Longtime Oakton High baseball coach Scott Rowland has stepped down from his position at the helm of the program. The decision became official on Oct. 1.
Rowland, who led Oakton baseball to three Northern Region titles (2000, ’01 and ’07) during his nine seasons as head coach from 2000 through 2008, said he was simply ready for a change.
"There is no one particular reason," said Rowland, earlier this week. "It probably had to do most with all the outside stuff that comes with being a coach. It’s a year-round job now."
Rowland said that high school coaching, more so in recent years, is much more than just the on-field coaching. There are numerous other challenges that come with being a high school head coach, such as team fund-raising projects, field maintenance, and other variables. He emphasized that he understands and has accepted all of those job requirements as being part of the entire head coaching experience. But his primary passion, he said, is coaching baseball and working with his players on the ball diamond. All of the other facets and demands of the position were beginning to weigh him down.
"There’s always a little extra to do," said Rowland, who led Oakton to the state AAA title in 2000. "That’s just high school baseball around here right now and in every [high school] sport. The baseball part I could do forever."
Rowland said he had been thinking about relinquishing his position for a while. Last spring, he led the Cougars to a 19-5 overall record. Oakton reached the region tournament semifinals where there season ended with a loss to Lake Braddock.
"He’s kind of taking a step back," said Pete Duperrouzel, Oakton’s director of student activities. "He’s been thinking of it for a long time.
Duperrouzel said recently he hopes to have a new head coach named by the middle of this month.
Rowland has had several assistant coaches over the years at Oakton, including longtime assistants Don Kildoo (pitching coach) and Brian McGowan (infield coach). Neither, he said, is interested in interviewing for the head coaching vacancy.
<b>ROWLAND</b> said he would be open to working as a volunteer assistant baseball coach within the Oakton program in the future. But that, he said, would be dependent on several factors, including who the next coach is.
Rowland currently runs MVP Baseball in Fairfax, which holds baseball hitting and pitching camps. During the summers, he has coached or been involved with the game in some way. Last summer, he coached the Carney Pirates, a team made up of college and high school aged players. The Pirates were participants in both the Clark Griffith League (college) as well as the Old Dominion League (high school).
From 1999 through 2005 Rowland was general manager of the Vienna Mustangs of the Clark Griffith League.
He plans on continuing to coach a summer team if there is a position just right for him.
"I plan on continuing coaching somewhere," said Rowland, of summer ball. "But I’ll wait for the right fit."
Rowland works within the Fairfax County Public Schools system as an itinerant adapted physical education teacher, where he moves around to various elementary, middle and high schools.
Prior to taking the Oakton head baseball position in 2000, Rowland was the head baseball coach at South Lakes High School from 1997 through 1999. There, he led the Seahawks to a region title in 1997 and a district crown in 1998.
Galvin Morris, the current South Lakes baseball coach, was an assistant coach when Rowland was head coach of the Seahawks.
"The region will miss him. I’m sure some of the Concorde District coaches are glad because his teams were beating them," said Morris, with a laugh.
Morris said Rowland had talked to him at times about stepping down at Oakton.
"He had talked about it before," said Morris. "He called me right before it hit the press and I could tell he was more serious this time."