Dean Dease retires after 31 years

Orange Baseball Coach Dean Dease surrounded by former players after winning his 500th game last month. On MondayDease told his team he was retiring after 31 years. 



Bryse Wilson (2016 graduate, 2016 4th round draft pick of the Atlanta Braves, currently of the Mississippi Braves of the AA Southern League): “I wouldn’t be where I am in my baseball career had it not been for his leadership and coaching.” 

Jeremy Rudd (1995 Orange graduate): “A lot of people say coaches are like another parent to a child due to the amount of time and influence they spend with the kids. My senior year, another player and I got into some trouble at school resulting in suspensions. Having to meet with Coach Dease was just like meeting with my own parents. At first, the reaction was the ‘how could you be so stupid?,’ somewhat angered reaction. But then came the ‘disappointment’ reaction. As a kid, you’re always scared of that first reaction, but as you grow older you realize that second reaction really shows how tight of a relationship you have with someone, and is the one you’re most ashamed of causing. 

Fred Maske (1993 Orange graduate and son of Gary Maske, who Dease replaced as head baseball coach in 1988): “I’ll never forget that Coach Dease and (former Orange assistant) George Braxton showed up for my father’s funeral (in 2004). We may not have been good at getting the word out, the whole time was a blur before social media was big. I think they were the only Orange High folks that showed up. Coach Dease said he credits my dad with giving him a chance as an assistant, and I think they both had an obsessive relationship with making that field the best in the state! I ran into Coach Dease at the Tin Roof over the holidays. I felt like I was the only one who had aged. 

Jeff Hamlin (1991 Orange graduate and News of Orange Sports Editor) “There’s an perpetual irony that I cover high school sports because high school wasn’t always easy for me. I really struggled with what I was going to do for a living. In my junior year, I enrolled in newspaper class under teacher Cathy Bennington. In February 1990, she told me the public address announcer job for the junior varsity team was open and encouraged me to do it. I guess she saw something in me, though I was usually the quiet kid in the back of the class. So I did, even though I sounded really southern. My first game was against Graham, a game Orange won 11-1. Coach Dease came up to the press conference and told me there was no one to announce the varsity games and asked me if I could do that, as well. Eventually, my voice started to improve and I started making my living with my words, whether they came out of my mouth or my keyboard. Coach Dease told me on Monday night he hopes there’s another job out there where he can make money, though he hasn’t found it yet. I hope he finds that in his retirement. I also hope he knows how many lives he has influenced. I also hope Orange’s administration renames the baseball field ‘Dean Dease Field’ because, I assure you, no one has labored over it more than he has.”