Tim Gingrich, the second-longest tenured varsity baseball coach in Lebanon County, has resigned from his Palmyra post.
Gingrich departs less than a month after leading the Cougars to the District 3 Class AAA title game, their fourth under his 20-year leadership. The veteran skipper also captained a state championship team and only three losing seasons.
Citing multiple reasons, including conflicts with school officials and future work commitments, Gingrich, who is not employed by the district, officially stepped down June 30.
"We definitely had philosophical differences," Gingrich said by phone Tuesday. "It's a shame."
The skipper's exit marks the third longtime varsity Cougars coach to step down in the last calendar year, following Barb Mellinger and Ron Berman. Speaking on his differences, Gingrich offered they were echoes of what Berman shared after he capped 27 years as a Palmyra head coach.
“It’s similar to Berman’s issue," he said. "A lot of what he said also resonated for me and with our program.”
Gingrich's resignation came shortly after a series of conversations with Palmyra athletic director Brian Weidler. Weidler oversaw Gingrich's return to the dugout in 2015 after a one-year hiatus, which followed 18 previous years leading the varsity program, four coaching as an assistant and one managing the JV team when he was only 19 years old.
“He’s responsible for building the foundation of the Palmyra baseball program over those 25 years. And he did us a tremendous favor by returning the past two seasons," Weidler said. “We were blessed to have him.
"There's a tremendous amount of the mental side of baseball that the common observer doesn’t know. Tim played this game at a very, very high level. That doesn’t qualify you to coach, but Tim certainly was more than qualified. No one knows more about baseball in Palmyra than Tim."
Weidler said the search for Gingrich's replacement has begun, though there is not serious urgency given how far away the start of the 2017 season remains.
“I have nothing but the utmost respect for Brian. He’s done so much for me and the program,” Gingrich said. “For me it was always about just making the kids better, and always trying to be consistent with the program.”