Citing schedule concerns, Kiski Area baseball coach steps down after 4 seasons

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Wednesday, July 27, 2022 | 7:15 PM


Citing growth in his real estate career, particularly as it pertains to increased responsibilities in the spring housing market, Aaron Albert resigned Wednesday as Kiski Area head baseball coach after four seasons with the program.

Albert publicly announced his decision Wednesday afternoon with a post on Twitter. In it, he thanked the Kiski Area administration, community, players and coaches.

“You will always hold a special place in my heart,” he said.

Albert said he came to the decision over the past couple of weeks and said he had discussions with Kiski Area athletic director John Peterman.

“Baseball in the spring is just so hard with the way the schedule can be,” Albert said. “I am 55 minutes from Kiski where I live right now. My real estate work is all around here, and my office is in Sewickley. It’s tough to work with the busy spring market and also be, essentially, on call with the unpredictable baseball schedule.

“Games can get switched from home to away games, or a game might get switched to a practice. The weather can switch so many things around. The past couple of years, as I continued to ramp up in real estate, it’s become tougher and tougher. It became clearer that I might have to make a decision like this, and it was one that ultimately was best for my family.”

Albert credited assistant coach Jim Christie, a teacher at Kiski Area, for his help in managing a number of the day-to-day responsibilities during the spring season.

“I knew that if I couldn’t be there as much as I feel I needed to be there to be the leader the players needed, then I needed to step aside and give it to somebody else,” Albert said.

Albert, a 2002 Knoch graduate who played baseball at IUP, came to the Kiski Area program in June 2018 after two seasons at Beaver, where he went a combined 16-21 overall.

Neither season with the Bobcats ended in a trip to the WPIAL playoffs, but Albert was able to help form a foundation that led to Beaver capturing the 2019 WPIAL Class 4A championship before finishing as PIAA runner-up.

The 2019 Cavaliers, the first team under Albert’s tutelage, posted a 9-11 overall record and a 6-6 mark in section play. Kiski qualified for the WPIAL playoffs and suffered a 3-1 loss to Laurel Highlands in the Class 5A first round.

Albert didn’t get a chance to coach his team on the field in 2020 as all of Pennsylvania high school spring sports came to a halt in the wake of the burgeoning covid pandemic.

Eight starters return to the Cavaliers in 2023, and Albert said the team is set up to make a run into the WPIAL playoffs after falling short of the postseason the past two years.

“We only graduated one starter, and they are setting themselves up to be a great team next year,” Albert said. “I will miss those guys, but I will always keep track of them and make sure they finish strong.”

Albert said Chuck Vocke, Kiski Area’s JV head coach, and Cavaliers varsity assistant Bobby Bucci plan to head up both a varsity and JV team in the Western Pennsylvania Fall Baseball League, which begins in September.

While Albert will no longer coach the baseball team in the spring, he stressed that he is still committed to his role as assistant football coach with the running backs and safeties under his father, Cavaliers head coach Sam Albert.

The younger Albert also will continue to coach the junior varsity offense for its Saturday morning games.

“The lucky thing for me is a number of those guys, like Connor Flemm, Dom DiNinno and Lebryn Smith, are still football players, so they will get me every day in the fall,” he said.

Albert’s resignation is expected to officially be accepted at next month’s school board meeting.

Peterman said there is no specific timetable set for the process to find Albert’s successor. He did say that it most likely would begin when members of the teaching faculty and other staff return for the upcoming academic year.

“The sports like baseball and softball, you as a coach need to have a flexible schedule to go with the flow of a schedule that can change quickly or be able to be there to leave in the early afternoon for an away game,” Peterman said. “That was a big thing in losing Aaron.

“But we talk to kids all the time about bettering yourself every day and making yourself better today than you were yesterday. What kind of coaches would we be if we weren’t trying to better ourselves in our own personal lives and be an example for our players and students? The decision was a tough one for him, but it was one he needed to make. He dedicated himself to being the best coach for his players, and I thank him for that.”

Michael Love is a Tribune-Review Staff Writer. You can contact Michael by email at mlove@triblive.com or via Twitter .

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