With 233 wins, the WPIAL title to his credit, Norwin baseball coach Mike Liebdzinski resigned

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Thursday, May 26, 2022 | 5:29 PM


When he looked at his watch, Mike Liebdzinski knew when he walked down the field Monday in Plum that it was time.

Norwin’s long -awaited baseball coach made his career after nearly thirty years in the dugout.

He told the players about his retreat Thursday.

“This has been what I’ve been thinking about for the past few years,” Liebdzinski said. “It’s not easy to let go. I started coaching in 1992, the same year I graduated college. After 30 years, it seems like the right time. It’s time for someone else to come up with new ideas and new energy.

That means the Knights ’5-2 defeat of Central Catholic was the final match for Liebdzinski, 51, who has been the team’s head coach for 19 years.

“I remember interviewing for a job and telling the school board that if they hired me, they didn’t have to worry about hiring a new coach for the next 20 years,” Liebdzinski said. “I didn’t keep my promise, but I’m close.”

Liebdzinski finished with a career record 233-114. He won eight division titles and one WPIAL title (2016).

He made his 17th playoffs and has two WPIAL championships.

A Norwin graduate who played at Davidson, Liebdzinski knew he wanted to be a straight coach from college.

“Baseball has been a major part of my life, since I can remember,” he said. “I used to work at a summer camp in Davidson and my college coach would have told me that I would be a coach one day. Once my playing day was over, it seemed like a logical step to stay involved in the game.

In addition to his success on the team, Liebdzinski is known for improving and producing college -level players. He has 22 players playing in the Division I program, while 22 are in his Division II career, which he is very proud of.

“Very proud,” he said. “And there are countless Division III guys. Well, four pros after a year of college.

The two who still play are JJ Matijevic (Houston Astros) and Max McDowell (New York Yankees).

“There are a lot of satisfying things about coaching,” Liebdzinski said. “The front is teaching young people about the game of baseball and watching them grow and progress into bigger things. I’m definitely going to miss that part.

Liebdzinski, who has been a social studies teacher at Norwin for 25 years, doesn’t see himself staying ahead of the game.

“It’s been a long time since I’ve had spring, summer and fall. Basically, I’m not sure if it’s ever done,” he said. “I feel like it’s time to go completely. At least for now. “

Liebdzinski thinks generally, if not all, staff will also leave the program.

“I am very proud to be able to represent my alma mater for the past 19 years,” he said. “I am very pleased to have an incredible coaching staff over the years. A special thanks to Tom Quealy, who suggested I apply for the job 19 years ago and we have been together since. We want to build a competitive quality program every year and do it. correctly.I think we are done.At least I hope we do.

“I’m really excited to be working with such a wonderful young man over the years. Hopefully we can bring some WPIAL champions back to Norwin, but I miss baseball.

Quealy gets a better view of Liebdzinski’s coaching methods than anyone.

“He can change the culture and immediately win,” Quealy said. “Her outward attitude can be considered stoic and harsh, but people close to her know her to be compassionate.

“Without a doubt, he is one of the best baseball coaches at WPIAL.”

Bill Beckner Jr. is the Tribune-Review Staff Writer. You can contact Bill via email at bbeckner@triblive.com or via Twitter .

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