He'll be inducted into state Hall of Fame tonight
TRAVERSE CITY — The search for a new softball coach at Traverse City St. Francis ended before it even began.
Mike Doriot, who guided the Gladiators as a powerhouse on the diamond over his 17 years at the helm of the program, has decided to return after two years away from the bench.
The process for Doriot's return came from a lunch meeting between Doriot and St. Francis athletic director Tom Hardy a few months ago. Hardy was looking for input from Doriot regarding the Gladiators' softball head coach opening.
"I just wanted to talk to him about his thoughts and what I was going to do and he said, 'well, I just sold my business so I freed up the time that I was concerned about not having when I retired two years ago,'" said Hardy, who hadn't even posted the opening. "It worked out perfect. With someone like Mike, there's no interview. When the guy that built your field and knows when blade No. 462 in row 13 is out of place because he cuts it all the time — when he says he wants to come back — there's no conversation. To have him back with our kids — he's such a solid, steady influence on kids. We're lucky."
Doriot had an inkling that the meeting might lead to his return. He said with the time factor between work and coaching out of the way, something that caused him to step down two years ago, it was an easy decision.
"I thought if I'm going to come back, I might not get another chance," said Doriot. "So I made the move.
"With me being retired I've got a lot more time. I don't have to worry about going over there at lunch hour and lining the fields or leaving work early. That stress is all gone."