Ozark baseball coach Mike Essick announces retirement


OZARK, Mo. — A hall of famer has coached his final game with the Ozark Tigers.

Mike Essick, who has been with Ozark since 1993, announced his retirement on Tuesday, compiling a 465-223 record during his tenure.

Essick also guided the Tigers to state championships in 2004 and 2008 with a third place finish in 2002 and fourth place in 2011.

“Coach Essick helped set the standard for baseball in southwest Missouri over the last 26 years,” said Ozark High School Athletics and Activities Director Yancey Little. “Coach Essick has a lineage of players and assistant coaches who have become very successful within the sport of baseball and his college signees are too numerous to count.”

He is a member of three halls of fame. He was inducted into the College of the Ozarks Sports Hall of Fame in 2003, the Missouri High School Baseball Coaches Association Hall of Fame in 2014 and the Missouri Sports Hall of Fame in 2019.

Ozark announced that former Tiger Justin Sundlie will replace Essick as the new head baseball coach.

“It’s great to be back in Ozark,” said Sundlie. “I’m very grateful and excited for the opportunity to be a part of Ozark’s strong tradition of academics and athletics.” 

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