has mentored and coached hundreds if not thousands of young men in the north Phoenix area. I can honestly say that every Horizon player I have kept in contact with has been a quality young person long after their playing days were over.
That speaks volumes as to the quality of character of Coach Kibler and the Horizon program.
I take this topic to heart, as my high school coach in Texas is still coaching at my alma mater 43 years after taking the job.
I firmly believe that Coach Kibler, or any coach who has similar tenure and the incredible history behind him, should have the right to go out on his own terms. I also believe he should have some input as to the choice of his successor.
Please re-consider this decision. If you need an example of how this is handled the proper way, look no further than Brophy College Preparatory, who allowed Coach Tom Succow to announce his retirement on his own, and to participate in the selection of his successor.
Thank you for your consideration in this matter. I will be watching closely to see the outcome.
The Arizona Diamond Report