Aaron Izaryk spent nine successful years with the University of Maine baseball program as player and assistant coach.
This summer, he’s headed in a new direction.
Izaryk has left UMaine to become the head baseball coach at Bridgton Academy.
Izaryk, a native of Markham, Ontario, also will serve as a college counselor and will be a residence hall director at the western Maine prep school.
“The more I learned about it, the more I liked it,” said the 28-year-old Izaryk, who is in the midst of his second summer as the manager of the New England Collegiate Baseball League’s Sanford Mainers.
He said the circumstances were right to make a move.
“It’s not something I planned,” said Izaryk, who was intrigued after speaking with Bridgton headmaster Grady Vigneau.
“I’m excited about doing something new. It’s a new challenge and I’m looking forward to the prep school community atmosphere,” Izaryk added.
He also is expected to earn considerably more money at Bridgton, where he can be a head coach and continue to help develop young student-athletes.
“You do it [coach] because you love it,” Izaryk said, downplaying the financial benefits.
Izaryk recently completed his fifth season as an assistant under Black Bears head coach Steve Trimper. Most recently, Izaryk has served as UMaine’s pitching coach.
“It’s bittersweet. I hate to see him go, but at the same time it’s another chapter of his life,” said Trimper, who lauded Izaryk’s work at UMaine.
“He’s got a lot invested in the University of Maine. He’s done a tremendous job.”
Trimper said UMaine is close to filling the coaching vacancy created by Izaryk’s departure.
Izaryk doesn’t rule out the possibility of returning to the college ranks in the future.
Izaryk had a stellar playing career for the Bears. He earned freshman All-America honors in 2002 and went on to become a three-time All-America East first-team selection. He was the America East Scholar-Athlete of the Year for baseball in 2004 and 2005 and also in 2005 was named the Most Outstanding Athlete (in all sports) by America East.
At UMaine, Izaryk posted a career .318 batting average with 134 runs scored and 123 RBIs. He played mostly catcher.
Izaryk excelled on the field and in the classroom, earning the “M” Club Dean Smith Award in 2005 presented each year to UMaine’s top male and female student-athletes.
He graduated in 2005 with a degree in physical education and kinesiology and in 2008 earned a master’s degree in exercise science.
UMaine’s Martin shines at Bristol
Joey Martin of Portland is having a successful summer as a member of the NECBL’s Bristol Collegiate team.
Martin, who will be a senior at UMaine in the fall, is expected to be among the players named to the NECBL All-Star Team in the coming days.
Bristol’s right fielder ranks first on his team and sixth in the wooden-bat league with a .341 batting average. He has knocked in 14 runs and stolen three bases.
The first-year Bristol squad occupies third place in the Western Division with a 15-13 record through Sunday.