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Lutheran South coach Steve Pfund watches his players during the Class 4 District 3 Championship baseball game on Tuesday, May 15, 2018 at Pacific High School in Pacific, Mo. Randy Kemp | Special to

After 29 years patrolling dugouts and the sidelines, Steve Pfund decided it was time to step away from the game he loves.

Pfund recently informed his players that he would step down as the Lutheran South baseball coach 

"He surprised us. Steve and I have had talks in the past and I knew it wasn't going to last forever, but I wasn't quite expecting that," Lutheran South athletics director Mark Linneman said. "He's still going to stick around and teach, he's not leaving the school. He'll be a grandfather pretty soon and I think he's looking forward to that."

Lutheran South finished 22-10 last season before falling to eventual Class 4 state champion Borgia 7-6 in the sectional round.

Pfund walks away from the Lancers program after 11 seasons. His teams totaled eight district championships and state runner-up finishes in 2012 and 2017. He posted a 235-101-1 record while at Lutheran South.

He coached at St. Dominic before taking over at Lutheran South in 2009. Pfund spent 12 years with the Crusaders and won 193 games, including the 2007 Class 3 state championship.

"I made some great friends with former players and parents," Pfund said. "I've had some fabulous assistant coaches especially over the last several years with Adam Rush and Jeff Budrovich. They're a big part of why Lutheran South baseball was so successful."

After Pfund stepped down, Linneman turned to former McCluer North coach Mike Callihan. 

"He's a regular in the baseball world," Linneman said. "He's involved with the Rawlings Tigers summer program. I've been an athletics director for 27 years, and I have a lot of people I know and he came highly regarded by the people I trust a lot. We really like him and we think he's going to do great."

Callihan coached at McCluer North for 20 years before being an assistant coach at St. Louis University High School this past season. 

"There are definitely some big shoes to fill in replacing someone like Steve," Callihan said. "He had some great seasons there and did a lot of great things and I'm looking forward to continuing that Lutheran South tradition. I expect that we won't miss a beat and we'll jump right back in to it."

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