Gray the great – Web Exclusive
Mason boys’ baseball coach, Ken Gray, inducted into OHSBCA Hall of Fame…
Miranda Carney | Staff Writer
After 36 years of coaching baseball at Mason and over 700 wins, Ken Gray was inducted into the Ohio High School Baseball Coaches Association’s Hall of Fame on January 21st. The OHSBCA Board chose 127 other coaches in Ohio to also join the Hall of Fame.
A varsity baseball and football player himself in high school, Gray graduated from Greenhills High School in Ohio in 1966. According to Gray, the criteria for entering the OHSBCA Hall of Fame varies, but he believes he was picked because of how long he has coached.
“There [are] only probably three or four guys in Ohio with 700 wins,” Gray said. “I think I’ve made it because I’ve coached for so long. It was just an honor and it was something I never dreamed would happen or that I was ever shooting for. I think it just kind of happened because I’ve lasted for so long.”
Along with over 700 wins, the Comets have also won 14 conference titles and 16 sectional titles, along with the regional championship, under Gray’s coaching.
Gray said he has had the privilege of coaching his two sons at Mason, and they were able to join him at the OHSBCA induction, along with 40 other friends and family members. Gray said relationships have been the most important aspect of coaching to him over the years.
“[What I enjoy most is] probably the long-term relationships that evolve from the coaching over the years,” Gray said. “I look at all of my long-term relationships, . . . friends and people that I associate with [and they] are either family or people that I’ve come in contact with through coaching. That’s one of the things that is really enjoyable about it.”
There are several other awards Gray has received over the years, including the Cincinnati Post Coach of the Year and the Buddy Larosa’s High School Hall of Fame Award. However, Gray said his biggest accomplishment is seeing a team get better from the beginning of a season to the end.
“Last year, we weren’t very successful during the season, but we kept sticking to the plan and working, and the kids bought into it and eased into it,” Gray said. “Then we got to the Regional Finals in the tournament and won six games in the tournament. [We] were one game away from going to Columbus to play in the state championships.”
Outside of coaching, Gray said he owns race horses, is an avid golfer and visits his mom a few times during the week. Gray said he doesn’t have any plans to quit coaching.
“I would like to coach as long as I enjoy it [because] I think we’re successful and we are getting the job done and accomplishing something,” Gray said. “At this point in time, it’s probably year-to-year [decision], but [I will coach] as long as I feel like I enjoy doing it and I feel like we are competitive as a team and we are getting things accomplished with the student athletes.”