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Charles Auto Family’s Getting to Know: Roosevelt baseball’s Mike Haney

Charles Auto Family’s Getting to Know: Roosevelt baseball’s Mike Haney


By Tom Nader

Publisher and Editor


The “Getting to Know” series is designed to help the community learn more about the coaches and administrators that are guiding today’s Portage County student-athletes to be tomorrow’s leaders.

Today, we get to know Kent Roosevelt High School baseball coach Mike Haney, who recently began his 23rd season leading the Rough Riders’ program.


Q: Hometown?

A: Kent and Rootstown.


Q: High school?

A: Kent Roosevelt High School (Class of 1992). Played football, golf and baseball.


Q: College?

A: Kent State University (Class of 1999). Degree in Art Education. Played baseball.


Q: Current occupation?

A: Photography and art teacher at Roosevelt High School.


Q: What inspired you to be a coach?

A: It is an opportunity to pass on everything that I have learned and still be able to compete.

Q: What makes being a coach at Kent Roosevelt special to you?

A: It is my alma mater. Having grown up — and now raising my kids here — I believe that I can truly relate to all of the kids in this district.


Q: Who has been your biggest influence?

A: The late Joe Diestel. He was my college math professor and summer baseball coach. He made me believe in myself, and I owe him my life.


Q: Funny story nobody would believe from your playing days?

A: I went to high school with current standup comedian Chad Zumock. Back when I was playing at Kent State, he would show up to nearly every home game and yell, “Put Haney in!,” for seven innings. Needless to say, coach did not appreciate the humor and I am pretty sure he didn’t “put Haney in” out of spite!


Q: Funny story nobody would believe from your coaching career?

A: Soon to be Suburban League Pitcher of the Year Zane Cramer got the start vs. Ravenna in the 2019 David Starkey Memorial. After he walked the first hitter of the game on four pitches, I told pitching coach Jesse Michel to warm someone up. Zane went on to throw a no-hitter. To this day, my coaching staff still makes fun of me.”


Q: Favorite TV show?

A: The Sopranos.


Q: Favorite movie?

A: Major League.


Q: Favorite musical artist?

A: Waylon Jennings.


Q: Favorite food or meal?

A: I am the son of a Sicilian mother, so anything with her sauce.


Q: Best vacation?

A: I traveled to Omaha, Neb., with a group of friends/teammates to the 2012 College World Series.


Q: Shoutout to former teammates?

A: David Starkey, Todd Kortright, Brett Edwards, Mike Pechac, Josh Kelling, John Kennedy, Mark Carter, Billy Lewis, Dave Carbone.


Q: Favorite quote?

A: “If I have seen further than other men, it is because I have stood on the shoulders of giants!” — Sir Isaac Newton


Q: Describe your coaching philosophy?

A: I have high expectations for the young men and women that I have had the opportunity to coach, but my players know how much I want them to succeed and most importantly, how much I care for every one of them.”


Q: Favorite restaurant?

A: East Park … RIP!


Q: Favorite teacher from high school?

A: My art teacher Ken Gessford.


Q: Advice you would give your younger self?

A: Pay attention to then details, education first, believe in yourself and put in the work.


Q: Favorite coach from your playing days?

A: Current Marshall head baseball coach Greg Beals.


Q: Coaching resume?

A: Barberton high school varsity baseball assistant (1998); Kent State University baseball graduate assistant (1999); Stow High School freshman baseball coach (2000); Kent Roosevelt High School assistant baseball (2001-02); Kent Roosevelt High School baseball head coach (2003-present); I have also served as a Kent Roosevelt football assistant coach for Tim King, assistant golf coach for Brent Pfeiffer and currently am an assistant ice hockey coach for Brad Edwards.


Q: Favorite sports team?

A: Cleveland Browns, Guarians and Cavaliers — and anything Kent State.


Q: Favorite athlete then?

A: Kirk Gibson.


Q: Favorite athlete now?

A: Jose Ramirez.


Q: First job as a teenager?

A: Garden Pizza.


Q: Family member that always gives you the best advice?

A: My big sister Becky Dunn.


Q: Halloween costume last year?

A: Macho Man Randy Savage.


Q: Favorite video game?

A: NHL 95.


Q: Can you play any instruments?

A: My dad has always been a fantastic guitarist. I am more of a singer myself. It skipped a generation and my oldest son does both.


Q: Favorite candy?

A: Reese’s Cup.


Q: First car?

A: A $400 1981 Volkswagen Rabbit. It had a wing nut that held the hood down.

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