Scislowicz adds to career legacy, picks up win No. 600 with Adams softball

By: Mike Moore | Rochester Post | Published May 13, 2014

 Fran Scislowicz high-fives his players during a game against Country Day last week. On May 4, Adams beat Walled Lake Central 4-1 for Scislowicz’s 600th career win.

Fran Scislowicz high-fives his players during a game against Country Day last week. On May 4, Adams beat Walled Lake Central 4-1 for Scislowicz’s 600th career win.

Photo by Donna Agusti

ROCHESTER HILLS — His explanation starts with a fact of longevity.

He then credits his athletes, their families and the community that have supported him for so long.

He even tips his hat to coaches in travel and youth leagues before looking at himself.

But somewhere in here, somewhere lost in all these wins, has been a coaching career for the record books.

Someday Fran Scislowicz may have to pat himself on the back for a career that’s been defined by greatness — and as of May 4, included 600 wins on the softball field.

“I’ve been blessed to be in one spot for so long and have the athleticism of the players that have come through here,” Scislowicz said of his time with the Rochester Adams softball program. “I think I can coach them and make them a little better to achieve some of the wins, but the character of the Adams’ female athlete is very strong. And when you combine a little bit of coaching with their passion and their talent, that all goes into the success I’ve enjoyed here.”

Scislowicz entered the 2014 season with a 592-341 career record.

“I felt pretty safe that I’d get to 600 this year,” he said with a laugh.

After seven wins, his shot came May 3 before Mother Nature delayed it.

On May 4, in a 4-1 victory against Walled Lake Central, No. 600 was officially in the books.

“I don’t know if I’d call it a relief, but it was a pretty fun moment,” Scislowicz said of the win. “These kids have been so great. Many of them have been with me three or four years, so to have them there to be a part of this was pretty special.”

It was 27 years ago this spring when Scislowicz took over the Adams team during the season as a replacement coach.

“I remember filling out the first lineup card, and I didn’t know many of the girls’ names I was writing,” Scislowicz said.

The Highlanders went 14-14 that spring but quickly righted the ship the next year.

They’ve never looked back.

In his 26 years since that first season, Scislowicz has guided the Highlanders to nine league titles, four district crowns, two regional titles and a spot in the 1994 state semifinals.

This year’s team is 9-7 overall, and at press time was 4-0 in the Oakland Activities Association White Division.

Scislowicz is 601-348 in total.

“The feeder programs have been so key to our success,” Scislowicz said. “You have your parents in the background preparing girls for high school softball. I don’t get them until they are 13 or 14. They’ve had plenty of coaching well before that. I think I get the payoff, but the community having softball available and the coaching available as they grow up is really what counts.”

Another year, another milestone for a legendary career that Scislowicz said he doesn’t see ending anytime soon.

“I still feel like I have the passion to try and make a difference in their lives, to help nurture the life skills that sport can teach,” Scislowicz said. “As long as I feel like I have that ability, I’m going to keep at it.”