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 Ravenna High School baseball coach Lee Lovejoy, who recently began his first season leading the Ravens’ program.
Q: High school?
A: Ravenna High School. Class of 2011. Played baseball.
A: Lourdes University. Class of 2015. Bachelor’s degree in Criminal Justice; bachelor’s degree in Sociology.
Q: Current occupation?
A: Probation officer.
Q: What inspired you to become a coach?
A: I enjoy working with young men at this stage of their life and the opportunity to coach them in the sport I enjoy is just a bonus.
Q: What makes being a coach at Ravenna special to you?
A: It is special to be an alumni, but to have the chance to coach with pride knowing you wore the same jersey as the kids you’re now coaching is hard to top.
Q: Who has been your biggest influence as a coach?
A: It is hard to not say my Dad, but as a coach, I would have to say Bob Romito at Southeast. He did so much for me when I was starting my head-coaching career. I consider him a good friend and anytime I have the chance to talk baseball with him is a good day.
Q: Funny story nobody would believe from your playing days?
A: My senior year, we struggled at the plate to start the season. We had many rain days and not many games in a stretch. One day before a game, head coach Justin Mulheim told the team that I called him the night before, and we needed to sacrifice a chicken (a reference to the movie Major League). He went on to say we couldn’t do that, but he let us each eat Guido’s before the bus trip. Some of the players, to this day, probably believe I made the phone call. I just ran with with the reference. We did go on to win the first league title since 1987 that year.
Q: Favorite TV show?
A: Survivor and anything baseball.
Q: Favorite movie?
A: Coach Carter.
Q: Favorite musical artist?
A: Garth Brooks (then) and Luke Combs (now).
Q: Favorite meal?
A: Steak cooked medium rare and a baked potato.
Q: Best vacation?
A: Las Vegas.
Q: Shoutout to former teammates?
A: Brandon Holt, Dan McCoy, Brandon Oberholtzer, Zach Thomas, Trenton White, Kyle Brooks, Jake Here, Gale Peppered, Kyle Gillispie.
Q: Favorite quote?
A: “Complacency is the greatest enemy to excellence.” — Nick Saban.
Q: Describe your coaching philosophy?
A: I expect a lot out of our guys, but relating situations of baseball to life is always something I like to use.
Q: Favorite restaurant?
Q: Favorite teacher from high school?
A: Mr. Fletcher.
Q: Advice you would give the younger version of yourself?
A: Be an open book and never settle.
Q: Favorite coach from your playing days?
A: Sonny Tilden and Kevin Brooks.
Q: Coaching resume?
A: Ravenna High School varsity assistant (2016-18); Southeast High School head coach (2019-2022); Ravenna High School head coach (2023).
Q: Favorite sports team?
A: I might lose some fans here, but the Pittsburgh Steelers and New York Yankees (I still love Cleveland baseball, too, though).
Q: Favorite athlete then?
A: Derek Jeter.
Q: Favorite athlete now?
A: Mike Trout.
Q: First job as a teenager?
Q: Family member that always gave you the best advice?
A: Uncle Jason Lovejoy.
Q: Halloween costume last year?
A: I am not one to dress up.
Q: Favorite video game?
A: MVP: NCAA 2007.
Q: Can you play any instruments?
A: The family has history, but I was not blessed with this talent.
Q: Favorite candy?
A: Anything with peanut butter.
Q: First car?
A: 1998 Ford Escort.