Bob Walmsley talks with Harrison Township L’Anse Creuse players during a game last season. Walmsley led the Lancers for 18 seasons before recently taking the head job at Sterling Heights Parkway Christian.

Bob Walmsley talks with Harrison Township L’Anse Creuse players during a game last season. Walmsley led the Lancers for 18 seasons before recently taking the head job at Sterling Heights Parkway Christian.

File photo by Deb Jacques


Longtime L’Anse Creuse baseball coach takes over at Parkway Christian

By: Jason Carmel Davis | C&G Newspapers | Published September 13, 2018

HARRISON TOWNSHIP/STERLING HEIGHTS — Next season, longtime Harrison Township L’Anse Creuse baseball coach Bob Walmsley will man third base for a new program.

On Aug. 4, Walmsley was announced as the new head baseball coach at Sterling Heights Parkway Christian. Walmsley leaves the Lancers after 18 seasons.

Walmsley said that new Parkway Christian Athletic Director Nick Tomczyk recruited him and pitched him on the job.

“I came over and checked out the school, and I liked it,” said Walmsley, who also serves as an assistant with the Eagles football team. “It’s a different experience. It’s a chance to build a program from the ground up. I know they won a state title a couple of years ago, but this is an opportunity to build something consistent. I’m looking forward to the challenge. It was just time for a change.”

Walmsley takes over for Rich Koch, who led the Eagles to the 2016 Division 4 state title — the first state championship of any kind for Parkway Christian. Koch resigned earlier this summer. Along with the state title, Koch led the Eagles to four district championships.

In Walmsley’s last 10 years leading the Lancers, the team won 20 games eight times, including during five of his last six years with the team. L’Anse Creuse finished above .500 in 11 of Walmsley’s last 13 seasons with the team.

Walmsley moves to a D-4 school from a D-1 program. He recognizes some of the differences he will see in terms of the number of players and position depth.

“I had a sign-up sheet early in the school year to get to know who’s in the program,” Walmsley said. “I asked how many of them pitched. Out of 22 kids at the meeting, I’d say maybe nine raised their hand. I said, ‘Wrong answer.’ Every guy is a pitcher until we say they’re not. Hopefully we can find somebody who didn’t know they could do it.

“I think at bigger schools, kids are set in their positions a little more. Here, I think they’ll be more open-minded. The staff has to develop some pitching.”

In 24 years as a head coach, Walmsley — who is a Clinton Township Clintondale graduate and a Harrison Township resident — has amassed more than 350 wins.

He serves as a member of the executive board of the Michigan High School Baseball Coaches Association.

At press time, L’Anse Creuse hadn’t named a new coach for its program, but the athletic department noted that a search was still ongoing.

Walmsley is very proud of his time at L’Anse Creuse. He helped send 42 players to play at the collegiate level.

“We went from being an inconsistent program to expecting to win 20 games a year,” Walmsley said. “It was almost like that wasn’t good enough anymore. And that’s OK. You want your team’s goals to change. Hopefully whoever takes over can keep the success going.”

Walmsley said he won’t set a win-loss goal for his first season with the Eagles.

“I can’t schedule like I did at L’Anse Creuse, where you could play who you wanted,” Walmsley said. “I’ll schedule more accordingly until I know how the program is looking. Once we get established, we’ll start scheduling some of the better schools in the area. We’ll get things going, though. That’s for sure.”