Darrell Handelsman, the most successful coach in summer-collegiate history, has stepped down as coach of the Fayetteville SwampDogs (Coastal Plain League).
His father, Lew Handelsman, will remain as owner of the team. Earlier this fall Lew Handelsman sold his other team, the Wilmington Sharks, in the same circuit.
Darrell Handelsman posted a record of 288-196 in the Coastal Plain League and 301-205 before that in the Northwoods League with Madison, Brainerd and Waterloo. His teams have always been noted for their aggressive play on the basepaths, designed to put pressure on opposing players. It was a successful strategy that ended up with six former SwampDogs playing in Major League Baseball. In recent years Handelsman has run into some bad luck, sidelined first with a heart attack and then serious burns from a concession-stand fire. From Fayetteville.com:
He said he and his family plan to remain in Fayetteville through the end of the 2013-14 school year, and that he currently doesn’t have any job prospects. He said he would like to remain in coaching at the college, professional or independent levels.
“It will be the hardest thing to say goodbye,” he said. “It’s unfortunate. I think we had something pretty good going here.”
He added, “I want to be somewhere where it’s productive and everybody’s on the same page. There’s not a day that went by here that I didn’t enjoy what I was doing.”
Given Darrell’s success, we’d surprise if he didn’t land some sort of coaching gig for this summer.
Share your news with the baseball community. Send it to us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Are you a subscriber to the weekly Ballpark Digest newsletter? You can sign up for a free subscription at the Newsletter Signup Page.