Terry Mularski is retiring from a job he loves — coaching baseball.
The 64-year-old, who retired from teaching after 40 years last year, is hanging up his jersey after 28 years as the Westmoreland County Community College baseball team’s pitching coach.
“The decision to retire as a coach was harder than retiring as a teacher,” Mularski said. “I had a great time coaching with a man I considered my brother (Mike Draghi).
“Mike and I started the program in 1992 after coaching two years at Greensburg Salem. He’s my best friend. Did we always agree? No, but more than 90 percent of the time we did.”
When Draghi took the job at WCCC in 1992, Mularski was the first person he asked to join him.
They created a winning program that has sustained itself.
“Coaching with Terry has been awesome,” Draghi said. “The friendship we’ve developed is more important.
“Sure we’ve gotten heated over things, but he’s right, 90 to 95 percent of the time we agree. We’re both so passionate about the game.”
Mularski was in charge of the pitching staff. He sometimes added his thoughts about other parts of the game, but pitching was his focus.
“Mike let me handle the staff,” Mularski said. “He never interfered. He’d ask me about what I thought, and he did all the pitching changes.”
Draghi said his next pitching coach will have big shoes to fill.
“Terry was detail-oriented and was the stabilizing force of the staff,” Draghi said. “We had very few arm injuries under him. His program was solid.
“He was very good with the players and was able to see things I’d overlook. We joked that he was the brains of the staff. I’m going to miss him on the bench.”
Mularski said he and his wife Margy will be doing a lot of traveling and eventually move to Myrtle Beach, S.C., where they are building a house.
He retired from teaching at Franklin Regional last year. He spent the first 35 years as a special education and learning support teacher and the final five as an eighth-grade English teacher.
Mularski graduated from Norwin in 1972 and Slippery Rock in ‘76. He also got a degree from Pitt in 1982.
He said when WCCC makes its southern trip he’ll watch the games and maybe even have a barbeque.
The Mularskis have already cruised to Antarctica and been to New Zealand three times to visit his wife’s daughter.
He said going to the NJCAA World Series twice was the most memorable coaching experience.
“I’m not going to mention any player because I know I’ll miss someone,” Mularski said. “We had a lot of tremendous kids to coach. I can honestly say that every kid we coached got better.”
He a lot of great fellow coaches, as well.
“When Ken (Macha, former Oakland Athletics and Milwaukee Brewers manager) came around, I even learned a lot from him. All the guys I worked with were great.”
Mularski said recruiting is a lot different now than when he started. He said some of the local Westmoreland County players are moving out of state, and the Wolfpack is getting players from different areas, including Florida and California.
“CCAC Boyce had 24 players on its roster; 18 were from Florida or Puerto Rico,” Mularski said. “Princess Georges (Md.) Community College was the same. It’s tougher to recruit players now.”