Szymanski named state’s top college baseball coach
MABC honors Chesapeake coach at annual Camden Yards awards banquet
BALTIMORE The honors keep coming for Frank Szymanski, the coach who led Chesapeake College to the NJCAA Division II Baseball World Series last spring.
Szymanski was honored last Saturday night as the Maryland State Association of Baseball Coaches’ College Coach of the Year. Szymanski was selected from among all Maryland college baseball coaches at both two- and four-year institutions.
Szymanski had previously won National Junior College Athletic Association Division II Coach of the Year awards for Region XX and the Northeast District. Those honors came on the heels of a 40-18 season in which the Skipjacks won their first region and district baseball championships in the college’s 40-year history.
"There are so many great college baseball coaches in the state. It’s an honor just to be recognized among them," said Szymanski. "But this type of honor is about more than one person. It starts right up at the top with Dr. (Stuart) Bounds (Chesapeake’s president), the faculty, staff, and administration, our players, my family. It’s a collective award."
Szymanski has compiled a 143-123-2 record as Chesapeake’s head baseball coach, including six consecutive trips to the postseason. That’s all the more impressive given the Skipjacks were a combined 1-38 in the two seasons before Szymanski was hired in 1999.
"Frank has built a program almost entirely from scratch," noted Dr. Bounds. "And he’s done it the right way emphasizing athletics as part of a student’s overall academic experience."
The Skipjacks have broken the school record for wins in a season five times in Szymanski’s six seasons. Chesapeake is 91-60 over the last three years and has reached the second round of the Region XX tournament four times in the last five seasons.
Szymanski also spent three years as head coach at Baltimore City Community College, rebuilding that program before taking on his latest challenge at Chesapeake. He was also an assistant coach at NCAA Division III member Johns Hopkins University and a student assistant at Salisbury University, earning both his bachelor’s and master’s degrees at the latter.
Last year’s record-breaking 40 wins included a 6-1 mark in regional and district tournament play, and a first-round win in the World Series.
"It was a special season," said Szymanski, who has 13 players back from that team to help mount a regional title defense.
Szymanski and his wife, Colleen, live in Easton, Maryland with their four children.
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