When Kelly Doherty hired Walt Weiss to be the head baseball coach at Regis Jesuit High School, he knew that he was hiring a man of integrity.
So, when news broke last week that Weiss, a former Major League Baseball shortstop, was being hired by the Colorado Rockies to be their new manager, Doherty was not mad.
He also wasn’t surprised.
“Walt was in touch with me every step of the way,” said Doherty, the boys’ division athletic director at Regis Jesuit. “This wasn’t something that came out of left field; I knew it was coming and that he had been asked to interview for the Rockies job.
“I’m very proud of Walt; it’s not every day a high school coach goes on to manage in the major leagues.”
Much has been made of Weiss’s stint at Regis Jesuit - and lack of major league coaching experience - in the national media, but he’s far from your typical high school coach.
After all, how many former American League Rookie of the Year (he won the award in 1988 as a member of the Oakland A’s) and World Series champion (1989 with the A’s) ballplayers spend time coaching high school kids?
Doherty has no doubts that Weiss was the right man for the Colorado Rockies job.
“Walt is great at whatever he does,” Doherty said. “I think his love and respect for the game is something that translates across all levels of baseball. He will expect everyone on his team to play hard every day. I think he’s a great fit.”
Prior to coaching at Regis Jesuit (first as an assistant before taking over the head coaching job in 2012), Weiss worked in the Rockies’ front office and as a special instructor from 2002-08.
The main motivation for Weiss moving to the prep ranks was to spend more time with his family, and to have the opportunity to coach his sons. His second-oldest son, Brody, 18, is a senior at Regis Jesuit High School and, like his dad, plays shortstop. The Raiders won the Class 5A Continental League, reached the Class 5A state semifinals and finished 2012 with a 20-6 record.
“Walt is a guy that’s really tight with our community,” Doherty said. “He’s a great role model for the kids and all the kids here wanted to play for Walt. We are lucky to have the Weiss family a part of the Regis Jesuit community.”
The next step for Doherty is finding a replacement for Weiss at Regis Jesuit. Weiss has given Doherty some input in terms of possible candidates for the position.
“I have a list with some names on it from Walt,” Doherty said. “I’m also going to put together some names that I will want to talk to. It won’t be a gigantic search and I’d prefer to get someone in sooner than later.”