What It’s Like to Coach for Mendham


Photo by James Porter-Delgardo. The picture shows the Mendham wrestling room where Mr. Baig and Mr. Raimondo coach.

James Porter-Delgardo, Editor of Sports

The most famous dynasties in sports have two things in common. Aside from the superstar players who helped them win championships year after year, these organizations are all equipped with great coaches. Unfortunately, many people don’t see that coaches play an important role in winning games, just as the players do.

Mendham athletics has a long line of unbeatable coaches. Coach Jim Baglin brought 16 championships to Minutemen basketball. In wrestling, Mr. Raimondo and Mr. Baig coached countless championship winners. In girls volleyball, Mr. Heditsch and Mr. Racz have won several state championships. 

Mr. Baig has coached girls’ soccer and wrestling at Mendham for 19 years. At the beginning of his career, Mr. Baig felt the pressure of Mendham’s coaching expectations because of our school’s historical success. “Anything that you start new is a nerve-racking period. Whether it was me starting teaching or coaching, especially when you walk into a high school you know you’re pretty young,” stated Mr. Baig. 

Though he was nervous at first, he also noted how he was committed to leading his athletes both in and out of season. “It’s a lot. It’s more than the X’s and O’s, and just preparing your team for practices and stuff like that,” says Mr. Baig. He mentions that coaching is more about building relationships with people than winning games: “to me when it happens that way it actually works out better because kids become more invested, they know they have a coaching staff that actually cares about them, not just about what the product is on the mat.”

Coach Baig prioritizes practice plans by focusing on technique and execution, which allows the team to be better prepared and ready for the upcoming match.

Coaching is more than what meets the eye. Mr. Baig shows that it’s much more than drawing up plays or picking out a roster. A leader who motivates, builds relationships, and pushes their players makes a great coach. That’s precisely what it takes to coach for Mendham.