Sczublewski steps down as Albert Lea baseball coach

Published 8:35 am Thursday, February 23, 2017

After 38 years as a head baseball coach, with the last 27 coming at Albert Lea High School, Joe Sczublewski has called it a career.

“The last umpteen years, you kind of just take it a year at a time,” Sczublewski said. “It was something I decided in the fall.”

Fresh off leading the Tigers baseball team to within one game of a state tournament berth, Sczublewski said he is at peace with his decision and is excited to leave the program in the hands of Sean Gaston, who will take over the program.

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“It is a lot of work,” Sczublewski said.

Stepping away at a time when Albert Lea has been very competitive the last few years is sure to be tough, but Sczublewski said he has a lot of good memories.

“We’ve been very competitive and I wish we could have gone a little further,” Sczublewski said. “Watching the players improve was always fun and we’ve had a lot of good assistant coaches help out. But I’m ready to step away.”

With Gaston ready to take over, Sczublewski said the program will be in good shape.

“He’s been an assistant coach here for the last two seasons,” Sczublewski said. “He’s had different experiences and he can bring those experiences to the team. (Sean) has a lot of enthusiasm and good experiences to share. He will bring a lot to the table.”

Sczublewski said he will miss the competition the most, along with the preparation.

“I enjoyed practices the most,” Sczublewski said. “The game is where you can make adjustments, but the teaching takes place in practice. As I see it, that’s the fun part.”

Sczublewski ranks 11th in the Minnesota State High School Baseball Coaches Association in wins with 427. His overall record is 427-402.