Former player already having an impact in first season as Shrine skipper

By: Mike Moore | Royal Oak Review | Published May 9, 2011

 Shrine coach Dan Noble talks things over with junior Jared Terrill during a game last week. A 2002 grad, Noble is in his first year as the Knights’skipper.

Shrine coach Dan Noble talks things over with junior Jared Terrill during a game last week. A 2002 grad, Noble is in his first year as the Knights’skipper.

Photo by Deb Jacques

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ROYAL OAK — The exact genesis of his motivation is, admittedly, unknown.

But Dan Noble vividly remembers his playing days with the Royal Oak Shrine baseball team, and more so, the desire to one day come back to the Knights and serve as coach.

Following graduation in 2002, four years on Michigan State University’s baseball team and countless other coaching endeavors, Noble’s back.

“This was always a goal of mine,” the Berkley resident said last week about returning to Shrine to lead the baseball program. “I really wanted to be part of this school and part of this program.”

It’s certainly a program he helped put on the map as a player.

The three-sport athlete — he also played basketball football — in high school, Noble finished his senior season in 2002 with All-State honors after finishing the year with an 8-2 overall record and a .90 ERA.

He twice earned All-Catholic and All-League honors, and on two different occasions led the Knights to the most wins in school history.

He spent the next four years of his career as a pitcher on the Spartans’ staff, and since 2007 has served as an assistant on the Knights’ football team, as an instructor at MSU camps and done some individual coaching.

“But this is what I really love,” Noble said of his latest job. “It’s stressful being the head coach of anything, but it’s a lot of fun.”

Asked what the most difficult part of his rookie season has been, Noble laughed and said, “the weather.”

Weather aside, Noble is already making his own mark on a program that has hovered near the .500 mark the past few seasons. At press time, the Knights were 8-4 overall.

“He’s already doing a great job,” Shrine Athletic Director Pete Donaldson said. “We knew we were getting a great young man when we hired him, and that’s exactly what he’s been.”

Noble said he’s not intentionally reaching into his bag of experience to mold himself as a coach, but knows his vast baseball background had played a strong role on the immediate impact he’s had at Shrine.

He considers himself an aggressive coach, one that’s going to steal as much as possible and move guys around the bases. But it’s his goal for the long term that may have those within the Shrine community the most excited.

“Obviously, we want to keep drawing kids from the grade school, but I also want to spark that interest from other schools and have kids wanting to come play baseball here,” Noble said. “We want to improve our numbers on the JV team and someday get a freshmen team going again. Whatever it takes, I want to keep building this up.”
 

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