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Management And Training

Coach, custodian and groundskeeper extraordinaire

March 22, 2010
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BATTLE CREEK, MI — The head varsity softball coach at Lakeview High School does more than mold the minds of softball enthusiasts and the mound from where they pitch, he cleans and maintains their school, too, according to the Battle Creek Enquirer.
Brian Ratliff, the former head custodian at Lakeview High School for 16 years and current groundsman, considers himself a "floating groundsman," meaning he fills in when a custodian is sick or otherwise unable to work on a particular day, the story stated.
Ratliff, whose job includes caring for Lakeview High School''s parking lots, sidewalks and sports fields, said: "[My job is hard] when the weather''s bad. Snowplowing is hard. We''ll come in at midnight and plow until school opens up. Then, we''re still on the job until 1 o''clock in the afternoon. We''re plowing parking lots, sidewalks and steps. Then, you''re on 13-hour days and, if it snows back to back, then you''re back in and running on about two hours sleep. With little kids at home, that''s not easy."
Ratliff says that winning is not what makes him a good or a bad coach, but that having his players enjoy their time and learn something is what makes it all worthwhile, the story noted.
The most difficult aspect of Ratliff''s job is that there is no room for excuses because tasks have to be completed regardless of the circumstances, the story added.
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