Maryland Baseball Network is counting down to Opening Day! Today marks 14 days until the start of the 2017 season, so here’s a look at #14, John Szefc.
JOHN SZEFC | 14
Position: Head Coach
Hometown: Middletown, N.Y.
Alma Mater: Drexel University (’89)
Experience: 5th season at Maryland
About Szefc: “The General” begins his fifth season at the helm of the Terps already as the most successful head coach in Maryland Baseball history.
In his first four seasons, Szefc led Maryland to two NCAA Super Regional berths—the first NCAA Tournament appearances for the Terps since 1971. He’s the only head coach to record back-to-back 40-win seasons (’14, ’15), and Maryland has won at least 30 games in each of his four seasons—the longest streak for any head coach in the history of the program. Additionally, Szefc was the fastest Maryland coach to 100 wins, holding a record of 142-99 (.589) over the past four seasons.
Under Szefc, who was hired in July of 2012, 22 Terps have been selected over the course of the last four MLB Drafts, including six players who decided to forgo professional careers to come to Maryland as freshmen or return for another season (Nick Cieri, Justin Morris, Hunter Parsons, Andrew Miller, Mike Rescigno, Tyler Blohm).
The 2015 season marked the most successful season in Maryland Baseball history. Szefc guided the Terps to a program-record 42 wins and an upset of No. 1 overall seed UCLA in the NCAA Regionals. In total, eight players were selected in the 2015 MLB Draft, the most in one draft class in program history. All eight players drafted in 2015 are still currently matriculating through various professional organizations. Shortly after the 2015 season, Szefc inked a five-year contract extension.
He began his coaching career at his alma mater, Drexel, becoming an assistant coach after finishing his playing career as an All-East Coast Conference outfielder his senior season with the Dragons. He had previously spent two seasons playing at the University of Connecticut.
After five seasons at Drexel, Szefc spent time at Sacred Heart, Marist (where he was the head coach for seven seasons), Louisiana-Lafayette, Kansas, and Kansas State before arriving in College Park in the summer of 2012.