After 22 seasons, John Visser is stepping aside as baseball coach at Chattanooga Christian School.
"It's time," he said. "I will focus my energy in the administrative side of my job. I still have a passion for the game, but sometimes that's the best time to leave. I have some pretty good people in place, and the timing is right for me to step out."
Visser, who will remain at the school as athletic director, will be handing the baseball reins to Joel Johnson. A Visser assistant the past five years, Johnson, who teaches in the middle school, has 15 years as a head baseball coach, most recently at Bryan College.
"I'm going to miss the relationships I've had in the baseball community, but I think Joel will do a good job," Visser said.
Visser, who is finishing up his 40th season as a baseball coach, had CCS teams that won six district championships, four region championships and three sub-state winners. The Chargers finished fourth in the Class A state in 2003 and 2004.
"I really don't know my record. I've never been concerned about it. It's such a small part of my life. What I have enjoyed is working with kids and getting them to be the best they can at whatever they're doing," the coach said.
"He's a good one," said former Lookout Valley coach David Dinger, whose Yellow Jackets had numerous battles with Visser's Chargers. "He has always had a lot of great qualities as a coach. He's a great competitor, he was good to deal with and he really cared about his team and his players."
Dinger remembers the program before Visser's arrival.
"He definitely has taken the program to another level. When he had good players he won big, but his teams were always competitive. He's a true professional and a guy I always enjoyed being around," Dinger said.
Contact Ward Gossett at firstname.lastname@example.org or 423-886-4765.
Ward Gossett is an assistant sports editor and writer for the Times Free Press. Ward has a long history in Chattanooga journalism. He actually wrote a bylined story for the Chattanooga News-Free Press as a third-grader. He Began working part-time there in 1968 and was hired full time in 1970. Ward now covers high school athletics, primarily football, wrestling and baseball and University of Tennessee at Chattanooga wrestling. Over a 40-year career, he has covered ...