Curley's first and only baseball coach, Frank retires after 41 years

66-year-old directed teams to at least one title in five different decades

Notebook

High Schools

February 07, 2004|By Pat O'Malley | Pat O'Malley,SUN STAFF

Al Frank, the only baseball coach Archbishop Curley has had since the program began in 1963, has retired.

Frank, who had a record of 546-423 (.563) in 41 seasons, was named to the Maryland State Association of Baseball Coaches Hall of Fame in 1997.

"After retiring from the teaching at the end of last [academic] year, I decided it was time to go [as coach]," said Frank, 66, who taught history and lives in Anne Arundel County.

"I've got a lot of great memories of the kids I had. I coached so long because of my love of the game and the kids. My wife and I have a beach house in Pasadena, and I will spend a lot of time there, and we're going to do some traveling.

"I hope to get out and see some high school baseball, too."

Roger Czerwinski, a Curley vice principal and the Friars' JV coach last spring, has been named interim coach for this season. After the season, the school will search for a permanent replacement.

Frank won six Maryland Scholastic Association and Maryland Interscholastic Athletic Association A Conference titles. His last two titles came in 2001 (23-8) and 1999 (24-9), when he was The Sun's All-Metro Coach of the Year.

Curley set a state record for homers with 49 in 1999, batted .357 as a team and scored 312 runs.

The 2001 team gave him the distinction of winning at least one title in five different decades. Frank led the Friars to titles in 1969, '70, '78, '83, '99 and 2001. Curley was an A Conference runner-up in 1977, '80, '88 and '91.

Tim Norris, who was an Orioles minor league pitcher and a roommate of Cal Ripken Jr.'s at Bluefield, W.Va., was an assistant to Frank for the last two championship teams. Norris, who was Metro Player of the Year as a junior in 1977 for Curley, led the Friars to their '78 title before signing with the Orioles.

Norris' son Brooks, who is a junior at the University of Maryland, was a first baseman/pitcher for the '99 and 2001 champions. Brooks Norris was All-Metro, too.

"I know his son has two more years at Maryland, but maybe Timmy will be interested in the job after this year, " said Frank, who always considered Tim Norris to be his "son," one of many over the years.

McDonogh on a roll

The McDonogh Eagles of coach Matt MacMullan have caught fire after slipping to 8-9 with a 58-54 basketball loss to Archbishop Spalding on Jan. 21.

The Eagles, who play host to No. 4 Spalding (18-4) at 1:45 this afternoon, have since won five straight and are ranked No. 12.

Last weekend, the Eagles (13-9), who started the season ranked seventh before falling to 5-7 and out of the top 20, stunned then-No. 1 Mount St. Joseph, 56-49.

The upset of Mount St. Joe (20-2) came on the heels of a surprising 63-43 rout of No. 3 Cardinal Gibbons (21-4) to avenge a 71-46 loss.

No. 19 Towson Catholic (17-9) became the Eagles' fifth straight victim, 67-54, on Wednesday. Justin Drummond, Jon Brick, Dajuan Summers and freshman Malcolm Delaney have led the Eagles' resurgence.

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