After being assistant baseball coach at Northview with head coach Greg Szparka, Aaron Tullis recently became the head coach following Szparka’s retirement after winning the state title last season. Tullis has coached at Northview for 16 years prior to his promotion to head coach and he worked with Szparka throughout the whole process. Now, there are high expectations for Tullis’ direction.
“Coach Szparka left the program better than he found it. It’s going to be our job to continue his legacy,” Tullis said. The team needs to “hit the ground running and pick up right where Coach Szparka left off.”
In order to fulfill this, the team has already begun their training. Starting two to three days per week and transitioning to three to four days per week in the winter, training sessions consist of open fields, weight lifting, strength training and conditioning, continuing through the start of the season.
Along with physically preparing the team, Tullis hopes to “impact their lives positively.”
“We want them to be responsible, we want them to be accountable, to leave places better than they found them and to be a student before they are an athlete,” he stated.
Tullis became interested in baseball during his third grade year by passing out flyers to his classmates. Without knowing much about the sport, he started playing and continued on through high school. He pursued it until his junior year of college at University of Sydney where he was on a baseball scholarship. He was forced to stop due to elbow surgery and rehab.
After graduating, he was offered a coaching position at Northview where he has been ever since. Tullis was a Northview student and returning to his community holds significance for him as he is connected to this area.
During his pursuits as a baseball coach, he has appreciated the large amount of support from the community, especially during the championship last season.
“We live in the greatest community in the state in my opinion. We get great support from our families, community leaders, and our schools,” he said. “There’s thousands of people wishing us well. When we played the state final I bet we had half of Sylvania there. Those are memories that our kids and our coaching staff will keep for the rest of our lives.”
In addition to his connection to the community, the coach also has a special bond with the team.
“Each person has taught me and helped me grow as an adult, as a person and as a coach, and I feel very fortunate and lucky that I was chosen to be the next head coach at Northview,” he said.“I’m humbled to be the next baseball coach. I appreciate everything that Mr. Irwin and the rest of the administrative staff have done. I really am looking forward to moving our program in a positive direction.”
Repp is a Northview journalism student