John Szefc Officially Introduced as Hokies Head Baseball Coach

Blacksburg, Va.– Whit Babcock officially introduced John Szefc (pronounced CHEF) as the new head coach of the Virginia Tech Baseball program Thursday.

“His name came up very early in the process,” Athletic Director Whit Babcock said.  “When we started doing our homework behind the scenes it came up early and often.  We certainly liked his track record and resume”

Szefc was competing in the NCAA Regional tournament with Maryland at the time.

“What a privilege and an honor and it is to stand here as Virginia Tech’s Head Baseball Coach,” Szefc said.  “Having read about whats been going on here as far as the trend upward and the successful [hiring of] one coach after another; from an outsider looking in, that’s something pretty special. Its a great feeling to be included in a group like that”

Szefc is Babcock’s seventh hire.

Szefc went on to stress the importance of keeping talented players in state.

“This is Virginia Tech.  We want to build it right with Virginia players first,” Szefc said.  “When I started at Maryland one of the things we wanted to get a hold of in-state first and work our way out.”

Szefc also spoke about how the completion of the new facilities isn’t the most important thing in recruiting and coaching, but does help lay a good foundation for players to build on. He said the construction of the new Union Park at English Field is a monstrous foundation for a house to be built.

Szefc stressed the importance of high- energy coaches and a blue collar mentality from the entire program.

“I don’t try to pump up rivalries or weekend games,”  Szef said.  “What I’m trying to do with our guys is back them down and have them relax so that they can operate and do what they do on a really high level.”

Szefc said when you raise the bar for a certain weekend or series, players do not perform as well.  He spoke about how baseball is a mental game and slowing the pace of the game, no matter who the opponent, can help tackle both the mental and physical challenge of a game and series.

Szefc said he has a passion for rebuilding programs and facing the little challenges that come with it.  He wants to focus on developing players in their sport, in their academics, and in their personal lives.

“We’re going to built it in Blacksburg, and I’m really looking forward to it.”

Szefc went 180-122 in his five years at Maryland and has gone 392-259-3 overall with ten postseason appearances.