ELKHART — Brent Bardo is a Blue Blazer.
Elkhart Central High School announced on Monday, Jan. 13, the hiring of Bardo as head softball coach for the 2014 season.
“We’re going to be aggressive — on the bases and at the plate,” said Bardo, who met with about two dozen prospective players and ECHS athletic director Brian Buckley Monday morning. “The standards will be high. If someone needs to win conference, why can’t it be us? If someone needs to win sectional, why can’t it be us?”
Bardo, who turns 52 in February, is heading into his 16th season as a softball coach on the high school level and the first as a head coach. From 1998-2005, he was an assistant at Northridge High School and then was on the coaching staff at Jimtown. He stepped down their at the end of the 2013 season along with head coach Brent Kulp.
Bardo has been coaching travel softball for about 20 years, most recently with the Indiana Waverunners. He plans to coach with that organization again in 2014 and then become a club organizer.
“I’ve wanted to be a (high school) head coach for all these years and I finally have the opportunity,” said Bardo, a non-teacher. “It’s the perfect spot. There is a tremendous feeder system. The administration has been fantastic. And it’s two minutes from my house.”
Bardo, a 1980 Northridge High School graduate, said he has long admired the Elkhart Central softball tradition established by former head coach Dave Walker. He plans to build on the foundation laid by outgoing head coach Todd King, who resigned because of scheduling difficulties between his Elkhart teaching and coaching jobs.
Though the IHSAA has to meet in late February, Elkhart Central looks like it may be hosting a Class 4A softball sectional in May.