Leonardtown, MD – St. Mary’s Ryken (SMR) has announced the appointment of Tony Stefko as the new Head Baseball Coach. With an impressive 38 years of combined playing and coaching experience, Stefko is set to bring his expertise and passion to the team effective immediately.
Stefko, an alumnus and former player at St. Mary’s Ryken, expressed his excitement about returning to his alma mater. “I have followed the program since my graduation in 1995 with interest and hopes of great success for the student-athletes and young men enrolled at SMR,” he stated.
In his first year as the Head Boys Baseball Coach, Stefko outlined his vision for the team. “I plan to establish a program with a family and team-oriented culture that creates an enjoyable environment where student-athletes can grow and compete at the highest levels,” he said. “We will focus on instilling principles that allow student-athletes to grow on and off the field both mentally and physically, maintain high team academic achievement, and prepare students for academic and athletic success after high school.”
Jon Lombardo, the Athletic Director at St. Mary’s Ryken, expressed confidence in Stefko’s appointment. “Coach Stefko immediately stood out as a passionate alum, committed community member, and a coach with elite knowledge in the details behind building successful baseball teams,” Lombardo remarked. “We feel as though he will create a transformational culture through our baseball program in leading these young men on and off the field.”
Stefko brings a wealth of experience to his new role. He played baseball at Frostburg State University, College of Southern Maryland, and St. Mary’s Ryken. Additionally, he has achieved various accolades and awards throughout his career, including being named Charles-St. Mary’s Semi Pro Baseball League Manager of the Year in 2012 and 2014. His teams have also claimed victories in championships such as the MABL/MSBL Semi Pro National Fall Classic and the Maryland Semi Pro Baseball State Championship.
Looking ahead, Stefko has immediate plans to focus on individual player development and implement processes that allow players to reach their full potential. “Working on their mental training that gives players an advantage over opponents will also be a focus,” Stefko explained. “The coaching staff will identify opportunities for players to grow and establish themselves as high character teammates and leaders. Our coaches will be very knowledgeable and remain students of the game themselves, which will help implement advanced skill development techniques and training.”
Stefko’s coaching philosophy aligns with St. Mary’s Ryken’s values as an institution. Lombardo emphasized the compatibility, stating, “Coach Stefko’s coaching philosophy and mission mirror that of SMR as an institution. His leadership and process-driven approach will build a championship culture that prioritizes attention to detail, people development, positive relationships, and a competitive joy in all aspects of being a student-athlete at SMR.”
As the new Head Baseball Coach, Stefko aims to foster a fundamental understanding of the game among the SMR baseball program. He also seeks to instill an appreciation for details, hard work, and overachievement. With Stefko’s leadership and the support of the coaching staff, St. Mary’s Ryken’s baseball team is poised for a successful and transformative season.
For more information about St. Mary’s Ryken and its athletics program, please visit their official website: St. Mary’s Ryken Website