FORMER OWL FIORE NAMED BASEBALL COACH AT EAST CATHOLIC
Manchester, Conn. 2/13/12 – Former Keene State College baseball player Martin Fiore has landed one of the top high school coaching jobs in Conn, taking over the program at East Catholic High School. He replaces Jim Penders a coaching icon who coached at East Catholic for 43 years.
Fiore is among many successful alumni from the school. He graduated from East Catholic in 1990 along with Penders’ son Jim, who is the head baseball coach at the University of Connecticut, and has been an assistant under Penders at East the past nine seasons.
After a week of speculation, Fiore was officially named interim coach on Friday.
“Coach Penders has been a big figure in my life going back to when I played for him,” Fiore said. “Being able to coach beside him over the past nine seasons has been fantastic. It’s hard to see him retire but I know he supports me and I feel very fortunate and honored to be stepping into his position.”
Fiore was with Penders for his 600th win last June, a thrilling 11-inning, 7-6 victory over Wamogo High that sent the Eagles to their eighth state championship game.
Fiore was an infielder at Keene State under coach Ken Howe for four seasons and graduated in 1995 with a Bachelor’s Degree in Occupational Safety and Health. He is the owner of Blasting Techniques Inc. in South Windsor.
“I look forward to the opportunity to keep the East Catholic tradition alive,” Fiore said. “It will certainly be an adjustment, but I think it will be a nice, smooth transition because we are familiar with the program. Coach Penders was so unselfish and gave us a lot of responsibility and though he was the one getting the W’s, he really made us all feel like we were getting the W’s with him. To be able to contribute to his 600 wins is great as player and coach next to him. He was never an ego guy so we kind of learned that it doesn’t mean you are any more important than anybody else. He is a true teacher of the game, a master strategist but he is great person above all.”
(Courtesy Paul Ofria and the Manchester Patch)