CUMBERLAND — Allegany County government officials paid tribute Thursday to Steve Bazarnic, the Allegany College of Maryland athletic director and baseball coach, who will retire June 30.
The county Board of Commissioners declared June 10 Steve Bazarnic Day.
Bazarnic came to Cumberland in 1971 from State College, Pennsylvania, to work at what was then known as Allegany Community College.
“Steve Bazarnic has had an exemplary collegiate baseball career at Penn State University and we are fortunate that he moved to Allegany County,” said Jake Shade, county commission president, during the tribute at the county office complex.
“He became the college’s first baseball coach and started and developed and led ACM’s nationally recognized and revered baseball program,” he said.
As ACM’s coach, Bazarnic won more than 1,400 games. His teams won nine district championships and played in the NJCAA World Series nine times.
He has been inducted into three halls of fame — the Maryland Baseball Coaches Hall of Fame in 1991, National Junior College Athletic Association Baseball Coaches Hall of Fame in 1996 and the NJCAA Region XX Baseball Coaches Hall of Fame in 2000.
Bazarnic, 74, coached and taught hundreds of young people in his 48-year career. He spoke in front of a packed county meeting room.
“It has been a great ride,” he said. “When you honor me, you honor everybody who have had a part in this. It was always ‘us,’ and ‘we’ and not ‘I’ and ‘me’. It’s been an honor.”
Bazarnic reminisced over his career and shared stories of the players he coached. He thanked numerous people from the custodians, transportation and parks and rec personnel to his students, players, staff, wife and family.
“I’m very proud of the students and players ... many went on to serve our country,” Bazarnic said.
A video honoring Bazarnic, featuring comments from J.R. Perdew, a former ACM pitching coach who’s now the assistant pitching coordinator in the Chicago White Sox farm system, Times-News Sports Editor Mike Burke and James Pyles, former ACM catcher and current county director of emergency services, was also shown.
Shade unveiled a framed photo of Bazarnic, which was placed on the meeting room wall with other notable Allegany County citizens who have had a positive impact on the community.
Follow staff writer Greg Larry on Twitter @GregLarryCTN.