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062518-qct-MAC-softball-012

Bettendorf softball coach Jay Hatch gives his team a pep talk between innings during a game against Pleasant Valley earlier this season. Hatch submitted his resignation as the Bulldogs' head coach recently.

The juggling act was too much for Jay Hatch.

After a summer working with the Riverdale girls basketball team and coaching the Bettendorf softball squad, Hatch found himself continually on the go.

There were days he would conduct a girls basketball camp starting at 7:30 in the morning in Port Byron and not get home until after 9:30 at night following a Bettendorf doubleheader.

So after three seasons of directing Bettendorf's softball program, Hatch has submitted his resignation.

"I think my wife said it best, 'You can't be in two places at once,'" Hatch said. "I didn't feel like I could give each job what it needs.

"Since Riverdale is my full-time job, I had to go with that one."

Hatch accepted a teaching position and the girls basketball job at Riverdale in March. He used 19 of the allotted 25 contact days during the summer with the Rams.

The 2017 Quad-City Hall of Fame inductee and three-time state champion softball coach at Alleman spent the rest of his energy coaching the Bulldogs.

In three years, Bettendorf was 85-35 and played in one regional final. He also had the opportunity to coach his daughter, Erin, for three years.

"It was a lot of fun," he said. "I hadn't been a head coach for a while, so I kind of forgot what it was like a little bit.

"It was a different vibe since most of the kids I already knew. They were friends or acquaintances with my daughter, and some of those kids I've basically known their whole lives."

Bettendorf graduated only two players from this year's 25-win team in Erin Hatch and Grace Erpelding. The Bulldogs bring back their entire pitching staff along with third team all-stater Anna Forari.

"The jayvee squad was good as well," Hatch said. "Whoever the next coach is will have a good pool of talent to draw from. I've always felt if you're going to leave a job, that's the way it should be.

"I was fortunate to have good talent when I came into this."

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Sports Editor

Prep sports editor, with emphasis on covering the Mississippi Athletic Conference and Iowa area high schools. I've been in sports journalism for 17 years, the last five at the Quad-City Times.