Head coach John Jancuska, the longest tenured coach in UMBC history as he enters his 34th season in charge of the Retrievers, has won Coach of the Year in four NCAA Division I conferences, the most of any active coach in the country.
Jancuska has led the Retrievers to five NCAA appearances, three Division II nods in 1978, 1979 and 1986, and two Division I appearances. In 1992, he guided UMBC to a 37-13 mark and an at-large berth, while in 2001, he led UMBC to the Northeast Conference Championship a year after winning the regular season crown. In addition, he has tutored 39 All-Region players, five All-Americans, four Academic All-Americans and 18 professional baseball players.
Since the move into the America East Conference seven seasons ago, the Retriever skipper has been building his program to compete in the much stronger league. For six of the past seven years, Jancuska has had at least one player named to the America East All-Conference teams, including 2007 and 2008 First-Team All-Conference designated hitter and All-Academic team selection, Will Delawter, and 2009 First-Team All-Conference second baseman, Brad Brainer. Delawter was also named to the ABCA All-East Region First Team.
Two of Jancuska’s former players, Jay Witasick and Wayne Franklin, played in Major League Baseball. Witasick played 12 seasons for eight different teams, including apperances in the World Series with the New York Yankees and San Francisco Giants in 2001 and 2002, respectively. Franklin pitched seven seasons for five different teams. In 2006, Zach Clark was signed by the Baltimore Orioles organization, and three years ago, he earned victories at four minor league affiliates, including a win at Class-AAA Norfolk.
Jancuska was named the 1992 East Coast Conference Coach of the Year, the 1993 Big South Conference Coach of the Year, the 2000 Northeast Conference Coach of the Year and the 2008 America East Coach of the Year. The state of Maryland also named Jancuska its Coach of the Year in 1993 and inducted him into the Maryland State Association of Baseball Coaches Hall of Fame in 2000.
Jancuska was a two-year starter and co-captain of his senior squad as a player at the University of Delaware. He and his wife, Lee Ann, live in Sykesville, Md., and have three daughters. Beth Ann was a member of the UMBC women’s lacrosse team in 2009, while Claire, who also was a member of the women’s lacrosse team, graduated from UMBC in May 2010. She and her husband, Ryan, gave birth to their first son, Brooks, in June 2010. Their third daughter, Devon, was married in the summer of 2001 and lives in Westminster with her husband Brad, daughter Caylee Joy,7, and son Braden John, 5.