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Q & A with Jeff Hartman

Baseball coach Jeff Hartman is in his third year leading the team at Donegal High School, but his history, and impressive resume, with both baseball and Donegal span far longer.

In high school at nearby J.P. McCaskey, Hartman was voted first-team All-League shortstop, first-team All-State, and second-team All-American. He was also named the Male Athlete of the Year his senior year, and in 1997, Hartman was inducted into the J.P. McCaskey Hall of Fame.

Hartman was drafted out of high school in the 21st round and signed a professional baseball contract with the Los Angeles Dodgers. Over the course of the following five years, Hartman went on to play middle infield for seven minor league teams, including some AA and AAA games, before suffering a career-ending shoulder injury in April 1989.

Following his injury, Hartman began coaching baseball at J.P. McCaskey High School as well as the collegiate-level Keystone Games, which produced six players that were drafted by professional organizations.

In 2002, Hartman began coaching softball, and in 2003, Hartman became the assistant softball coach for Donegal High School. Under Hartman’s leadership, the team achieved many honors including three Section Championships, two District III AAA runner-up titles, one District III AAA championship, three PIAA State tournaments, two PIAA Eastern finals, and the 2006 PIAA AAA State Championship. Additionally, Hartman and his coaching staff were voted the 2006 PIAA AAA Coaching Staff of the Year and were inducted into the Donegal High School Hall of Fame in 2012.

Today, Hartman, who resides in Landsville along with his wife and three daughters, is proud to be at the helm of the baseball program, where he is joined on the coaching staff by both his dad and brother.

Q: Why is community support important for Donegal Athletics? In my opinion, high school sports are meant to be about team and community coming together. The community support we get helps sell the fact that we want to do it right and be part of something special.

Q: What’s your favorite thing about being a coach? My favorite thing about coaching is passing along both baseball and life knowledge and building relationships.

Q: What has been your best moment as a coach? It’s hard to pinpoint just one moment, as there have been many, but coaching Donegal’s softball team to its first ever state championship [in 2006] with my dad and some great kids and families was a fantastic moment.

Q: What’s your philosophy on coaching? Dream big and put in the work. I’d say I’m a firm believer in discipline-oriented practices with pace and purpose and accountability. Games are meant to be played. Have fun through competing!

Q: What makes Donegal Athletics so special? Donegal takes pride in their sports programs. Baseball here has a long and storied tradition. I am proud to lead this program and don’t take the winning tradition here lightly.

Q: What do you want your athletes to take away from being on your team? I want my players to leave here having been challenged and proud to be part of and to have contributed to an elite program. I want them to know what it means to put the team first and accomplish something together.