Shaun O’Boyle steps down as Whitehall HS baseball coach
After his team was shut down to COVID five games into their season this year, Whitehall head baseball coach Shaun O’Boyle realized it was time.
“It got to me,” stressed the colorful O’Boyle. “I’m not in agreement with what is going on (with COVID). I thought it was for the best.
“It was time for me to go.”
Shortly after the season, O’Boyle announced his resignation after serving 11 years as head coach for the Zephyrs, and he had 18 overall years in the program. This past season, Whitehall finished with an overall 8-12 record and missed the district playoffs.
O’Boyle cited some family issues that also influenced his decision. He felt a need to temporarily shelve the continuing pressing needs of a high school program.
“We had some family problems,” said O’Boyle. “That also came into play. I began to think about how much time you have to put into it. It is a nine-to 10-month commitment.
“It is not just the coaches, but the kids as well.”
O’Boyle also noted the team’s revised schedule that initially had them with four practices and 15 games over three weeks down the stretch after their shutdown. That eventually got chopped to two practices because of the outbreak.
The Zephyrs, who were in the district hunt, dropped their final six games and eight of their last nine played in a stretch of 16 days.
“One of my assistants told me about the schedule, and then it dawned on me,” said O’Boyle. “That was really a tough run. We needed to practice, and we couldn’t.
“I’m not making excuses, but we aren’t a team that is two, three, or four deep like some of the bigger schools.”
A Whitehall grad, O’Boyle posted an overall 123-96 mark during his tenure. The Zephyrs won the Lehigh Valley Conference championship in 2013, and the 2017 District 11 Class 5 A crown. That advanced to the state final that year and finished runner-up to Greater Latrobe.
“The best thing that I can say about Coach O’Boyle is that he is a true Zephyr,” said Whitehall athletic director Bob Hartman. “In 2010, we hired him in part because this was his dream job. For 11 seasons, he treated his leadership position with this passion.”
O’Boyle, who has cherished the moments, knows he will return to coaching in the Lehigh Valley.
“I started coaching when I was 32 years old, and I am glad about what I have accomplished 18 years later,” he said. “I’m happy I was still here and it was a good 18 years.
“I’m going to take a little break and figure out what I want to do. Some teams have reached out to me. But I’m not done coaching, and I’ll be back.”