Written By: Evan Kamikow
If you could pick a dream job, what would it be? Would you be a professional baseball player in the U.S. and Italy, a television sports anchor, a coach, a family man, or a director of high school athletics? For U18 assistant baseball coach Wayne Stofsky, the answer is all the above.
“The best part of my job is watching kids have success when they move on to the collegiate level,” Stofsky said. “You’re always learning and educating yourself because so much is changing. I tell my athletes I want them to do three things; to compete on every pitch, learn something new every day, and have fun.”
While Stofsky is currently the director of athletics at the David Posnack School in Davie, Florida, his background in athletics reaches all the way back to his days in high school. At Nova High School in Davie, Stofsky excelled in baseball and football, but decided to stick to baseball after he graduated.
Stofsky found himself in one of the best college baseball programs in the country playing for a Jewish head coach in Skip Bertman at LSU. During his tenure, Stofsky and the Tigers played in the College World Series twice before he finished his collegiate career at Florida Atlantic University. Stofsky then played professionally for the Salt Lake City Trappers of the Pioneer League, then competed in Italy as a player/coach for the Piacenza Red Devil Baseball of the Italian League.
When it was time to put his baseball glove down, Stofsky landed an internship at NBC in Miami that later turned into a producer job in the sports department. From there, he built a demo reel, sent it to stations all over the country and was hired at the ABC station in Tallahassee, Florida. After two years as an anchor in Tallahassee, he moved up to the Fort Myers-Naples television market before putting the microphone down temporarily and once again transitioning to a new career in administration.
“I knew that at some point I wanted to spend time with my children, and if my kids were going to be playing sports at all, as a television sports anchor it would be hard to see them play,” Stofsky said. “The newscasts are at six or 11 o’clock at night so a typical workday starts at 2pm and goes till midnight. That’s when everything happens.”
In college, Stofsky was able to earn a Master’s Degree in Science and Sports Administration from St. Thomas University College of Law and coached at the Pine Crest School, Cooper City High, and started a varsity baseball program at the Sagemont School in 2004. With his diverse background, Stofsky uses his knowledge and experience to help students play sports at the next level.
“Even in the last 10 years, the college recruiting process has gone through all types of changes, so you’re learning all the time. I feel like I am the tour guide for that student athlete who has to navigate that difficult map,” Stofsky said. “The most important part of being a director of athletics is communication, organization and at least a little bit of knowledge of various sports.”
In 2010, Stofsky started coaching Team Fort Lauderdale in the JCC Maccabi games and has coached in the domestic games since. Four years later, he was approached by Dan Deutsch of the JCCA asking if he would be interested in coaching for Team USA, but the timing was not right. Fast forward a few years and Stofsky received a blind email from current assistant coach and baseball Chairman Josh Brodkin asking if he knew any players interested in trying out for the team.
“Having Wayne’s level of experience only adds to the coaching level of the team,” said U18 baseball head coach Eric Katz. “It was one of these things that we just walked into. We originally spoke to Wayne, then spoke together and thought this would be an ideal addition. So, we encouraged Wayne to formally apply.”
After talking for a bit and evaluating all the potential candidates, Katz and Brodkin agreed that Stofsky should be the third coach of the team. With the timing right, Stofsky couldn’t help but accept the offer.
“I have not been to Israel, and I was fortunate enough to play at some fantastic places,” Stofsky said. “I felt like it was time. I had never taken advantage of the opportunity to go whether it was chaperoning school trips or the march of the living, but the timing is finally right, and I can’t wait to go and follow through on all the work we have done to this point.”
With accolades from almost every stop possible, this summer provides Stofsky the opportunity to continue to grow his trophy collection and go after gold on an international stage.