A dream for some high-school athletes with future coaching aspirations is to one day return to their alma mater to run the program.
For Mitch Mendler, that hope occurred much sooner than for most.
At just age 23 and only a 2020 college graduate, Mendler recently was named the new head coach of the Flint Hill School’s varsity baseball team.
Mendler played four years of varsity baseball at Flint Hill, graduating in 2016.
“I can’t control my age, but for me I am so happy and lucky to be coaching my alma mater,” Mendler said. “I played for some great coaches at Flint Hill and in college and learned so much, and had great experiences. I am very antsy to get on the field with this team for a full season.”
Mendler was an assistant at Flint Hill last spring under Tom Verbanic, who he played for there, during the COVID-condensed season. When Verbanic stepped down from the school, he said that Mendler would make a good head coach.
Mendler also coached under Verbanic with the Rough Riders this past summer in the local college league.
“I learned so much from him as a player, then on the back end as a coach,” Mendler said. “I still have a lot to learn.”
Mendler has been running Flint Hill’s offseason baseball programs since Verbanic left in June.
After graduating from Flint Hill, Mendler played four years of college baseball at Randolph-Macon College. While there, Randolph-Macon won two regular-season conference titles, a South Regional championship, and an NCAA Division III College World Series.
After college, Mendler began coaching with numerous club and travel teams.
“We will have a good group of experiened players at Flint Hill who will work hard to reach their full potential as a team,” Mendler said about the Flint Hill team.
His younger brother, Jason, will be a senior outfielder and pitcher on the Flint Hill team this coming spring.
Mitch Mendler grew up in McLean where he was a baseball all-star for McLean Little League.