Search for new baseball coach continues

The search for a new baseball head coach continues after the resignation of Joe Parenti this past summer.

“We need someone that’s going to pick up and carry out exactly what we’ve been doing,” said Athletic Director Nicole Ebsen. She noted the decision will not be someone who’s going to restructure the program but rather continue Parenti’s legacy.

Coach Mark Pappalardo echoed Ebsen’s ideas saying “continuing to work as a unit instead of individual coaches” is an important quality he hopes continues from previous years.

“I think (Parenti’s) biggest impact was giving all the coaches a voice in how the program moves forward,” Pappalardo said.

A committee to choose the new coach has been formed, existing from sources within and outside the school to evaluate the candidates. Ebsen said the committee is looking at both “internal and external candidates.”

More specifically, the committee is looking for a candidate who “knows the game, (and) knows the fundamentals,” Ebsen said.

Another important aspect for the new coach is their ability to connect with the team. Sophomore Mason Phillips was on the varsity baseball team last year. He noted how Parenti’s relationship with him boosted his confidence and overall helped add to the united team environment.

“He brought us together more than anything,” Phillips said.

Unity within the team was also important between the coaches, and Pappalardo said Parenti “promoted unity from top to bottom.”

Parenti’s success with connecting with the coaches and players involved is something wanted in the next coach. Ebsen wants to make sure the candidate is someone who “our kids are comfortable with and can have someone they can look up to.”

Pappalardo also stressed the importance of communication with the new coach and hopes they will “have their own vision,” while being able to communicate that with the rest of the program.

The interview process, which has taken longer than originally intended, is scheduled to be completed after winter break. Ebsen says the timing of Parenti’s resignation, limited candidates, and the lasting effects of COVID-19 shutdowns have slowed the process. The new coach will start the job moving into the second semester and into the 2022 season and school year.

Phillips said the delay may slow the team’s progress, especially if the hire is one outside the program. An outside hire would “take some time to get accustomed to and get back to where we were last year,” Phillips said.

Players and coaches alike would like a coach who can unite the team and continue to make meaningful connections with all players. “The biggest thing is someone who understands the value of the program,” Ebsen said.