tampabay.com

Tonight one coach bows out for good

By SCOTT PURKS
Published May 8, 2007


VALRICO - One has a few hours. One has nine days or fewer.

Who will retire first, Bloomingdale coach K.B. Scull or Newsome's Chad Haschel?

The beginning of the end starts at 7:30 tonight when the Bulls (20-7) and Wolves (22-8) square off in a Class 5A region final.

The winner moves to a state semifinal next week at Sarasota's Ed Smith Stadium.

The loser? ... The loser not only brings an end to the season, but an end to a coach's career.

Haschel's spans back more than a decade as an assistant and the past four as a head coach at Newsome, where he has taken the Wolves from severe beatings to one of the most respected county teams.

Scull's resume is much deeper - 28 years in the school system, 22 of them coaching, the past 12 at Bloomingdale - a span that often has left him looking for some time for himself.

"I finally decided (before the district tournament) that it was time to pull the trigger, " said Scull, who has more than 300 career victories. "I've been thinking about it for a few years and, well, it was just time."

Scull, who will continue to teach driver's education, said the announcement's timing had nothing to do with firing up his team for the playoffs.

He said the timing had more to do with, "Getting it out of the way so the guys could focus on the task at hand. I don't want anything that happens from here on out to be about me because this is not about me. It's about this special group of guys."

Haschel, meantime, announced his impending retirement from baseball over spring break because that's when he was told he had been hired as Brandon High's dean of students.

"I don't think we've lost any focus because of this change, " said Haschel, who started as Brandon's dean the day after spring break, or two days after the Wolves placed second in the prestigious Saladino Baseball Tournament. "I tell people that it's not a distraction but I don't think they believe me.

"Honestly, though, I haven't really thought about (tonight possibly being his last game as a baseball coach). It doesn't do any good to think about it now. I guess I'll think about it later and it will all hit me."