Harney quits as Bel Air basketball coach

Wrenn back as head coach for Patterson baseball


High Schools

April 14, 2004|By Jeff Zrebiec and Lem Satterfield | Jeff Zrebiec and Lem Satterfield,SUN STAFF

Chris Harney, the Harford County boys basketball Coach of the Year this winter after leading Bel Air to a program-best 21-3 record, said he has resigned to become an assistant coach at St. Mary's College in Southern Maryland.

Harney compiled a 41-27 record in three seasons at Bel Air, leading the Bobcats to the Class 3A North semifinals this year and their first area ranking in what is believed to be two decades.

Harney said a chance to coach at his alma mater - he played for St. Mary's in 1993 and 1994 - and family commitments factored in his decision. Harney and his wife, Carrie, have a 6-month-old baby and the family will move to Washington to be closer to Carrie's job.

"There's not one thing about Bel Air that I have negative feelings about," said Harney, 33. "It was a hard job to walk away from, but you close one door and you open another. I've always wanted to coach in college and I think this is a step in the right direction."

Back in action

Patterson's Roger Wrenn has returned to his winning ways after two years away from baseball, but one of his former employees could yet steal his thunder.

Wrenn, a 29-year baseball coach, has his Clippers in contention for Baltimore City's A Division crown with a 3-0-1 record (4-0-1 overall) led by pitcher Matt Steele, third baseman David Evans and center fielder Robert Lee.

But Poly's Mark Junker, who coached at Patterson last year, has the Engineers (4-1, 3-1) riding a four-game winning streak against city league rivals after a season-opening nonleague loss to Parkville.

Senior right-hander Nick Sigismondi, junior first baseman Brandon Roane and senior center fielder Jasmond Walker lead the Engineers, who play host to the Clippers on May 5 before visiting Patterson on May 11.

Wrenn, 57, is also Patterson's athletic director and football coach, but had retired from baseball with 12 championships.

Why he returned is a long story. Having left Patterson to claim a position as assistant football coach at Poly, Junker later took over the three-time defending city baseball champions as well.

Junker's former position as Patterson's head baseball coach was to be taken over this year by Micah Kurtz. But Kurtz asked Wrenn to show him the ropes, electing to serve as his assistant this season.

Poly's former coach, Chris Vaccaro, claimed the baseball job - as well as that of athletic director - at Southern-Baltimore.

Vaccaro's squad still is in the title hunt, having suffered only one league loss - to Poly. In addition, the Bulldogs' game with the Clippers is tied at 5-5 entering the eighth inning, and will be completed as part of a double-header on April 21.

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