The Male High School softball team will look to defend its undefeated state championship next season, but will do so without head coach Josh Bloomer. After seven seasons, Bloomer has resigned from his position at Male and will be brought on as a hitting coach at Duke University.
“I felt like it was a good opportunity to make this move”, he explained. “It’s a program that is trying to take a little bit of the next step. Duke is a great school surrounded by an awesome area to raise a family.”
Bloomer revolutionized the sport for Male, leading to seven district titles, six regional championships, two-state runners-up finishes, a state championship, and a national championship. “Last year was an unbelievable season that I will never forget and I have memories that I will keep with me for a lifetime”, he explained.
Despite not being around every day, Bloomer quickly made it known that he will not be turning his back, and that extends beyond just his former players from Male and Mercy. Along with high school, Bloomer has also coached travel ball for Fury Platinum, Louisville Lady Sluggers, and Southern Force. “My door is always open and my number will never change”, he said. “I will always be there to help my former players and assistant coaches in any way possible.”
An aspect of life that many are scared of is the one that Bloomer taught his players to embrace. “As I was talking to the players about next season, I brought up change. The future of the program is very bright, the main thing that needs to be worked on is adapting to circumstances because you will find that not only in sports, but in life.”
If anyone knows how bright the future is for Male softball, it’s Josh Bloomer. “There’s a great foundation for whoever comes in to coach. The players are all very knowledgeable and passionate. They work extremely hard and can bring a lot to the table”, he said.
The sights have always been set on rising up to the college level one day, but Bloomer will always appreciate his high school coaching journey. “I had probably the best seven years of my coaching career at Male”, he added. “I had great players at Mercy, I love them and we had a great time. But at Male, what I was most proud of was the respect that was gained throughout the whole school. I made a great friend in John Kelsey (Male Athletic Director); he’s the best athletic director in the state and a good friend of mine. The support from other coaches within the school like Chris Wolfe, Tim Hayworth, and Jake Fiorella was something the softball team appreciated dearly.”
Before parting, Bloomer had a couple of suggestions for the KHSAA. “I think some things you have to do when you are a governing body, is get input from other people. I think there are some opportunities to get some great input from coaches around our state. They’re very passionate and want to make this a great experience for the kids. I think having the state softball tournament at the University of Kentucky was great, but little things like cups provided, lineup cards, and general seating are things that should be looked into. All that needs to be done is to consider input from coaches because they will give you a head’s up on what will and will not work”, he explained.
Bloomer has been one of the key ambassadors for not only softball, but high school sports in general across the state, prioritizing the players’ experiences over everything else.
As for the next step, he will join a coaching staff looking to take a third-year program to unprecedented heights. “I’ve had some opportunities to take some positions in the past to take the next step and being married with kids, it’s always about timing”, he explained. “It’s a young program and I really like what Coach (Marissa) Young has got going on there.”
Since 2013, Male has achieved a record of 221-58-1 and has solidified themselves as a state powerhouse. Even after a 39-0 national championship season, the show will still go on for years to come in “Bloomerville, USA”.