Coach quits due to new goal, lack of support

Geoff Brown wants to be a college pitching coach and is tired of the lack of support from the Bainbridge Island School District so he has quit his job as coach of the Spartans.

As for a new job, Brown said he had a few opportunities rise during the season, including at the University of Puget Sound in Tacoma.

As for the district, the BISD tried to fire Brown so he took legal action to keep it. There were other issues, such as the lack of support. Unlike some other major sports, the Booster Club, not the district, paid for many of the team’s needs and also helped maintain fields, replace uniforms and provide carpools to games.

In an Instagram post, Brown said, “Thanks to all the players that made the accolades happen—it’s about them and the buy-in. It is time for me to move on and chase the next chapter of my coaching career and looking forward to seeing what’s next! Thank you for all the memories, the ups and downs that come with HS baseball it has been all worth it and at the end of the day this is all about the kids!”

Brown began coaching at Ingraham High School in 2017 and took over at Bainbridge in 2019. Brown has won 112 games, including an 86-23 record at Bainbridge. In addition, Brown brought the Spartans three league titles, two state berths, and he has helped 18 players advance to play in college or professionally.

“They make it worth it,” Brown said on Instagram of the kids. “This game has given me so much through my playing career that all I ever wanted to do after playing was give back to these kids and the game and I plan to keep coaching and keep giving back I’ll see you guys on the field somewhere!”

Booster president Monica Knight said, “Geoff is an exceptionally talented coach and has a bright future ahead of him. We’re lucky to have had him for as long as we did.”

The Seattle native has helped young baseball players through coaching and his training regiment business called Island Baseball Co., which he is turning over to some local families.

Brown played at the University of Washington from 2008-11. He turned down a $400,000 pro contract after being drafted out of Jackson High School in Mill Creek by the Kansas City Royals in the 23rd round in 2007. At Jackson as a junior he was 10-0 with a 0.98 earned run average with 76 strikeouts in 69 innings, part of a state championship team that went 27-0 that included former Major Leaguer Travis Snider.

“As a former professional athlete with a lengthy baseball career, Geoff brings an extensive knowledge and deep understanding of the game which is extremely rare for a high school coach,” Knight said. “He has a unique ability to motivate and inspire his players through his genuine passion for the game.”

After his collegiate career, where he pitched over 65 innings as a senior with a 5.76 ERA, he was signed to the Los Angeles Dodgers organization in 2012. He played up to 2014 in Single-A for the Great Lakes Loons and Rancho Cucamonga Quakes. His best stint came in 2013 when he had a record of 12-1 with a 2.08 ERA and 56 strikeouts.

Pitcher JR Ritchie, the 35th pick in the Major League Baseball draft a few years ago by the Atlanta Braves, leads the list of Brown’s players who have advanced their careers. The others are:

Kai Francis, Jon Kussie and Nate DeSchryver at University of Gonzaga

Jaxon Gore and Colton Bower at University of Washington

Noah Sorenson at Oregon State

Jonah Giblin at Arizona State

Liam Hatakenaka at University of Portland

Zach Duffy at St. John’s University

Owen McWilliam at University of Pacific

Jasiah George at Central Arizona

Angel Maldonado at Oklahoma Wesleyan

Breckin Hedley at St. Olaf

Josh Flaugher at Corpus Christi

AJ Staff at Carleton

Eddie Bignold at Centralia CC

Cole Pentin at Lower Columbia CC

Tommy Lockyear at Olympic CC

JT Hardy at Tacoma CC

Luis Vales Crespo at Edmonds CC

Kyler Miller at Siena CC

File photo
Geoff Brown passes along signals to his catcher during a postseason game in Kent.

File photo Geoff Brown passes along signals to his catcher during a postseason game in Kent.