Baseball: Ron Czarnecki named baseball coach at Oak Forest
By Pat Disabato firstname.lastname@example.org July 1, 2014 8:32PM
Updated: July 2, 2014 2:16AM
Ron Czarnecki, who guided Oak Forest’s baseball program for seven seasons before a yearlong suspension in 2009 ended his tenure, was hired Tuesday in the same capacity.
Czarnecki succeeds the man who replaced him five years ago, Thad Gatton, who resigned after the Bengals’ Class 3A regional semifinal loss to Lemont, the eventual state champion.
“It’s surreal,” Czarnecki, 54 said. “I’m so happy and appreciative to have this opportunity. It’s a dream come true.”
Czarnecki was 160-76 in seven seasons, guiding Oak Forest to six conference championships and three regional titles before his exit in 2009. He was accused of chewing smokeless tobacco on school grounds, which is prohibited in Bremen High School District 228. The school board suspended him for one year, without the promise of reinstating him as head coach.
Czarnecki never sought reinstatement, instead landing a varsity assistant position at his alma mater, Reavis, while remaining on faculty at Oak Forest. He returned to coaching at Oak Forest two years ago, leading the sophomore baseball team and assuming an assistant coaching position on the sophomore football team.
“In the two years I’ve been at Oak Forest, he (Czarnecki) has done everything we’ve asked,” Oak Forest athletic director Ron Towner said. “He’s been outstanding. The kids really like and respect him. With his baseball knowledge and background, he’s a perfect fit for us.”