By STEVE KRAH
Rich Andriole made memories, fostered relationships and enjoyed lots of success in his 20 seasons as head baseball coach at Indianapolis Cathedral High School.
After a brief time away from the high school game, Andriole has accepted an invitation to have an impact in a school community with a similar values.
Andriole, a 1988 Cathedral graduate, went 504-97 from 1997-2016 at his alma mater with six state championship game appearances (the Irish won it all in Class 3A in 2001 and Class 4A in 2007 and finished as 4A runners-up in 2006, 2010, 2011 and 2013) while watching Jake Fox, Tommy Hunter and Dillon Peters make it to the major leagues and is now in charge at Guerin Catholic in Noblesville.
The GC website describes it as a “college preparatory school serving students from diverse backgrounds and preparing them to be servant leaders through authentic faith formation, academic excellence, and student life opportunities.”
Andriole is happy to be joining the school community.
“It’s a breath of fresh air to be here,” says Andriole after leading his first fall open field session was Tuesday, Sept. 26. “You can tell there’s a lot of growth and development after one day — mentally and emotionally. It’s going to be really exciting to watch.
“They have the opportunity to build on a foundation. They can take it to a while other level and leave a legacy. It’ll take work, but anything worth having takes work.”
Guerin Catholic, which opened in 2004-05 and fielded its first baseball team in 2007, is looking for its first sectional title. The Eagles went 13-11 and played in the 3A Yorktown Sectional in 2017.
A part of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Lafayette, Guerin Catholic gets many of its students from Hamilton County area schools Our Lady of Grace, Our Lady of Mt. Carmel, St. Louis de Montfort and St. Maria Goretti.
Andriole is in the process of assembling his GC coaching staff. He has gotten a commitment from 2006 Cathedral graduate and former Irish assistant Brad Henke.
As in the past, Andriole says he expect the Eagles to field three teams — varsity, junior varsity and either freshmen and C-team.
Andriole decided to hit the pause button on the baseball portion of his career and had landed in a comfortable place.
“I spent a lot of time the last year learning and believing God has a plan and this worked out,” says Andriole. “It had to work out with my employer, with Guerin Catholic not having me in the building and with my wife and kids.”
Andriole was a classroom educator for more than two decades before taking a job as manager of talent development at Dauby O’Connor & Zaleski, a Certified Public Accounting firm that specializes in real estate and development in Carmel.
Steve Dauby and Sean O’Connor encouraged Andriole to pursue the Golden Eagles position.
John Carpenter, currently the head coach at Perry Meridian and a longtime friend of Andriole, talked about how he was refreshed by taking breaks during his long coaching career.
“It allowed him to catch his breath,” says Andriole. “I had never taken a break.
“(Cathedral) has been a good place for our family for a long time. But 23 years is a long time to be anywhere. I feel blessed to have been part of something that was really special. One of our goals was to leave the program in a really good place.”
There were plenty of things worth remembering on the diamond, but also the weddings, births and shared meals. When the Guerin Catholic announcement came, the texts and calls came flooding in.
“Those things feel good,” says Andriole. “I’d do anything for any of them.”
With Ed Freje as head coach, Cathedral beat Penn for the 4A state championship in 2017 with Andriole and his old Irish staff watching from a Victory Field suite.
Rich and Janet Andriole have three children — Nick (19), Jake (18) and Allison (14). Janet is also a 1988 Cathedral graduate. Nick got his diploma at Cathedral and went on to the University of Dayton. Jake decided to transfer to Guerin Catholic for his senior season after three years at Cathedral. Allison is a freshmen volleyball player at Cathedral.
“This was a big decision for our family,” says Andriole. “Janet was on-board from the get-go. It’s not easy to be the wife of the coach, especially when you have three kids. Janet has been a rock. There are times when i was barely there in the spring. My kids grew up at Hair Field (former home of Cathedral baseball).
“Jake and I had an emotional conversation. (His transferring after a state championship season) is something I don’t take lightly.”
Rich Andriole, who won more than 500 games and two state title at Indianapolis Cathedral, is now the head baseball coach at Guerin Catholic High School in Noblesville. (Steve Krah Photo)
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