Jeff Swymer will get a second chance to coach Pasco County baseball.
Swymer was hired Monday as the new baseball coach at Bishop McLaughlin, less than a month after his controversial exit from Wiregrass Ranch.
“He just seemed to be the best fit for what we were looking for at the moment,” said Joe Jasinski, Bishop McLaughlin's dean of students.
Swymer established himself as one of Pasco County’s top coaches. In four seasons with the Bulls, he compiled a 76-33 record with two Sunshine Athletic Conference championships. He was the Times’ North Suncoast coach of the year this spring after leading Wiregrass to its first playoff berth, a victory over nationally ranked Steinbrenner and an appearance in the Class 7A region final.
Swymer’s tenure unraveled last month, when he resigned after facing a possible yearlong suspension for drinking alcohol on a school-sponsored trip to Fort Lauderdale for a spring break tournament. Swymer admitted to drinking beer with parents during a bowling outing, which Pasco County Schools considered a violation of its alcohol policy. His exit prompted dozens of emails from parents and an online petition to have him reinstated.
Swymer did not immediately return a request for comment, but Jasinski said school administrators talked to Swymer and others about the incident before deciding to give him a second chance.
“From everything we heard, it was just an unfortunate incident, a mistake at the time,” Jasinski said. “He owned up to it. He made a mistake. It’s a learning experience for him.”
Swymer, an adjunct coach, replaces Tom LoSauro, who won a Class 3A title with nationally ranked Bishop Verot in Fort Myers before taking over the Hurricanes in 2011. He was dismissed in May after finishing 30-23 in two seasons.