Playing or coaching baseball at the high school level or above has occupied much of Robbie Minor's youth, as well as young adult life.
The 28-year-old Minor will be taking a break from the game, however, as he announced Tuesday he has resigned as the Sterling High School varsity baseball coach. He made the decision about 10 days ago, but kept the news between himself and athletic director Greg King until he would be able to meet with returning varsity team members.
That meeting took place on Tuesday at the high school.
"It went pretty well," Minor said. "I'm definitely going to miss working with the guys, but they understood why this is something I have to do."
Family and work are the two reasons Minor cited for the move. He and his wife, Emily, have a daughter, Aubree, who will turn 2 on Saturday, and twins, Hadlee and Rhylee, who will be 5 months next week.
Minor is also the vice president of investment services at Sauk Valley Bank, and increased duties there was also a factor.
"Family comes first," Minor said, "and as my family continues to grow, it was tough to find enough free time for everything we wanted to do. The second reason is my job. When I started, I had a lot of flexibility, but as I got busier and busier, it became clear I wouldn't be able to devote the time needed to be a varsity baseball coach."
The Golden Warriors posted records of 16-21 in 2011, 9-25 in 2012 and 14-19 in 2013 under Minor, and won a regional title in his first season.
"It was a great experience," Minor said. "That first year, it was a learning experience. The second year, you start to catch on to things a little bit. The third year, you learn how to make the proper adjustments. I really think the program is headed in the right direction."
Minor is currently coaching a 12U travel team consisting of boys from Sterling, Dixon, Rock Falls and Amboy, and that season will last a few more weeks. He is unsure if he will do that again next summer.
He also gives private baseball lessons, and plans to continue that in the future. A switch over to being a youth softball coach, once his girls are older, is also a possibility.
"Down the road, I can see myself getting back into coaching in some capacity, but for now, I just need a break to focus on my family and my job," Minor said.
Minor was a non-union employee of the school district, so the varsity baseball position was posted each year, and in-house out-of-district candidates were welcome to apply for the job. That process is already underway.
King noted there is an opening in the math department at the high school, and an ideal candidate would be able to fill both teaching and baseball positions. Whoever that person is, however, will have big shoes to fill in the Sterling dugout at Gartner Park.
"I've seen the team progress every year Robbie was here," King said. "He knows baseball as well as anybody in the area, and I could really see him growing into the job. Family comes first, though, and with three little ones at home, and his job responsibilities, I can understand him going in this direction."
High school: Rock Falls, class of 2003
College: Evansville, class of 2007
Family: Wife, Emily; daughters Aubree, 1; Hadlee and Rhylee, 4 mos.
FYI: 3-sport star (football, basketball, baseball) at Rock Falls and baseball player at Evansville. ... Drafted by New York Yankees in 2007. ... Played 1 year in Yankees organization, then 1 more for Gateway Grizzlies in the Frontier League. ... Varsity baseball coach at Sterling from 2011-13. ... Teams went 39-65 and won one regional title. ... VP of investment services at Sauk Valley Bank