Streelman to Retire as Baseball Coach Following Season
2012 Campaign Will Be Last for Long-Time Shoreman
CHESTERTOWN, MD -- Washington College head baseball coach Al Streelman '69 has announced he will retire at the conclusion of the 2012 season. Streelman, who is in his 15th year as the team's head coach, has been a part of the team's coaching staff since 1979.
"Coach Streelman has been a fixture in the Shoremen dugout for decades. His time as a player, an assistant coach under Ed Athey, and as head coach the past 15 years have been a great run," states Washington College Athletic Director Dr. Bryan Matthews '75.
Streelman will be leaving the program in terrific shape going forward. In 2010, the team earned a spot in the four-team Centennial Conference Tournament, marking the Shoremen's first postseason appearance in 26 years, and the previous two recruiting classes have been among the largest and most talented in the team's history. The Shoremen have won a total of 50 games over the past three seasons, marking their winningest three-year stretch in nine years.
"The program is experiencing a resurgence, and is poised to become one of the elite teams in the Centennial Conference. This is is due to Al's commitment to recruiting excellent talent, developing a strong staff, and mentoring the student-athletes to achieve their best," adds Matthews. "We thank Al for all that he has done for Washington College baseball."
As a member of the varsity baseball team while a student at Washington College, Streelman played for legendary head coach and athletic director Ed Athey '47 and saw time at every position other than catcher. Ten years after his graduation, Streelman became Athey's lead assistant coach, specializing in pitchers and infielders.
When Athey retired from coaching following the 1997 season, Streelman was promoted to head coach. Streelman's overall record as head coach of the Shoremen stands at 191-254-2. His 191 wins are third-most all-time in the program's history, which dates back to 1871.
A prepared statement from Coach Streelman follows:
In late 1978, my mentor and former head coach, Ed Athey, asked me if I would assist him with WAC baseball; and having played for "Coach" for three years and befriending him after my graduation in 1969, this was a "no-brainer" decision. For the next 17 years, I paid close attention to Coach and tried to learn as much as possible from him and to emulate how he handled his players and how he treated people in general. When we returned from our Florida spring trip in March of 1997, Coach sat me down one day at practice and advised me that he was tired, had "run out of gas," and was leaving the baseball program at the end of the season. We were 6-12 at the time Coach shared this with the team. What followed was certainly one of the most memorable runs in WC baseball history; we won 15 of our next 16 games and finished the year with 21 wins, the most wins by any WAC baseball team. Such was the respect that the kids had for Coach Athey.
One of the other things that Coach told me then was that if I were to replace him as head coach, that down the road, I too would know when the right time would be for me to leave. As I begin my 15th year as head coach of the WAC baseball team, I have come to realize that my time to leave the program will be at the end of the 2012 season. This is my decision and mine alone. I have advised the Athletic Director and, most importantly, my team of my decision. My understanding is that a national search for my successor will begin some time late next spring. I am very grateful to Washington College for giving me this opportunity to pursue one of my dreams and for the support I have been given over the years.
I have had the privilege of coaching some very good players, and excellent young men, and I will miss them all very much. I also want to thank the many fine athletic department staff with whom I have worked and who have helped me with the administrative side of the job. Last but not least, I want to thank our baseball alumni and other loyal supporters who have generously donated to our program.
And finally, I want to thank my wife, Sue, for her support over the past 32-plus years.
To all of you who love this great game, come on up to Athey Park in March and catch the 2012 edition of WAC baseball. Stop by the dugout and say, "Hi."