Two years away from coaching gave Ron McDonald the urge to get back in the dugout.

So when the softball coaching job came open at Seymour, his alma mater, he considered applying. But then another job came open in his hometown of Columbus, and McDonald jumped at the opportunity.

On Wednesday morning, McDonald was announced as the new softball coach at Columbus North.

“I was ready to retire for a little bit, and this came open, and I got the itch to do it again,” McDonald said. “I’m good friends with (former North coach) Jerry Burton, and he said they need somebody to go in and rebuild that program. He said ‘You could do that,’ and I said ‘I miss it.’ I definitely like the challenge of bringing the program back up and sustaining that.”

McDonald’s most recent coaching experience came in a three-year stint at Brown County from 2012-14. He led the Eagles to Western Indiana Conference titles and was named WIC Coach of the Year in each of his first two seasons.

Following the 2013 season, McDonald coached in the Indiana North-South All-Star Classic. He finished with a 48-29 record at Brown County.

Prior to coaching softball at Brown County, McDonald coached boys basketball, baseball and football at various levels in Columbus, Taylorsville and Brown County.

“He’s proven himself to be successful at just about everything he’s done,” North athletics director Jeff Hester said. “The references I called, his previous athletics director at Brown County spoke really high of him. His demeanor is what’s needed to be successful, and that kept coming out from different people I spoke to.”

McDonald is faced with a major rebuilding task at North. The Bull Dogs went 6-18 and 9-16 under Robyn Coffer the past two years and return only two full-time starters in 2017.

But McDonald thinks the Bull Dogs do have a bit of promising talent on the way.

“I know the next maybe year or two may be rough,” McDonald said. “I’m looking at the third year where we can get back really where we need to be. It’s going to take a lot of hard work, but I’m really looking forward to it. I think I’m really going to enjoy it.”

At a glance

New Columbus North softball coach Ron McDonald will meet with parents at 6 p.m. Saturday in the school’s athletics conference room as part of the Bull Dogs’ Blue and White Night.

At the same time, new North swimming coach Logan Schaefer will meet with swim parents in the pool area.

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Ted Schultz is sports editor for The Republic. He can be reached at tschultz@therepublic.com or 812-379-5628.