Ellis has worked at Lake Catholic since 2006 in a variety of roles including history and theology teacher, Director of Admissions, and Director of Media Center/Teen Leadership Director.
He had 5 years as an assistant under longtime Lake Catholic baseball coach Dennis Woods. Lake Catholic has had significant success in baseball when he was a key member of the staff. In that span, the Cougars were 2015 District Qualifier, 2014 District Runner Up, 2013 District Qualifier, 2012 Final Four, and 2011 Regional Final Runner Up.
Benedictine principal Fr. Michael Brunovsky O.S.B. said, “John has shown the ability to dedicate himself to helping students unleash their potential in themselves and to further help the school and community.”
“My goal is to make a positive impact on each student every day. It is a honor and a privilege to call yourself a ‘Man of Benedictine.’ I expect our young men to answer the call of being leaders both inside and outside of Benedictine,” said Ellis.
As baseball coach, Ellis replaces Brian Sliwinski, who stepped down in June. Sliwinski is second on the Bengals all-time wins list with 230 victories behind the legendary coach Augie Bossu, who had 681 wins coaching from 1954-94. In 2012, Sliwinski won the program’s milestone 1,000th victory. According to the OHSAA.org web site, Benedictine stands 11th in all-time baseball wins in Ohio history.
“Coaches dream about a program of Benedictine’s caliber and tradition. The lineage of players, teachers, coaches and supporters who have been a part of the Benedictine tradition makes this job so appealing. I feel blessed to call myself the head baseball coach at Benedictine High School,” said Ellis. He said his goals are simple. “We will play with discipline. We will play hard. We will be prepared.”
Benedictine Athletic Director Chris Lorber, “John brings a high level of energy to the baseball program. His short-term goals and philosophy for the program are consistent with our beliefs. We look forward to John applying his vision with our student-athletes.”
“His experience in the North Coast League, his tutelage under Coach Woods, and his success as an assistant for Lake Catholic’s baseball program made him a strong candidate,” Lorber added.
Another benefit to the hiring of Ellis, said Lorber, “It will be the first time in 17 years that our head baseball coach is present in the building throughout the school day.”
Ellis lives in Mentor with his wife Alison and their two children, Bailey, 4, and Aidan 3. The family is expecting another child in early 2016. He has earned a Bachelor of Arts degree from Walsh University, and a Masters in Non-Profit Administration from John Carroll University.