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UMBC Baseball Head Coach John Jancuska Signed to Four-Year Contract Extension Through 2011-2012 Season
BALTIMORE—UMBC baseball head coach John Jancuska, along with UMBC's men's soccer and swimming and diving coaches, has signed a four-year contract extension through the 2011-12 season, Director of Athletics Dr. Charles Brown announced recently.
With the completion of last year’s season, Jancuska became the longest tenured coach in UMBC Athletics’ history with 31 total seasons, surpassing longtime cross country and track and field coach Jim Pfrogner, who held his position for 30 years. Jancuska’s four-year contract will ensure that he has at least 35 years as the skipper of the Retrievers.
“For the past 31 years I have always been excited about UMBC baseball,” Jancuska said. “I am as excited as ever about the future of our program. We have strong support from our administration and I believe that we are poised to compete for the America East Championship on a yearly basis.”
Over those 31 years, the coach has amassed a total of 654 wins, the most ever by a coach in UMBC history, and has tallied 19 seasons with 20 or more wins, including this past season when he guided the Retrievers to 21 victories.
This past season, Jancuska also picked up the final missing piece of hardware as he was named the America East Coach of the Year after guiding his team to its first-ever appearance at the America East Baseball Championships. Jancuska has previously been named Coach of the Year in each of the three prior conferences UMBC has competed in, earning the East Coast Conference nod in 1992, Big South in 1993 and Northeast in 2000. The coach has also been honored as the Maryland Coach of the Year in 1993 and was inducted into the Maryland State Association of Baseball Coaches Hall of Fame in 2000.
Jancuska made the transition into the stronger, more competitive America East Conference for the 2004 season, and for the past four years, he has had at least one player named to the All-Conference teams. This past season he added another accolade to his resume as designated hitter Will Delawter was named to the ABCA All-East Region First Team.
On the national stage, Jancuska made UMBC a perennial Division-II power, leading the Retrievers to the Middle Atlantic Regionals in his first two seasons with the team, in 1978 and 1979. He would make a third trip to the regional championships in 1986 and then led the Retrievers to their first Division-I East Regional in 1992, just five years after joining the Division-I ranks in 1987.
He repeated the trip to the D-I Regionals in 2001 after he coached his team to a Northeast Conference Championship title and propelled the Retrievers to a spot in the four-team America East Conference Championship this past year, just one year after finishing seventh place in the league.
During his coaching career, Jancuska has seen 17 players see action in professional baseball organizations, including former pitcher Jay Witasick, who became the first Retriever to play in the major leagues as he debuted with the Oakland Athletics in 1996. Witasick spent over 10 years in the majors, which included World Series appearances in 2001 with the New York Yankees and in 2002 with the San Francisco Giants.
Jancuska’s most recent prospect, former pitcher Zach Clark, was signed by the Baltimore Orioles in 2006 and recently earned his first Triple-A win during a brief stint with the Norfolk Tides. After transitioning back to the A+ Frederick Keys,
Jancuska was a two-year started and co-captain of his senior squad as a player at the