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Maryland baseball coach John Szefc leaving for Virginia Tech

Maryland baseball coach John Szefc, who ushered in an era of unprecedented success for a long-suffering Terps program, has left for the same position at Virginia Tech.

With Szefc's exit, first reported Thursday night by TechSideline.com, Maryland has lost its past two coaches to schools not considered national powers.

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"I'm thrilled, humbled and honored to begin this new challenge at Virginia Tech," Szefc said in a release. "As an opposing coach, I always enjoyed our visits to Virginia Tech and appreciated the beauty of the campus and the Blacksburg community.

"The opportunity to return to the ACC and have our team play in an amazing baseball facility simply added to the appeal of coaching the Hokies. I understand and embrace the expectations that come with this leadership position."

Szefc was hired in 2012 to replace Erik Bakich, who left for a middling Michigan program after three years in which he helped transform the Terps into a winning team. A former star at Drexel and associate head coach at Kansas State, Szefc won 180 games and produced 19 draft picks and three All-Americans in his five years in College Park.

In just his second season, he led Maryland to a 40-win season for the first time in program history and the program's first NCAA regional title. The NCAA tournament appearance was the Terps' first in 43 years.

In 2015, Maryland won a program-record 42 games and its second consecutive NCAA regional championship, defeating top overall seed UCLA twice to advance to its second straight super regional. The Terps, who had a record eight players from their 2015 team drafted that offseason, never before had won 40 games in back-to-back seasons.

Despite a disappointing 2016 and the loss of All-America pitcher Mike Shawaryn, Maryland was picked as the Big Ten preseason favorite this season. The Terps stumbled late in the spring but rebounded to qualify for the NCAA tournament and win 38 games.

"John did a tremendous job taking Maryland baseball to new heights," athletic director Kevin Anderson said in a release, adding that a national search for his replacement is underway. "The foundation John laid helped put Maryland on the college baseball map. He created a winning culture that we could all be proud of."

Szefc, whose base annual salary jumped to $251,000 after he became a candidate for top national vacancies two years ago, leaves College Park with seven NCAA tournament victories in his coaching career, the most in program history. A dogged recruiter who oversaw improvements to the team's facilities and stadium, he is the only Terps coach to have posted five straight 30-win campaigns.

Virginia Tech fired coach Pat Mason in May after four unproductive seasons. He has one year remaining on his contract and is due $175,000 next season. The Hokies, who play in the more competitive Atlantic Coast Conference and are completing an $18 million ballpark renovation, last made the NCAA tournament in 2013.

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