Keith Castner will be one of the latest inductees into the Ohio High School Fastpitch Softball Coaches Association (OHSFSCA) Hall of Fame. The induction will take place at the OHSFSCA annual Hall of Fame Luncheon Banquet to be held on January 12 at the Hilton Columbus at Easton hotel in Columbus, Ohio. Keith is one of three softball coaches who were voted into the Hall with the HOF class of 2018.
During the spring season of 2017 coach Castner passed the 400 win milestone. His current win total now stands at 410, all earned at Lakota West and his win percentage is an outstanding 72.3 %. His win total places him at 15th among nearly 800 currently active Ohio high school fastpitch coaches and at 26th all time. He has already started preparing for his 21st season as the Firebirds head coach with opportunities to further raise his teams win total.
Over his two decades at Lakota West coach Castner’s teams have won three regional championships (state final 4), four city championships (Enquirer, D-1 Coaches Poll), six Greater Miami Conference (GMC) championships, and nine district championships (state final 16). He has been named GMC coach of the year six times and has received numerous other honors; Butler County COY, SW Ohio COY., etc.)
Keith is a 1983 graduate of Lakota high school where his sport was football. He was a two-way player; a hard running fullback and an All GMC defensive back. After a four-year football playing career at Georgetown College, he returned to Lakota as a teacher. He has since coached both high school football and softball. His first softball coaching assignment was to lead the 1988 Lakota freshman team, a position he held for two seasons. In 1990 he moved up to coach the Lakota JV team and also to be the Varsity assistant coach for his brother Steve. Keith now joins Steve as a member the OHSFCA Hall of Fame. When Lakota split into East and West starting with the 1997-98 school year Keith was assigned to the head coaching position at West with Steve being assigned to Lakota East.
Thoughts from Lakota West AD Scott Kaufman about Coach Castner:
As a former coach and current Athletic Administrator, it has been my honor to work with Mr. Castner for the past 5 years. Keith is very talented and an extremely dedicated Softball Coach and an even better person. He has the skillfulness to handle the most difficult of games and the patience to deal with the most assertive and aggressive parents. As long as I have known him, I have known him to be the utmost professional both on and off the field. He is well respected by the athletes, coaches, and administrators throughout the State and he is a terrific teacher and role model for younger athletes and coaches. I believe “less is more.” I could write pages of complementary information about Mr. Castner, but that could not do justice to the level of commitment, quality of care and dedication he has to the student-athletes and school he serves. Having been involved with teaching and coaching for nearly 30 years, I can say that there is no person more worthy of Hall of Fame status than Keith Castner and that he is truly one of the very best. A Hall of Fame is incomplete without Keith Castner being a part of it.
Respectfully, Scott Kaufman
Introducing Keith at tomorrows HOF Banquet will be younger brother Brian who was his rival as the Mason softball head coach for a decade (2000-2010). Brian has also been Keith’s partner on numerous high school football coaching staffs over the intervening years. The banquet begins at 11:30 AM.