Baseball: Carmel hires Dann Giesey as head coach

Story Image Carmel Catholic High School baseball coach Dann Giesey talks to parents and players after being introduced as the new coach at the school Monday evening. | Michael Schmidt~Sun-Times Media



(Postseason results since start of four-class play)

2008 — lost in regional finals to Marian Central

2009 — lost in sectional finals to Grayslake Central

2010 — lost in regional semifinals to Marian Central

2011 — lost in regional semifinals to Richmond

2012 — lost in regional semifinals to Notre Dame


Age 47. Married 24 years; 3 kids.

Lives in Crystal Lake.

His son Jarrett played on the Marian Central High School team that made it to the Round of 8 in the Class A state tournament in 2005.

He is the Director of Technology for Woodland School District 50 in Gurnee.

Graduated from Crystal Lake South High School.

Went on to play at Harper Junior College and Iowa State University.

He met with current Carmel assistants on Sunday.

Monday, he was introduced to varsity players and parents in the 110-degree heat of the old gym at Carmel.

At least one player had found out that the Johnsburg coach would be their new coach, and when Giesey let it go in the stands at a Carmel summer-league game that he was from Johnsburg, some had connected the dots.

Giesey provided handouts outlining a 35-minute presentation he gave to the parents and players outlining his coaching history, the yearly program schedule, fall baseball, his approach to developing players, fund-raising to meet the program’s needs, and establishing connections with Mundelein and surrounding communities.

Giesey apologized to the players if he had become a distraction at their summer games: “I was at three of the games this summer. I wasn’t looking to evaluate talent. I wanted to get a feel for the identity of the team and hopefully do it in a way that wasn’t a distraction.”

Story Image

Updated: July 24, 2012 4:50PM

Time will tell if Andy Bitto got the right man for the job when the Carmel High School athletic director tabbed Dann Giesey to replace Joe May as head of one of the top prep baseball programs in the state.

But if first impressions count for anything, the former Johnsburg High School coach (last six years) will, at the very least, be able to maintain the Corsairs’ tradition of excellence in the sport.

And possibly even take the program to new heights.

Monday night, in the 110-degree oven that also is known as the old gym at Carmel, Giesey met with his new team and their parents, and showed early on why Bitto plucked him away from Johnsburg.

In as organized a presentation as you’re ever going to get from a new coach at the prep level, Giesey explained his philosophy and hopes, and outlined a game plan for success.

Every head in the house was nodding in approval almost all of the time.

“Our priority at Carmel is God and family first, academics second, and athletics third,” said Bitto of his selection. “I asked him about faith, how he felt about praying with the kids. We wanted a leadership image that reflected the families and community that he’s going to be part of. That’s a big deal for us.

“Academically, 100 percent of our kids go on to college. It’s a high-powered academic environment. We don’t just change clothes and go out to play baseball. We change clothes and it’s an extension of the classroom. Those things were important, in that order.”

The coach also mentioned the important of hiring a coach who’s organized.

And Giesey most definitely is that.

For his part, Giesey made these points to the nice-size crowd in attendance:

■ “I’ve had a long tenure in everything I do. I’m not here for the short term. I’m here for the long term. That means starting off making the right decisions from the start.”

■ “We’re going to honor God every day on the field and between the lines. It’s an important part of everything we do.”

■ “As parents, you look at Carmel because of it’s excellence in academics. We want to match that with excellence in athletics.”

■ “I have to Carmelize myself and get up to speed on the school’s athletic regulations, but I’d love to get the players involved in camps and events in the area. When a young player sees one of our players wearing a Carmel jersey, that means a lot. I know that’s something that made an impression on me when I played. Sometimes being the best players we can be means teaching the game to other players. It makes us really think about why we do things the way we do.”

Giesey was the head coach at Johnsburg since the 2007 season. In 2009, he coached the Skyhawks to their first regional title since 1983 and their first-ever sectional-final appearance. They lost in the 3A sectional final to Grayslake Central. He had a 6-6 playoff record with the Skyhawks and his teams won 78 games during his tenure.

Giesey has also been heavily involved in the McHenry County high-school travel scene, running the McHenry County Hurricanes’ 18-under team. Eighty-six of his Hurricanes players have gone on to play in college.

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