Plum baseball coach Carl Vollmer resigns

Thursday, July 5, 2018 | 12:33 PM

Plum baseball coach Carl Vollmer took a few weeks to think about his resignation, but that didn’t make Thursday any easier.

“I’ll be honest, it’s a little tougher than I thought it originally would be,” said Vollmer, who resigned as coach after 17 years with the Mustangs, the past 14 as head coach. “I don’t want to say it’s bittersweet right now. It’s just bitter. It’s sad. I love (coaching at Plum), and I’ve been doing it for a long time.”

Vollmer’s career record was 218-81.

His teams won seven section titles, were WPIAL runners-up twice and reached the state finals once. He also saw one of his players, Alex Kirilloff, selected in the first round of the MLB draft.

“I’m very proud of what we’ve done,” Vollmer said. “We maintained a level on consistency, and guys moved on and played.”

He said that several factors led to his resignation.

Among them, the school district recently moved his teaching job from the high school to the elementary school — a switch that would make it harder to run the baseball program, he said. Vollmer teaches health and physical education.

But he also cited “parental involvement” as an ongoing issue.

“As I’ve gotten older, I’ve started to care a little bit more about what people say and think,” Vollmer said. “It used to not bother me as much and now it does, the fact that people question your every move. That gets old. I just don’t want to be the villain anymore in the eyes of anyone, even if it’s a small percentage.”

He said he started thinking about resigning soon after the season ended in May. A desire to spend more time coaching his 7- and 9-year-old sons also influenced his decision to step down.

“It’s going to free me up,” he said. “There’s a major commitment to being a coach that a lot of people maybe don’t realize. It’s far different than what it was even 14 years ago.”

Plum went 16-5 this past season and reached the WPIAL Class 6A quarterfinals. The team has qualified for the postseason 12 years in a row.

Athletic director Bob Alpino credited Vollmer for overseeing a team that’s “widely respected as one of the premier baseball programs in the WPIAL.”

“I have enjoyed working closely with him,” Alpino said, “and I thank him for his hard work and dedication to the baseball program.”

Vollmer’s best season was 2016, when Plum went 25-2 and finished as both the WPIAL and state runner-up. Kirilloff was drafted by the Twins that summer.

“I’m getting a lot of text messages from former players,” Vollmer said. “It’s a little bit tough right now. I thought I’d feel a sense of relief, but it’s starting to hit me now that it’s over.”

Chris Harlan is a Tribune-Review staff writer. Reach him at [email protected] or via Twitter @CHarlan_Trib.

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