McCarthy takes over for Szmergalski at Brother Rice
Updated: October 11, 2011 6:42PM
Brother Rice officials said Tuesday that Dan Szmergalski stepped down after one year as the school’s baseball coach and would be replaced by St. Rita graduate John McCarthy.
“Dan wasn’t able to do justice to the duties as head coach because of the increased responsibilities of his full-time job,” Brother Rice president Dr. Kevin Burns said. “Danny is a Rice alum and he’s always welcome back here.”
McCarthy, on the other hand, is a 2002 graduate of St. Rita — one of Brother Rice’s top rivals. He’s been a sophomore coach and varsity assistant for the Mustangs since 2007.
“John has good ideas, fire in his belly and he’s learned from some good people,” Burns said. “We’re excited to have him.”
McCarthy was a four-year starting outfielder at St. Rita and 25th-round pick of the Texas Rangers in the 2002 amateur draft. The left-handed-hitting McCarthy, a Palos Park resident, bypassed an opportunity to play professionally and attended powerhouse Mesa Community College and the University of Louisiana-Lafeyette.
Brother Rice finished a disappointing 14-15 in Szmergalski’s only season — just the fourth time Rice has had a losing record in 52 years. To compound matters, two of its top players, shortstop/pitcher Ryan Koziol and pitcher Mike Yacko, transferred over the summer to Providence and Oak Lawn, respectively.