Lewis steps down for AD job

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SPRINGFIELD, Ohio—After 20 seasons at the helm of the baseball program at Wittenberg, Jay Lewis has stepped away from his duties as head coach, following his decision to accept the position of athletics director at Graham High School in St. Paris, Ohio.

Both a Wittenberg and St. Paris graduate, Lewis was hired as the head baseball coach in 1996, with his first season at the helm in 1997. Lewis excelled on the diamond for the Tigers in the early 1990s. Lewis was a three-year starting catcher for Wittenberg from 1991-1993 after spending his first season at West Virginia Wesleyan.

During his head coaching stint at Wittenberg, Lewis' teams finished second in the North Coast Athletic Conference (NCAC) Tournament twice. Several players, including Brent Parke, Ryan Born, Ryan Peters, Steve Less and Kurt Hartfelder, went on to play professional baseball after their careers at Wittenberg ended.

Lewis broke the school record for career baseball coaching victories during the 2006 season, and leaves the program with 379 career wins. 

"I have the distinct pleasure of coaching at Wittenberg for the past 20 years. I love Wittenberg and the baseball program. It was a very tough decision to step down from this position but this is the only job I would take to leave Wittenberg for. It is a time in my life that I feel I need to start serving my community. I have lived in St. Paris all my life and my parents, myself and my wife and both my kids will have or will graduated from Graham," said Lewis. 

"I really want to help grow the Athletic Department at Graham and feel this is the best way to serve them. I want to thank everyone at Wittenberg for being so supportive over the years. Wittenberg allowed me to grow as a coach and person and I will be forever grateful for that."