Volunteer Spotlight

Mark Buckovitch – Teaching The Next Generation of Players & Coaches

By Joe Morrell

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Mark Buckovitch began his coaching career with ORYA as an assistant coach, for his son Anthony’s baseball team.  Eight years later, Buckovitch continues to coach both baseball and basketball, but now with his son at his side. “It’s one of those things you get addicted to. ORYA is a great program and it’s really fun to coach,” said Buckovitch.

Buckovitch first started to coach as a way to connect with his son during Anthony’s time playing ORYA baseball. The bonds that were created with both Anthony and the other players span far past the field or court. Buckovitch said, “when you coach, you develop a close connection with a lot of the kids. I’ll run into them at the grocery store and they will come up to me and say, ‘Hey Coach, ...’”.  For Buckovitch, these bonds don’t end with the season. For him, they are lifelong connections that are made. “As time goes on you keep track of them and you like to see them succeed.”

Developing these relationships and a continued love for coaching are the cornerstone of why Buckovitch continues to volunteer. He noted on many occasions how great the feeling is to watch his athletes succeed throughout the season. “Some kids have never played baseball before… It’s awesome to see them get their first hit or pitch for the first time. At the end of the season I have had kids get emotional because they don’t want it to end. It’s kinda cool to think that, as a coach, I might have been a small part of that.”

For Buckovitch, now having the opportunity to coach with his son and see him give back to the program is a valuable experience. “It's fun to watch Anthony work with the kids, and now I get to see him watching his players get their first hit and see the way they both light up is pretty cool to watch.”

Buckovitch encourages others to take the opportunity to start coaching and create these experiences for the players and themselves. The advice he would give to someone exploring the idea of volunteering is, “Go for it! Even if you have never coached before, you can start as an assistant and learn the program and then go on to coach on your own.”

Mark Buckovitch is just one of the many coaches and volunteers that make ORYA what it is. Individuals, like Mark, create opportunities and lifelong memories for all the participants in the program. If you or someone you know is thinking about becoming a coach or volunteer for ORYA we encourage you to take Mark’s advice and, “Go for it!”


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