OSKALOOSA, IA — After 45 years as a head softball coach, Coach Jay Harms has announced his retirement as of Monday, October 24, 2022. Harms has spent the last 37 years at Oskaloosa Community School District, and the prior eight years as head coach at Charter Oak-Ute Community School District.
Harms’s awards include being inducted to Iowa Softball Hall of Fame in 2009, being named National Softball Coach of the Year Finalist in 2013, being named Class 4A Coach of the Year in 2016, and receiving the IGHSAU Golden Plaque in 2022.
He led the Oskaloosa Softball team to become State Champions in 2016 (with state appearances in 2014, 2016, 2017, 2019, and 2021) and Conference Champions in 1988, 1991, 1992, 1993, 1995, 1996, 2008, 2012, and 2016. Harms was also the 25th coach in Iowa High School Softball history to achieve 900 wins, and he helped coach 943 wins over his career.
“I am humbled, grateful, and incredibly blessed for the opportunity to have held this position and to have worked with so many quality individuals over the past 37 years at Oskaloosa,” said Coach Jay Harms. “I would like to take this opportunity to thank everyone who supported me during my coaching career, especially those within the Oskaloosa school system and community. […] Even though it is difficult for me to step aside from this position, endings must come before new beginnings. Although my role in the sport will now look very different, the game of softball will forever be my passion.”
“37 years at one school and 45 years overall is something we rarely hear of coaches reaching those milestones,” added Ryan Parker, Activities Director at Oskaloosa Community School District. “Jay is Oskaloosa Softball! He was the constant piece to this activities department and his passion for the game is unmatched. Although his time as head softball coach may be over, his legacy will forever be entrenched not only in Oskaloosa Softball, but all Oskaloosa Activities.”
Parker said that Oskaloosa’s search for a new softball coach will begin immediately.