NORMAN — When Pete Sangirardi came to Norman High three years ago, he inherited a baseball team that had fallen on tough times. The Tigers hadn’t been a postseason factor in years and they weren’t a threat to take district games from the top teams.
When Sangirardi left Norman High last month, he left the Tigers in a much different place. They were very competitive in District 6A-4 last season, including nearly upsetting a Stillwater team that would eventually go on to win the state title on its own field. The Tigers finished the season 19-15 and as the fifth-place finisher in the state’s toughest district.
While the Tigers did end the season with a disappointing regional loss, it was a huge step forward for a program with a storied history but very little recent success.
Now Sangirardi is stepping away from the program, and it will be Brandon Kitch who takes over. Kitch was an assistant at Moore for the past several years and will take over a talented team that loses several key seniors but returns a core of players.
“He has a wealth of knowledge in the game of baseball, and a lot of energy and passion for the game and respect for how it should be played,” said district athletic director TD O’Hara. “We look forward to watching him implement what he knows. Look forward to see what he can do in the future.”
What Kitch will inherit is a program that is in a better spot than when Sangirardi arrived three years ago. That the fact that the Tigers’ former coach is most proud of.
“The biggest thing is for a coach coming in and then leaving is that you leave a place better than you found it,” he said. “I do feel that way. I’m still disappointed we didn’t do better than we did last year, but I feel pretty good about that.”