73-year-old coach rallies the Herd despite broken bones

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CARLISLE, Pa. - At this rate, he may never retire.

After 26 years of coaching softball at both Carlisle High School and Northern High School, Nyle Monismith  retired in 2012.

That move, however, turned out to be temporary.

Four years later, Carlisle again needed a coach.  So Monismith unretired, returning to his alma mater in 2016.

Now in his third year as head coach at Carlisle, Monismith has the Thundering Herd moving in the right direction in the tough Mid-Penn Commonwealth, improving from only one division win last year to three already this year.

But at 73 years old, keeping up with teenagers is a challenge even when you're healthy.  And after a bad fall outside his garage in March, Monismith has been coaching the last month and a half with a broken wrist and a broken kneecap.  That's enough to give anyone second thoughts.

"I just thought maybe I should think about this a little bit," said Monismith.  "Maybe it's time to let somebody else younger do it.  It really made me think."

According to longtime assistant coach Duke Green, even though it's for Monismith's own safety, getting him to stay in the dugout during games isn't easy.

"It's tough, I know it's holding him back," Green said.  "He wants to be out in the coach's box, and he can't be out there, because you run the risk of getting hit by a foul ball.  So he has to sit on the bench, and I know it's driving him crazy."

Wherever he is on the field, Monismith continues to lead by example, inspiring players like junior left fielder Brinley Foreman with his perseverance and dedication.

"It really gives us motivation to realize that no matter how hard things get, you have to push through and stay on the positive side of things," Foreman said.

Green agrees that watching Monismith battle through adversity sets a good example for the student-athletes.

"It doesn't matter how banged up he is, he's here," said Green.  "And he stays an extra half hour after practice.  I couldn't do it at 73, there's no way,"

Monismith, however, thinks coaching softball helps keep him young.

"It takes up an enormous amount of time, but I love it," Monismith said.  "I love softball, and I love being around the kids."

He also loves traveling with his wife Jan, though ... something he hopes to do more of after he retires.  Again.


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