Coach Jeremy Sassanella has been the skipper of the Hamilton Southeaster Royals baseball team since 2019.
Sassanella grew up in Auburn, Indiana and was a three-sport athlete at DeKalb High School playing baseball, football, and basketball. Sassanella was also a part of the show choir. After high school, he was recruited by multiple schools to play baseball and football. Sassanella originally signed to play baseball at Ball State University but was drafted in the 19th Round of the 1997 MLB Draft by the Detroit Tigers. In the late 1990’s and early 2000’s, Sassanella played minor league baseball for the Lakeland Tigers, West Michigan White Caps, Oneonta Tigers, and the Richmond Roosters.
Sassanella was a Varsity Assistant at Fort Wayne Northrop in 2004 and Head Coach at Fort Wayne South Side from 2005 to 2007. After 2007, Sassanella took eight years off to focus on being a father but returned to baseball coaching as a Varsity Assistant at Brebuf Jesuit in 2015. He was Head Coach at Brebuf from 2016 to 2018 and started at Hamilton Southeastern in 2019.
Sasanella’s coaching inspirations were his dad and his High School Coach Bill Jones. As a coach, he wants to give back to his players like the people that invested in him. Sassanella hopes that his players will love their high school experience. Sassanella admits that he is still learning how to be a Royal every day but believes that there is a great sense of pride and community at HSE.
His coaching philosophy is fundamental based with a focus on doing the simple things better and the power of one run. Sassanella asks four things from his players: Be Coachable, Be a Great Teammate, Bring Energy Every Day, and Produce.
“I have two non-negotiables,” Sassanella said, “hustle and focus… and neither of those take any talent.”
Although winning the 2019 IHSAA 4A Baseball State Championship was a highlight in his coaching career, Sassanella believes the entire 2019 season was the greatest achievement in his coaching career.
“I’m really the proudest of the time from the moment I first walked in the door to the day we won the state title,” Sassanella said. “we really became a team and the players, coaches, and families all rallied around each other.”
Two members of this state champion team, Michael Dillon and Tyler Schweitzer, are among the most successful players that Sassanella has coached and pitch at Xavier (Dillon) and Ball State (Schweitzer).
To players considering continuing playing baseball at HSE, Coach Sassanella recommends to get involved with the program, talk to current players and coaches, decide what type of experience that you want to have in High School, and to know that your baseball past doesn’t matter in terms of making the team… it just matters if you can play ball at a high level.
In his free time, Sassanella enjoys bow hunting, fishing, and creating music playlists. He is actively involved in his church and enjoys spending time with friends. Sassanella has three kids from a previous marriage, Jordyn, Jackson, and Jillian, whom he sees as much as he can. He married his wife Kate in July 2012. Together they have a son named Eli. He has two stepchildren, Allison and Emily. The Sassanella’s also have two dogs.
Sassanella is a member of the Indiana High School Baseball Coaches Association and the American Baseball Coaches Association. He has won IHSAA Sectional Titles in 2016, 2017, and 2019. In Sassanella’s first year at Hamilton Southeastern, the team won the Hoosier Crossroads Conference Championship, IHSAA Regional and Semi-State Title en route to the 2019 IHSAA 4A Baseball State Championship. Sassanella won the Hoosier Crossroads Conference Coach of the Year Award and Indiana High School Baseball Coaches Association Coach of the Year Award in 2019. By: Tristan Fluhr