New Paul VI Baseball Coach Gary Sarno, Glad to be Back as a Head Coach

by Marc Narducci | Dec 29, 2020
New Paul VI Baseball Coach Gary Sarno, Glad to be Back as a Head Coach
Gary Sarno has enjoyed a long, distinguished career as a head baseball coach in South Jersey. Even in retirement from teaching, his head coaching story has added a new chapter. 
 
During the fall, Sarno was named the new head baseball coach at Paul VI. Brett Young, who did an exceptional job reviving the program, resigned in order to become a college assistant at Widener.  
 
Sarno has served as an assistant at Paul VI the past three years, coaching the freshman the first year and then serving as a varsity assistant the next two.  
 
Actually, he helped coach all levels, because Sarno’s specialty is pitching. He attended Wayne Valley High in North Jersey and then played college baseball at the University of Miami. 
 
“I loved it at Miami,” he recalls. “Weather-wise it was unbelievable and you were playing against the top schools and it was a great run.” 
 
After college, he played professionally in independent baseball for three seasons.  
 
“I loved the competition and it was great that I got a little taste of pro ball,” he said. 
 
After that he was began his coaching career at Camden Catholic as a varsity assistant.  
 
At the time, he knew little about South Jersey.  
 
“The only think I knew of South Jersey was that Muhammad Ali lived in Cherry Hill,” he said.  
 
He would not only soon learn about the area, but settle down there.  
 
Sarno began as a varsity assistant at Camden Catholic and then became the head coach for three years.  
 
He then went to Bishop Eustace, working four years as an assistant and then spent another year at Shawnee as an assistant coach.  
 
Sarno then returned as a head coach at Hammonton, his first of two stints as head coach. This one lasted eight years.  
 
Sarno then replaced legendary Tom Trotman as head coach at Cherry Hill West for 12 years. He returned to Hammonton as a head coach for another eight-year stint. Sarno was also a teacher at Hammonton for 28 years.  
 
Now retired from teaching, Sarno is excited to be back as a head coach.  
 
"Brett did such a great job with the program and I am thrilled to have this job," he said. 
 
At 67, he will remain an active coach, which means throwing plenty of batting practice. 
 
Sarno takes over a talented Paul VI team, one that had back-to-back 15-win seasons, and was expected to be a Top 10 team in South Jersey last season before COVID canceled spring sports in South Jersey.  
 
Paul VI would have been a strong senior-laden team last year but the Eagles are still expected to be highly competitive, especially with pitchers John Ornsby, a junior lefthander who has committed to Virginia and senior righthander Ryan Rumsey, who is headed to Xavier.  

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“If I didn’t enjoy coaching, plus the kids and everything, I wouldn’t have stayed this long,” he said. “I love the competition can't wait to get started.”

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Author: Marc Narducci

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