Those who have followed Northern Region baseball over the years will probably recognize the new face in the McLean High School activities office these days.
That face belongs to Jim Linza, the former Mount Vernon High baseball coach and one of the leaders of the local baseball coaching fraternity.
Linza will work under Tom Herman, the McLean High Director of Activities, and alongside Kathy Veoni, administrative assistant in the office.
"Those are the two I work with day-in and day-out," said Linza, who began his new duties at the beginning of the school year. "They're fun to be with. We have a good, young group of coaches [at McLean] that
I've met so far."
Linza, a Madison High graduate, was an assistant baseball coach at Robinson High the past two years (2006-'07). Prior to that, he was at the helm of the Mount Vernon High baseball program from 2001 through
2005. There, he led the Majors to three national District titles.
This past summer, Linza helped coach his son's team within the Vienna Little League. His son's name is Jimmie Linza. The first name of young Jimmie is spelled in tribute to Jimmie Foxx, baseball star of the past
and current member of the Hall of Fame.
Linza recently completed his Masters degree in Administration from George Mason University.
"My administration degree was kind of geared towards sports," he said.
As the assistant director of student activities, Linza will help coordinate travel plans for the McLean High sports teams and help create future team schedules as well.
During his past coaching days at Mount Vernon High, Linza spearheaded the creation of the Alexandria City Baseball Tournament in 2002. The annual baseball tourney, held over spring break, originally was exclusively for Alexandria-addressed teams such as T.C. Williams, West
Potomac, Hayfield, Edison and Mount Vernon.
Ultimately, it has turned into an invitational with teams from outside of Alexandria invited as well. Linza, with the help of West Potomac High baseball coach Jim Sullivan, will continue to help run the invitational this spring. His duties in regards to the tournament will include scheduling, putting together the tournament bracket and lining up umpires.
Linza's love of baseball also reaches to the professional level as an associate scout for the Kansas City Royals. He has held the position with the American League organization since 2003.
He helped the Royals land local product Sean McCauley (Osbourn High graduate in Manassas) in the June 2007 first year player draft. McCauley is currently finishing up his second year in the Royals'
organization. A catcher, he played for Idaho Falls (rookie advanced league) in the '07 season.
"It's fun," said Linza, of having his hand in pro baseball. "Sean did all of the work [to get drafted]. All I did was report to the
[organization] and they drafted him."
The Royals' General Manager is Dayton Moore, a South Lakes High graduate.
For now, look for Linza to be involved in the McLean Highlanders' sports scene. His love of sports and the local high school athletic scene will most certainly rub off on those around him.