Jorgensen named Middleton's new baseball coach

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MTT News's picture
By: 
Rob Reischel
Brent Jorgensen, a former baseball standout at DePere High School who also played collegiately at Minnesota-Duluth, has been named the new baseball coach at Middleton High School./Photo submitted

Brent Jorgensen, Middleton’s coaching equivalent to the three-sport athlete, was doing what he’s always doing last week.

Coaching.

Jorgensen, the 27-year-old with the energy to coach three different sports at MHS, was taking a break from the freshman football team he runs. That’s when Middleton athletic director Bob Joers made Jorgensen’s day — and really, his summer.

Joers offered Jorgensen Middleton’s varsity baseball job, which he accepted in roughly 1.5 seconds. Jorgensen replaces Tom Schmitt, who resigned in June after a memorable 16-year run that included a state championship in 2003.

Jorgensen beat out 12 other candidates for the job, including four with head coaching experience.

“It’s a great opportunity and I gratefully accepted in a hurry,” Jorgensen said. “For some people, a job like this would be a little daunting. But for me, it’s all I’ve ever known.”

That’s for sure.

Jorgensen was a three-sport athlete in football, basketball and baseball at DePere High School. He received honorable-mention all-state honors in football as a senior and was a four-year letterman in baseball.

Jorgensen attended Minnesota-Duluth where he played five years of football and three of baseball. Through it all, though, you didn’t need to be clairvoyant to predict where Jorgensen would end up.

“I’d say coaching was something that was always on my mind,” Jorgensen said.

It’s easy to see why.

Jorgensen’s father, Terry, was selected in the second round by the Minnesota Twins in 1987. Terry Jorgensen played three different seasons for the Twins, and later became the head coach at his alma mater, Luxemburg-Casco.

Jorgensen’s uncle, Tim, was an eighth round draft choice by the Cleveland Indians in 1995. Although Tim Jorgensen never reached the major leagues, he is in the College Baseball Hall of Fame and later became the head baseball coach at Ashwaubenon.

Even Brent Jorgensen’s wife — Marlee — comes from a heavy sports background. Marlee was a standout athlete herself at Merrill High School, and her uncle — Mike Jirschele — is the third base coach for the Kansas City Royals. Marlee’s brother, Sam Arneson, and father, Dave Arneson, both also played football for the University of Wisconsin.

“Regardless of where we go for family gatherings, we talk a lot a lot of baseball and a lot of sports,” Brent Jorgenseon said. “It’s definitely a family of sports enthusiasts.”

And enthusiasm is certainly one quality Jorgensen will bring to the Middleton baseball job.

Jorgensen is a poster child for the word tireless.

In addition to coaching freshman football and serving as an assistant on Jeff Kind’s girls’ basketball staff, Jorgensen was the freshman baseball coach in 2015 and the JV coach the last three seasons.

“The way he’s conducted himself in these jobs — at all levels — has been first class,” Middleton athletic director Bob Joers said of Jorgensen. “Coaching baseball in Middleton is a big job, but I feel really good about the hire.”

Jorgensen certainly knows he’s filling giant shoes stepping in for Schmitt.

In 16 years at MHS, Schmitt went 287-124 (.698), led Middleton to state seven times and guided the Cardinals to five Big Eight Conference championships. The last few years, Jorgensen has been taking copious notes as to what helped Schmitt succeed.

“To be honest with you, it’s hard to pinpoint one or two things (Schmitt) did really well,” Jorgensen said. “I think he’s great about incorporating the whole program and the whole staff. 

“He did a nice job with planning and preparation. His dedication is unmatched and he’s certainly knowledgeable. And he’s great working with kids.”

Jorgensen believes he’ll bring many of those same qualities to the job — and do it in his own way.

“I think I relate well with the kids and I’m a really strong communicator,” Jorgensen said of his strengths. “I’m organized and I’m intentional and purposeful. I’m passionate about it and dedicated to take the program from where it is and bring it even higher.”

Jorgensen knows that won’t be easy. Schmitt took a strong program and turned it into one of the five or 10 best in the state.

But Jorgensen has seemingly been on a path to become a head coach his entire life. And now that he’s been entrusted with one of the state’s Cadillac programs, he plans to make the most of it.

“Middleton is a baseball community. You can see that from the youth level to the high school to Home Talent League baseball,” Jorgensen said. “So I fully understand what a great opportunity this is. It is a big responsibility and expectations are higher than in some places. But I plan to make sure we live up to those.”

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