MV hires Rudzinski

BY MARTY MYERS

Times-Shamrock Writer

It’s been six years since Tom Rudzinski stepped down at Lakeland, and this year he will return to the sidelines, this time as Mountain View’s head coach.

“I’m looking forward to the challenge,” said Rudzinski, who turned Lakeland into a District 2 Class AA power and a state finalist in 2006. “Mountain View was never really a softball power, but they have some decent athletes, kids who want to play. Hopefully, we’ll get them on the right track this year.”

When Rudzinski retired as a postal inspector in July, he began to take seriously a comment from the mother of one of his future players.

“This mom told me they were looking for a softball coach and, of course, I didn’t think much of it at the time,” Rudzinski said. “But when the post office offered me an incentive I decided to retire and I said, ‘You know what, maybe I’ll get back into coaching.’

“Because I enjoyed it and I missed it, working with the kids.”

Good at it, too, taking Lakeland to the biggest stage, the state final in 2006, and some memorable games, like the 22-inning loss to Northwestern Lehigh that ended the 2007 campaign.

He’d like to start that kind of success at his new school.

“I’ve been a competitor all my life and I’m looking to make Mountain View a team the other teams will circle on the calendar and think it’s going to be a tough one,” said Rudzinski, who’s played or coached softball for more than 30 years. “I hope to get the program to that state first, and then reach for the sky.

“When I took over at Lakeland, I talked about making the state playoffs and they looked at me like I was from outer space. Then they got to the point where they expected to be in the state playoffs. I’d like to get Mountain View to that level.”