KENTVILLE, NS - The Wildcats' executive announced Dec. 15 that Mosher would not be returning for another season as head coach.
“After carefully assessing the club's performance in 2017 and considering Kentville's best interests for the upcoming season, it was mutually agreed that the Wildcats would move forward under new leadership,” the release from the club executive stated.
The release went on to say, “the Wildcats are hopeful that Mosher will remain involved with the club in some role going forward, and wish to emphasize that his efforts over the years have been crucial in keeping Kentville a viable and successful franchise.”
The Wildcats anticipate being able to announce their new head coach in the near future.
Kentville finished the 2017 regular season with an 8-20 record, last in the five-team NSSBL. In 2016, the Wildcats had finished the regular season in first place before being swept by Truro in the playoff semifinals. Mosher was named NSSBL Coach of the Year for the 2016 season.
The previous two seasons, 2014 and 2015, Kentville had finished fifth both years, and did not qualify for the playoffs.
Mother ‘disappointed’ with decision
A charter member of the Wildcats during their initial season in the NSSBL in 1977, Mosher has been part of the organization, either as a player or coach, for most of the past 40 years.
Reached by phone Dec. 20, he said he had learned of his termination on his return from a vacation in Florida.
“I went to Florida with a clear head. While I was gone, the Wildcats' executive reviewed the team's performance this past year, and the decision was made that the team would go in a different direction.”
He confirmed he had been “asked to assume an off-field executive role” with the club.
“For personal reasons, I chose to decline that offer,” he said.
Mosher had little comment on the decision, or about what the future might hold for him. “Time will tell,” he said. “It's still new, and it was unexpected. I'm still coming to terms with it.”
At the same time, he said, he admits to being “a bit disappointed” at the decision.
“I've worked really hard over the years to provide my players with the opportunity to step away on their terms,” he added.
“They've decided it was time for a change. I accept that, and I'll move on.”
The Wildcats “underachieved this past season, especially following the success the previous year. We didn't play at a high enough level, and it's always easier to replace the head coach than 21 players.”
He said he bears the Wildcats' organization no malice or ill will, and wishes them all the best as they move forward.
During his tenure with the Wildcats, both as a player and coach, Mosher said, “I was always a volunteer, never a professional.”
During his time as head coach, “I worked to build a program to feed the senior team, and to potentially develop more local players.”
The NSSBL, he pointed out, is “the highest level of amateur baseball. To get to that level, you need to train and develop. That takes time. Putting a team together (capable of competing at that level) is another thing.”
He added that he never viewed that as a burden.
“I spent a good deal of my adult life keeping the team together and in town,” he said. “Last season was a difficult one.”
The team was “exciting at times, but in a lot of cases fell short. We were never able to capture the crowd or the (team) sponsors.”
Mosher acknowledged that under the circumstances, it was probably not the time to fully reflect on his years as a Wildcat.
“I've never really been one to reflect,” he said, due in part to “the relentless drive of the schedule. On the surface, baseball appears to be a summer sport, but the organization is a year-round thing. It doesn't allow a whole lot of time for reflection.”
At the same time, he will inevitably question “what more I could have done, or done differently.”
As for the future, Mosher says, time will tell.
“I’m not sure I'm stepping away from the game completely, but I'll no longer be the Wildcats' head coach,” he said.
“I have a pretty wide range of experience at coaching at various levels, from professionals to little leaguers. I may get another opportunity.”
Right now, though, “I'm looking forward to whatever extra time I'll have in my life. I can see various things in my future, including some things I haven't had the time to do for a long while.”