Michael Randazzo named Maine West's baseball head coach
More than a decade later, Michael Randazzo is in charge of the program he once played in.
In a lot of ways, the move up has been a natural move. Randazzo spent four years playing baseball for Maine West High School, he told the North Cook News. Then he returned to his alma mater as the assistant varsity coach, where he coached for five years before spending two years as the head freshman baseball coach and two other seasons as the head sophomore coach.
Now that he is the head baseball coach, Randazzo said there is a little more passion when coaching a team he used to play for.
“I have a strong desire to win, and make sure the program succeeds for a very long time. It brings back a lot of memories,” he said.
Jarett Kirshner, the school's athletic director, announced Randazzo's promotion on Jan. 31, according to a report by the Journal Online. Randazzo replaces Joe Pederson, who stepped down after 10 years as head coach and 17 years overall with the program.
Randazzo said that he learned a lot from Pederson, and that he helped establish Randazzo's coaching foundation.
“There are many similarities in the foundation,” Randazzo said. “But there are also differences. I want to use more data and show the players numbers so they can see progression.”
Randazzo participated in baseball and wrestling at Maine West before graduating from the school in 2003.
He played second base at the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater during his freshman year of college before transferring to the University of Illinois. He played shortstop and second base for the club baseball team there, he said.
“I love the history of baseball,” Randazzo said. “I love how technical and complicated it is. Because after you break it all down, it makes it seem so simple and natural.”
Randazzo is entering his 10th year of coaching at Maine West.
“I love coaching because I get to share my enthusiasm for the game with players who hopefully feel the same way,” he said. “I love passing down knowledge that I have learned over the years in a game that I'm so passionate about.”
The Warriors posted a 14-17 record last season, according to the Journal Online report. However, Randazzo said he liked what he saw before the season started.
“They seem very committed and motivated," he said. "They want to work hard and see how successful they can become. I have high expectations this year."
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