Pankow leaving UMPI to take similar job closer to home

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PRESQUE ISLE, Me (WAGM) - The University of Maine Presque Isle is in the market for a new baseball coach and sports information director.

Mike Pankow is leaving to take a job in a similar role at Bay College in Northern Michigan. He is the first baseball coach in school history and the program will begin playing games in the spring of 2019.

He has spent the last four years with the Owls and was named the AD3I baseball coach of the year in 2016. He says it was tough to leave the County, but he wanted to be closer to home.

"The big piece of this is that it's a lot closer to home for me. 2 and a half hours away from my hometown where I get to see my grandmas and nieces and nephew and my family a little bit more than I had been in the past four and a half years. That was the big tell for me. The athletic director at Bay College is Matt Johnson, he's a guy that I played basketball with in college and that's how I found out about it. It just so happened that everything fell into place where they happened to be looking for a sports information director as well. Starting the baseball program next year they needed someone with recruiting experience that could build the program fast," Pankow explained.

Pankow thinks the program at UMPI is good enough to keep improving without him and also added how much enjoyed working for the school. Athletic Director Dan Kane is trying to quickly find a qualified baseball coach, as the start of the season is quickly approaching.

"Time is of the essence right now because baseball season starts right back up when students get back on campus for the semester which is around January 22nd. Other sports are going on so sports information is really important. Coach Pankow is coming back in the next couple of weeks to work in his SID role and hopefully help train someone to help us in the interim. And we are working quickly to find a coach for next spring," Kane said.

His contract with Bay College begins on January 15th.