Peters Township’s Joe Maize resigns as baseball coach after 35 years

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Tuesday, June 25, 2019 | 7:49 PM


A sign in Joe Maize’s game room reminds visitors that “Baseball Lives Here,” an item he picked up while visiting Cooperstown, N.Y.

“I used to have it over our entrance way when you walked into our house, and my wife after about five years finally said that needs to go somewhere else,” he said with a laugh.

Maize has resigned as Peters Township’s baseball coach after 35 years, 422 wins and two WPIAL championships, but he’s confident the sport will remain part of his life. He’s interested in working with the Miracle League of South Hills, a charity run by former MLB player Sean Casey, and might consider joining a WPIAL coaching staff as an assistant if the fit is right.

But after more than three decades leading Peters Township, Maize decided the time was right to leave the Indians to someone else. He emphasized he felt no pressure to quit, but decided to step away after a strong 13-7 season and alongside a “fun group” of graduating seniors.

Maize started thinking about retirement last spring when he sat down with athletic director Brian Geyer for his year-end talk. Nowadays, he said, fewer and fewer high school coaches are able to leave on a positive note.

“I started thinking this would be a nice way to go out,” said Maize, who was voted as this season’s section coach of the year. “I said 35 sounds like a good number.”

In all, Maize spent 41 years working with Peters Township athletics.

Among his various jobs, he was the school’s athletic director from 1986-2006. He also coached girls basketball in 1978, middle school boys basketball in 1979-86 and 2012-13, softball for seven years in 1978-84 and was a ninth-grade boys soccer coach in 2012-13.

The former physical education and driver’s education teacher now works as a faculty manager in the district, a job he’ll keep.

“The Peters Township School District in indebted to the service of coach Joe Maize as an educator, coach and athletic administrator of 40-plus years,” Geyer said. “We thank coach Maize for the very positive impact he has had on the students of our school district.

“As a baseball coach over the past 35 seasons, coach Maize’s teams not only had successes on the field and numerous championships, but coach Maize’s players respected the game of baseball and represented the community well.”

Peters Township will honor Maize during next school year, Geyer said.

Maize’s baseball teams won WPIAL titles in 2007 and ‘08, and were runners-up in ‘11. They finished second in the state in ‘04 and ‘05.

Under his guidance, eight Peters Township players were drafted by major league teams, seven in college and one as a high school senior: Joe Kail, Chris Peters, Brian Simmons, Jason DiAngelo, Jimmy Gallagher, J.J. Jankowksi, Jimmy Rider and Justin Bianco.

He counts more than 100 who played college baseball.

“I am proud of the way our players have represented our school district, our high school athletic program and our community,” Maize said.

Chris Harlan is a Tribune-Review Staff Writer. You can contact Chris by email at [email protected] or via Twitter .

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