CR’s Szvitich steps down after 8 years as baseball head coach

Rich Szvitch’s best season came in 2010 when the Riders went 15-6 and reached the state semifinals. (Delaware State News file photo)

Rich Szvitch’s best season came in 2010 when the Riders went 15-6 and reached the state semifinals. (Delaware State News file photo)

CAMDEN — Rich Szvitich knows he’s a lucky guy.

Not everybody gets the chance to coach at their alma mater.

Outside of three seasons he spent at Delaware State, Szvitich has been coaching baseball at Caesar Rodney High since 1991.

“When I tell people that I work at the school I graduated from, everybody’s like, ‘That’s so cool,’” he said.

But Szvitich decided this week that it was time to move on. After eight seasons as the Riders’ baseball head coach, the 50-year-old stepped down on Wednesday.

CR has had only two head baseball coaches over the last three decades. John Newman resigned in 2008 after 24 seasons as the Riders’ head coach.

Under Szvitich, CR went 92-61 with four state tournament appearances.

“I don’t know if everybody would believe it, but I intended this to be my last year coming up,” Szvitich said on Friday. “My wife (Robin) has been a baseball, football, swimming coach’s wife for years and I think it’s time.

“It’s been fun. I’ve been lucky.”

Szvitch’s best season came in 2010 when the Riders went 15-6 and reached the state semifinals where they lost to Appoquinimink, 9-8. That started a string of four straight trips to the state tourney for CR.

The Riders’ 7-11 record this past spring was their first losing campaign under Szvitich.

A match teacher at CR, Szvitich said he plans to go to games and maybe even stay involved in the sport. But he’s looking forward to having the freedom that comes with not having the commitment of being a head coach.

Szvitich said he’ll still keep up with the off-season running of the program until a replacement is found.

“It’ll be nice,” he said. “It’s funny because I never had a summer off until I stopped lifeguarding (at Rehoboth Beach). Then, once I had a summer off, I was like, ‘Oh, this is really nice to be able to go play golf and do whatever you want.’”

Szvitich said he has always been proud of the reputation CR’s program has had in the state and hopes he was able to continue it.

While the Riders produced a couple major leaguers during Szvitch’s time there — pitchers Ian Snell and Dave Williams — he said he’s also happy that CR sent a number of players on to college.

“I’ve always looked at CR’s program — when John Coveleski was here and when John Newman was here — that it was one of the better programs in the state,” said Szvitich. “It was well run. Our kids would show up, play hard, they were well-behaved. … it’s been fun.

“They know they’re not going to play at the next level so what can you do to prepare them for the rest of their life? We pushed a lot of character things and made sure they made the right choices. Those are the things that are going to be more important.”

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