Pat Wire understands he is not taking over just any high school baseball program.
And Wire made that perfectly clear Tuesday after he was named the new head coach at Barrington, pending approval by the school board on Aug. 14.
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The Broncos won a state title in 1986 and have been one of the best programs in the state. Wire replaces Jim Hawrysko, who resigned in June after 14 seasons.
"It's an absolute honor to be associated with this program and the nostalgia and prestige," said Wire, who has taught social studies at Barrington for six years and worked in District 220 for 10 years. "To follow in the footsteps of Kirby Smith and Jim Hawrysko is just amazing.
"It's a very special program. This is where I want to be."
Wire has coached in the football and baseball programs at Barrington since 2001. He also has coached the Barrington American Legion team for four years and has won two 10th District titles.
Wire played baseball, basketball and football at Cary-Grove and was the school's athlete of the year in 1996. But he also experienced what Barrington baseball was all about when he played for the Legion program under Smith that won a state title in 1995 and took third in 1996.
"His enthusiasm and passion for the game is second to none," said Barrington athletic director Mike Obsuszt in a news release from the school. "Pat will do a great job of leading our baseball teams. Most importantly, though, he will continue to ensure that we run a high-quality, education-based approach to the game."
Wire also played football and baseball at Wisconsin-Whitewater, Concordia and Beloit College, where he holds the school record for the lowest career ERA at 2.64.
Wire credited his experience with coaches such as Hawrysko, Smith, Tim Rife, Joe Sanchez, Tim Dunn and Perry Peterson at Barrington, Bruce Kay, Don Sutherland and Dan Young at Cary-Grove and Paul Belo at Palatine in preparing him for this opportunity.
"To have guys set the stage for you, whether it was Kirby Smith or Bruce Kay (Hall of Fame football coach), who found ways to get better through hard work," Wire said. "Nothing ever substituted that in my life."
Wire also wants to incorporate the family atmosphere he's seen in Sanchez's football program to keep things rolling in the right direction for Barrington baseball.
"You don't know until you're doing it, but a lot of colleagues I've been going against, whether it's Jim Schurr at Libertyville, Paul Mazzucca at Stevenson or Paul Belo, they're guys who have said, 'You'd make a great head coach,'" Wire said. "What a huge lift that is to hear from people you respect in you peer group.
"And the backing of the school and community with Obsuszt and (principal) Steve McWilliams, to support me the way they have, has blown me away."