After a successful season in which he led his Diamond Wildcats to an 18-6 overall record and their third Spring River Valley Conference championship in the past four seasons, head coach Nathan Cook has decided to step away from his job at DHS.

A four-time SRVC Coach of the Year — winning them all consecutively — Cook exits his post at Diamond after eight years at the helm. He guided the team to an 18-7 record in 2013 and another SRVC title.

Some will surely wonder why Cook is stepping away after building such a successful program, but it’s not to pursue another teaching or coaching job. In fact, he says he’s getting out of the profession — at least for now — to pursue a business opportunity with his family.

“It’s hard to say goodbye,” Cook said. “The time at Diamond was awesome for me. They were awesome to me. But it’s not a bad way to go out, I guess. We did awesome this year.”

The decision was one in which he based on his family-first mentality, he said.

“Usually, all of my decisions are family first,” Cook said. “This should give me more time to be with my family, which is huge. My oldest (child) is five and the youngest is three, so if I want to I can always coach them in the summer, so the coaching aspect is always there. If the teaching itch comes back, we’ll see. I’m a live-in-the-moment type of guy.”

As a team, Cook’s Wildcats landed five of their nine regular starters on the all-conference team, and two on the Class 3 All-State squad.

The SRVC all-conference team consists of Brodie Bien (first-team, pitcher / honorable mention, infield), Kolton Harville (second-team, catcher), Zach Renfro (first-team, infield), Clayton Rolf (second-team, outfield), Gavin Brines (first-team, DH/Utility).

Brines also landed on the All-State team as a second-team DH/Utility selection, while Renfro made the team as an honorable mention infielder.

“It was definitely well deserved,” Cook said of the selections. “We had a great season with this group of seniors. It was very rewarding to see them elected to these teams because they definitely earned it. The proof is in the pudding, I guess you could say. They put in the hard work on the diamond and now they’re being rewarded. Zach and Gavin were two of the hardest workers on the team.”

Brines was injured and missed the 2013 season, prompting Cook to say “it would be crazy to think what his numbers would be” if Brines had stayed healthy and not missed a year.

“I can definitely thank this group,” Cook said. “They worked their tails off this year.”