By Tom Nader
Publisher and Editor
Rootstown High School baseball coach Keith Waesch has been regarded as one of the best baseball coaches in Portage County for a long time.
On Sunday night, the recognition for Waesch’s coaching accomplishments reached a new level.
Waesch, who is a Rootstown graduate, was inducted into the Greater Akron Baseball Coaches Association Hall of Fame in a ceremony held at the St. George Banquet Hall in Fairlawn.
Waesch’s career record as a head coach is 175-85.
The first league championship of his coaching career came in 1996, leading Waterloo High School to the Portage County League crown and to the Vikings’ first baseball title in 28 years at that time.
He was hired in 2001 as the athletic director at Rootstown, where he has coached 11 of his 15 years as the head coach of the baseball Rovers. Additionally, Waesch has coached Rootstown’s boys golf program for 27 years and has a record of 422-118 entering the 2023 season. Between baseball and golf, Waesch has more than 600 wins as a head coach.
For baseball, the Rovers won Portage Trail Conference championships in 2017, 2018, 2019 and 2021 and have also been league runners-up four other times.
Waesch’s resume also includes a district championship, two additional district finalists and has been named the PTC’s Coach of the Year four times.
The longtime coach has made numerous other contributions to baseball in Portage County during his career.
Beginning in the late 1980’s, Waesch began umpiring games, then eventually became the Umpire in Chief, assigning games for Portage South Hot Stove. He is also a member of the Northeast Ohio Baseball Coaches Association.