St. Mary's College of Maryland Director of Athletics and Recreation Scott Devine announced Tuesday morning the hiring of Bernard 'Bernie' Stratchko as the next skipper of the Seahawks baseball program.
Devine stated, "After a lengthy search process which featured an extremely deep applicant pool, I am happy to announce Bernie Stratchko as our next head baseball coach. Bernie checked all of the primary boxes for us. He has a sustained, successful track record of recruiting high-quality D-III baseball players in the state of Maryland and in the mid-Atlantic region; he has coached in an extremely successful baseball program at Frostburg which allowed him to be in the dugout in many big games."
"He has great familiarity with CAC baseball, and he grew up in southern Maryland so he comes into the job with a real knowledge of our baseball program and St. Mary's College. Bernie really impressed us during the interview process and we see him as a great fit in our Department. It is clear that he is ready to step into this position and lead our baseball program."
Stratchko takes over for veteran head coach Lew Jenkins, who retired after 22 years and 358 wins at the helm of the Seahawks. Stratchko comes to the St. Mary's City campus with valuable knowledge and understanding of the Capital Athletic Conference and with strong local ties to Southern Maryland.
Assistant Athletic Director and search committee chair Jim Cranmer added, "First, I would like to thank the Search Committee and the baseball student-athletes that took part in the process. We had several high-quality candidates for the position. In making our final decision, two factors stood out with the committee."
"First, Bernie is familiar with the quality of play in one of the premiere baseball conferences in not only the mid-Atlantic region, but the country. Second, as the recruiting coordinator, Bernie knows the recruiting landscape in Maryland and the surrounding areas. We look forward to working with Bernie as he builds upon the foundation and legacy left behind by Lew Jenkins."
The La Plata, Maryland native has spent the last five years as an assistant coach and recruiting coordinator at Frostburg State University. During his tenure, the Bobcats won their first-ever NCAA Division III Mideast Regional and made their first appearance in the NCAA Division III College World Series in 2015, finishing with a school- and CAC-record 43 wins. Frostburg State also captured a pair of CAC regular-season titles in 2015 and 2016 as well as the 2015 CAC tournament title.
"First, I would like to thank Mr. Devine for the opportunity to come back home to Southern Maryland and lead this program at St. Mary's. It truly is an honor to follow such a well-respected coach as Lew Jenkins. I look forward to the challenge of competing with the Seahawks in the CAC," expressed Stratchko.
In his five seasons with the Bobcats, Stratchko assisted FSU in a total of 143 wins and five appearances in the CAC Tournament. He helped mentor 23 players to 32 All-CAC honors, including the CAC Player of the Year in 2013 and the CAC Rookie of the Year in 2015.
Stratchko worked primarily with the hitters and infielders at Frostburg. Under his watch, the Bobcats led the nation in home runs (46), walks (237) and fielding percentage (.975) in 2015. Frostburg State topped the CAC in home runs four times in the last five years while leading the conference in triples in 2012, 2013, and 2014.
Stratchko played shortstop and third base at the College of Southern Maryland before finishing his career at the University of Maryland, Eastern Shore (2005 and 2006). He earned his Bachelor of Science in Exercise Science in May 2012 before completing his MBA in May 2014, pursuing both degrees at Frostburg State.