It was a short run, but sweet.
Bill Prokup has resigned after two seasons as the head varsity softball coach at St. Bede Academy, leading the Lady Bruins to the first state finals appearance in school history. He said his new sales position with Ingersoll Rand requires more traveling by air which will make it impossible to continue to coach.
“I didn’t want to (resign). But I don’t have the time to devote the time these kids deserve and I don’t think it’s fair to these kids to be a parttime coach,” said Prokup, who had been commuting for 10 years with his previous position as product manager for Ingersoll.
“I loved it, loved the kids, loved St. Bede, loved the game. It will be hard. What a great experience we had this year. They got a lifetime of memories and I was privileged to be part of it. I’m sure the next person will be just as successful. They got a great group of kids coming back.”
Prokup joked that many people will think he resigned because ace pitcher Lainie Schweickert is moving on as well as his daughter, Barbi, a senior second baseman. He said he was planning on returning to see how coaching was without having a daughter on team.
Academy athletic director Tom McGunnigal told the BCR Monday afternoon that the Academy Board of Directors had accepted Prokup’s resignation at the July school board meeting.
“I appreciate all that Coach Prokup brought to our program for the past four years, most recently the last two as our head coach,” McGunnigal said. “Of course, with the success of last season it is easy to say, but beyond that Bill was committed to the girls and the program and always acted in the best interests of our kids and St. Bede, sometimes at the expense of his personal time and commitments. It is because of those personal/work commitments that he ultimately had to step down.
“I would like to thank Bill for all he did and how hard he worked to continue to improve the strength of our softball program. He is a good man and a good friend.”
Prokup assumed the head coaching position in 2011 after the retirement of Father Phillip Davey, now the Abbot of the Academy. He had been assistant coach for two years.