Viola steps down as Bear River baseball coach |

Viola steps down as Bear River baseball coach

After eight record-setting seasons as Bear River’s varsity baseball coach, Mike Viola has decided to step away from the game.

Taking over a program riddled with a lack of coaching continuity and much interest for the program on the south county campus, Viola built Bear River baseball into a winner.

Not only did the Bruins post a 135-65 record in his run as head coach, Bear River also claimed four Pioneer Valley League championships ” including the last three consecutive crowns.

Such success leaves some large shoes to fill, which will be the task of new head coach Dan Crossen. Bear River Athletic Director Duwaine Ganskie confirmed that Crossen, who has taught at Bear River for three years, has been hired to head the program.

“Losing Mike, that’s a huge loss,” said Ganskie. “When I first found out, I knew it was going to be a daunting task to replace him. It’s incredible what he’s been able to do with that baseball program.

“Before him, we struggled. We hadn’t had any coaching consistency in our baseball program. He came in and had a very determined approach, making baseball important at Bear River.”

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