Everett Snyder is pictured in his final game as Fairfield head coach during their district semifinal game at the Ohio University Convocation Center this March. (HCP Photo/Stephen Forsha)
Everett Snyder is pictured in his final game as Fairfield head coach during their district semifinal game at the Ohio University Convocation Center this March. (HCP Photo/Stephen Forsha)
Everett Snyder has coached 20-plus years at Fairfield High School either in basketball, soccer or track and field, but after over two decades, Snyder has decided to retire from coaching and take some time for himself and his family.

Snyder told The Highland County Press this week he has decided to retire for good from coaching, but he leaves on his own terms as he and his wife Lisa want to pursue other endeavors away from athletics and spend more time with their grandchild and children, something he doesn’t get to do as much as he would like when coaching.

 


“I’m retiring from coaching altogether, but I still have about five years of teaching left,” Snyder said. “My wife and I started talking about this last fall, and with all the time it takes to coach varsity basketball with all the summer camps, practices, weightlifting sessions, scouting and the games, it is demanding. There are a couple of non-contact periods, but it just takes a lot of time.

“There are other things we want to do before we get older in life, and we have our first grandbaby now and we want to spend more time with her. During the basketball season, I didn’t get to see her and my family as much as I wanted to, and that is something we are looking forward to doing now.

“Ending it now is a great way to go out with the senior class I just coached. I was with them for a good amount of time, we won a league and sectional championship and we got to the district semifinals at the Convo. Leaving with this senior class is what I want to do.”

Snyder began his third stint as the Fairfield varsity boys basketball head coach at the start of the 2012-13 season, and previously, Snyder was the head coach on two other occasions from 1992-96 and in 2002. Snyder’s record the past five seasons as the Lions head coach saw the team finish 67-55 overall.

During this final time as head coach, the Lions had success by winning a district championship during the 2013-14 season, where they finished with a 17-9 overall record. That season, the Lions also won the Division II Southern Hills Athletic Conference championship and defeated the Paint Valley Bearcats, 61-51 for their Division IV SE District championship. Snyder was also the head coach the previous time the Lions were district champions in 1996.

This past season, the Lions surprised many by winning the Division II SHAC championship, and they reached the district semifinals, ending the year with a 17-7 overall record. The past five seasons, the Lions reached the district round three times (2012-13, 2013-14, 2016-17) and were district runners-up in ’12-13.

“This past season was a good season,” Snyder said. “To set goals and to see them achieved makes it even more special. I thought we’d be a good team, and to achieve all that we did this past year, and to go out on my own terms, I have no regrets.”

Snyder first started his coaching career at Fairfield as a freshman coach after spending his first five years out of college as a junior high coach in northern Ohio. After returning to Highland County (Snyder graduated from Whiteoak), he was told Fairfield needed a freshman basketball coach. From then on, Snyder was a coach at Fairfield for the next 22 years.

“My first season, we only won two games,” Snyder said of his first year as a varsity head coach. “Then in 1994-95, we were runners up in the league and made the district finals. In 1995-96, we were again runners-up in the league, as that was the year North Adams went to the Final Four, but we made it to regionals and played at the Fairgrounds in Columbus.”

Snyder returned for the third time as head coach in 2012-13 season, and in his first year back with the Lions, they played in the district finals and were runners-up in the Southern Hills Athletic Conference, along with winning a sectional championship. The following season, the Lions returned to the regionals, winning the SHAC and a district championship.

Snyder said he loved being a part of Fairfield athletic programs, and at Fairfield, with the talent that comes through, they expect to challenge to win the league and sectionals to reach districts.

“We usually think we have a good chance to make districts and that kids we have here at Fairfield are good kids who work hard,” Snyder said. “They have expectations on the court and will work to achieve their goals.”

Snyder coached soccer for the first five years of the program’s existence, and he, along with Raymond Friend, began the track and field program, where he coached for three seasons. Whether beginning programs or leading the basketball program to various championships, Snyder said he’s made "many great memories."

“I have many great memories from coaching. When you have success, it makes it special, but the kids I’ve coached have been the best part of it,” Snyder said. “I’ve had great coaches to work with on different coaching staffs and have had some of my former players coach with me. It has been a great privilege to be a part of all of this. To have former players of mine like Ben Fouch, Travis Teeters, Josh Howland and Kip Shoemaker coach for Fairfield now, that makes it special.

“I also appreciate all the support from the school board and administration the past few years. It has been great coaching at Fairfield, but it is the right time to step down as head coach.”