GRIFFITH | As usual, summer is whizzing by at warp speed.
It may be passing even faster for Dave Griffin and Jim Nohos.
"Yeah, another few weeks and this will likely be my final summer as a head coach of a baseball team," said Griffin, Purdue Calumet's baseball coach.
He also usually spends his summers leading the 14-and-under squad of his Indiana Playmakers. For the Playmakers themselves, this will also be their last summer. Griffin founded the club 19 years ago.
"We had a nice run," Griffin said, "but travel baseball has changed, and we thought something needed to be done."
Nohos has been coaching in the Indiana Chiefs of Hammond organization for nearly as long as the Playmakers' existence.
"I love coaching teams, but sometimes you need to take a step back to get a better perspective on things," Nohos said.
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Griffin and Nohos are forming a new program: the Outsiders Baseball Club, which plans to field teams from the 9-and-under to 17-year-old age groups.
"We have a lot of the same philosophies when it comes to coaching and instruction," Nohos said of the collaboration.
Griffin will serve as club president and Nohos will be the Outsiders' general manager.
"It's better to unite and get stronger," Nohos said.
But why the name "Outsiders?" Both men are established "insiders" when it comes to the local baseball scene.
Griffin, who hit more than 100 homers in the minors after being drafted by Atlanta, coached Bishop Noll to a state championship before becoming PUC's first head coach two seasons ago. He also owns and runs Dave Griffin's Baseball and Softball Complex in Griffith.
And Nohos, who in addition to coaching in the Chiefs organization, has coached at Andrean, Lake Central and Hanover Central, where he led the Wildcats to a Porter County Conference title in 2007. He's also a longtime pitching coach who gives lessons at Dave Griffin's complex.
"Put it this way, we like to think 'outside the box,'" Nohos said. "Since Dave and I won't be coaching a specific team, we'll be able to rove around to assist wherever needed for all the teams.
"We're going to focus more on positioning training, and allow kids -- if they need to -- to come in an extra day for batting practice."
"We want to function as a whole organization, not just a group of single teams," Griffin said. "Normally, let's say something comes up and a coach can't be there to hold practice for his team. That usually means the team isn't going to be practicing that day. But for this, someone will step up -- either Jim or I or another coach -- to work with the team."
Griffin and Nohos say they are recruiting a staff of more than 15 coaches.
"And they're going to be straight coaches," Nohos said. "From 13U up, there won't be any fathers coaching their sons' teams."
While coaching with the Playmakers and Chiefs, Griffin and Nohos have seen many of their players continue their careers in college. For any college-prospect Outsiders, they plan to hold periodic seminars to assist with the transition.
"Players need to ask the right questions," Nohos said. "Like to the coach recruiting them ... 'How long do you plan to be here?' Too often, players will come to play for a coach only to have the coach leave and another guy come in with his hand-picked players."
"You also have to consider the cost of going to college," Griffin said. "Even if you get a full-ride scholarship, tell me, how many students graduate with a degree on time, meaning within four years? Not too many. So after your scholarship is used up, you may have another year or two left to go."