Salisbury Press

Monday, July 15, 2019
PRESS PHOTO BY NANCY SCHOLZAfter 40 years with the program and 20 years as head coach, Mike Pochron has stepped down from the helm of the Salisbury varsity baseball team. PRESS PHOTO BY NANCY SCHOLZAfter 40 years with the program and 20 years as head coach, Mike Pochron has stepped down from the helm of the Salisbury varsity baseball team.

Pochron steps down

Thursday, June 13, 2019 by TODD KRESS tkress@tnonline.com in Sports

After 40 years of coaching Salisbury baseball, the last 20 as the varsity head coach, Mike Pochron has called it a career.

Pochron, a 1973 Salisbury graduate and the third coach in school history, led the Falcons to a state championship game in 2011, a state semifinal appearance in 2013, three District 11 championships (2004, 2011, 2013) and three Colonial League titles (2009, 2012, 2013). He finished with 267 career victories.

Now, the program will be looking for just its fourth head coach in its storied history. It will be a tough task to replace one of the area’s longest-tenured coaches.

Pochron said he started thinking seriously about stepping down during the last few weeks of the season and came to the decision over the Memorial Day weekend. The Falcons finished the spring season 6-14 (5-12 in Colonial League)

“I have been asked if I was coming back over the last five years,” Pochron said in a news release issued by the Salisbury athletic department. “I thought about it before, but now I think the time is right. Twenty years as an assistant and 20 years as the head coach is a good way to end.”

In his first 20 years under longtime varsity head coach and close friend Frank Yelinko, Pochron served as either the junior varsity coach or the assistant varsity coach. Yelinko passed away in 2000, the same year Pochron took over the varsity team.

“Every time we [the staff and I] made a decision, I always thought ‘How would Frank handle this and what would he have done?’” Pochron said. “Everything we did, we had him in mind. He was a big influence.”

Pochron said his fondest memory was in 2011, when the team surprised everyone by winning districts and three state playoff games to advance to the state final. The Falcons lost 5-2 to Riverside in the championship to end the glorious run with a 20-7 overall record.

Two years later, Salisbury went 25-2 and was beaten by Loyalsock in the state semifinals.

The decision to leave was a difficult one for Pochron and he will certainly miss coaching. He still plans to attend Salisbury athletic events and will remain a fixture on the chain crew for varsity football games.

“I’ll be around,” Pochron said. “I’ll still follow the teams and will be rooting for them.”