All Nick Koch wanted was to assist with a tee-ball team so he could go to the field and introduce the game he loves to the next generation of ballplayers. So, he attended a coach's meeting for the Bellevue Sports Athletic Association (BSAA), the local league.
“I didn’t really want the pressure of being head coach,” he says. “But I got to the meeting and they said, ‘You’re the head coach!’ Ten years later, I’m president of the league.”
In addition to league operations, Koch does everything from picking up trash at the field a couple of times a week on his lunch break, to chalking the lines before games. He’s even spent the night before Opening Day at the field with other volunteers, smoking pork butts at 3 a.m. during a tornado warning.
“I want kids to have a clean place, a safe place, where they can compete with their friends,” says Koch. “At BSAA they get healthy competition with their classmates and kids from surrounding schools.
“I like to keep everything positive so I spend a lot of time listening and observing so I can emulate their speech and, yes, their dance moves. I think they respect that I try to be ‘one of the guys’ as best I can.
“I’m not unreasonably strict coach and I don’t yell. That might work for some but for the most part, I believe talking to them and sharing life lessons is the way to go about coaching.”
Koch comes across as one of those guys who downplays what he does, saying it's not that much fun. Then, within minutes, it becomes clear he loves every minute of it. All 1,800 of them. That’s the amount of time he devotes to the unpaid job every week.
BSAA provides organized baseball and softball competitions for boys and girls ages 3-16. Games are played at a privately-owned, 6-field complex at 621 McPherson Drive.
Registration for the 2023 fall season closes in mid-August. Proceeds from registration fees and concession sales are put back into the complex infrastructure. Umpires are also being recruited and anyone from middle school students to adults will be considered. To inquire about umpiring or sponsorship opportunities, send an email to email@example.com.