After his professional baseball career came to an end after six seasons, Jayson Langfels was heartbroken.
Baseball had been his passion for as long as he could remember.
And he was never able to reach his dream of playing in the Major Leagues.
However, from that disappointment, Langfels found new motivation.
He wrote a note that he placed in his truck.
It had a simple message.
"Don't forget what drives you."
He never forgot.
"I wanted to remind myself to never settle for something that's less meaningful or challenging," Langfels said.
That note stayed in his truck for almost four years.
Last week, Langels replaced it with a new self-motivational message after he was named the baseball coach at Madison Southern High School.
"Always remember your values."
Another simple message with a deep meaning.
"That note is going to serve as the foundation of this program," Langfels said.
On Monday, the former Eastern Kentucky University All-American was officially introduced as Southern's coach at a ceremony in the school's auditorium.
"He has a positive attitude every time you are around him — whether it's classroom or the hallways," Southern athletic director Jay Simmons said. "He's always positive with the kids. He's a great guy."
Langfels already has a strong connection to Madison Southern.
The Lexington native has worked at the school for the past four years, teaching science foundations. He was also an assistant baseball coach at Southern in 2017.
His wife, Courtney, also works at Southern, where she teaches U.S. History. Jayson and Courtney have a three-year-old daughter, Kennedy, and an eight-month-old son, Wyatt.
"It was very clear to me what a special place this is," Langfels said of Southern. "We have great kids. Great parents and a great community, staff, facility and administrators."
His position as a teacher and coach has helped Langfels find a new path in his life.
"Helping young people is what my second passion is," Langfels said. "That's what I've filled my void with. I'm so excited to get that opportunity.
Langfels played three seasons at EKU (2008-2010) before being drafted by the Colorado Rockies in the 16th round of the 2010 Major League Baseball Draft.
Following his playing career, Langfels served as EKU’s director of baseball operations in 2016. He returned to the staff in 2018 as a graduate assistant and director of player development.
This past season, Langfels was a volunteer assistant coach at EKU. In that role, he served as hitting coach, catching coach and camp coordinator.
Langfels played in the minor leagues from 2010 to 2015. His best professional season came in 2012 when he hit .280 with four home runs, 51 RBI and 44 runs scored for the Class A Advanced Modesto Nuts.
A year later, he hit 14 home runs for Class AA Tulsa.
The two-time first-team All-Ohio Valley Conference selection broke the league record for career triples (18).
Langfels was named a Louisville Slugger Freshman All-American by Collegiate Baseball after he hit .304 with four home runs, 37 RBI and a school single-season record eight triples.
He was chosen as a Second-Team All-American after hitting .441 with 12 home runs, 72 RBI, 45 runs and 15 stolen bases as a sophomore in 2009.
Langfels posted a .353 batting average with 16 home runs and 52 RBI as a junior.
His .441 batting average in 2009 is the sixth-best in a single-season ever by a Colonel. His 16 home runs in 2010 are the 10th-most and his 72 RBI in 2009 are the fourth-most in program history.
Less than a year after his collegiate career ended, Langfels was chosen to the EKU All-Century Team in February 2011.
Langfels finished his EKU career with 203 hits, 32 home runs, 161 runs batted in and a .364 batting average. He completed his degree in general studies in health sciences at EKU in December 2014.
In 2014, Langfels was recognized as having the best infield arm in the Texas League and was also rated as the best defensive third baseman.
Langfels was a second-team all-state selection after hitting .469 with 33 runs scored and 14 doubles as a senior at Lafayette High School.
The Lexington native is the third person to serve as the head baseball coach at Southern in the past four months.
In March, Gene Combs unexpectedly quit after four seasons at the school.
He left just three days before the start of the season.
Travis Frith was named the interim head coach and led the Eagles to a 16-15 record.
Southern finished as the 44th District Tournament runner-up, falling to Madison Central in the championship game.
The Eagles moved into the semifinals of the 11th Region Tournament for the first time in six years after they defeated Franklin County, 12-7, on May 26 in Frankfort.
Southern is set to graduate just one senior from its line-up.