By Vern Hee
Rich Lauver has called it quits.
The Pahrump Valley High School baseball coach since 1997 , who led the lady Trojans to three consecutive Nevada 3-A state championships in fast pitch softball, said he won’t be coaching Trojan baseball again.
Lauver was a player at PVHS and graduated in 1993. He was known as a great hitter. During college he played at Lassen Junior College and Cal State San Bernardino, which eventually landed him in front of a pro-scout.
His decision comes after a 2-26 season in which he finished at last in the league with Clark. The only win this season in league was against Clark 5-4. The rest of the league games the Trojans lost horribly many in lopsided, double-digit defeats.
The last game of the season will be at Desert Oasis today at 3:30 p.m. Originally forfeit, Lauver found out that the two of five players who were supposed to be sidelined with bad grades were actually eligible to play. The players ended up only being on probation. On Monday, five players were said to be ineligible, leaving the team with only seven players. According to Lauver, the eligibility could not be correctly determined on Monday because the teacher was absent. The teacher was also unavailable for comment.
Yesterday, while talking about the team’s Monday forfeit to Bishop Gorman, Lauver revealed his intentions of leaving the diamond. He said this year the team had not gotten the clutch hits or the pitching he needed to compete at the varsity level. In past interviews, Lauver had hinted that he was frustrated at the level of play and that the team needed change, but this was the first time he has outright said he was leaving.
“My staff, I think a few of them will continue to coach, or at least reapply; obviously the season did not go as anticipated for us. This is probably time for a change. Let me put it this way, I used to be an athletic director, and if a coach had a 2-26 season, which looks like we are going to have, I definitely would have sat them down and had a long discussion about making a change. With that being said, I am not in that position, but I still would expect that to happen.
“If I were in their shoes, what would I do? So what, I had success a long time ago, I can not rest on my laurels. I must stand on what I have done lately and what I have done lately is gone 2-26,” Lauver said.
When asked if the school would ask him to come back, he said he would sleep on it and then added, “All season long we have been talking about what we would need to become successful and if it would take an abrupt change. Something significant, to be honest, something significant must change and that probably has to do with the coaching staff. So, without completely saying it, to be honest the position will be opened and it will be opened as soon as possible. It needs to be filled before the summer, because I do believe that the only way a high school team can be successful is to have a massive say in a summer program. I will tell you now that I do not have a massive say in the summer program.”
At that point, he did not want to bash the American Legion program nor blame them for his unsuccessful season. He did say though that the lack of experience during the summer played a role in his pitching staff’s inability to perform during the season.
Chris Brockman, PVHS athletic director, said, “We are deeply disappointed in his decision to leave, the program and the facilities, but we do support his decision to step away from the program at this time. He feels like he has done as much as he could do at this point.”
Brockman said as soon as he has a resignation letter the position will fly.
A possible replacement might be Brian Hayes, who was a successful baseball coach at Beatty High School and currently coaches the junior varsity Trojan baseball team and the varsity basketball team. Beatty went to the regional play-offs last year and lost to Alamo. Hayes is an elementary school teacher in Pahrump and first year coach with PVHS.