By Steve Svetovich
Mike “Sid” Hallinan is returning to Dunmore High School.
And this time it is as the new head baseball coach.
Hallinan said the circumstances creating the opening were very unfortunate and sad, but his wife, the former Aubrey Budzyn, encouraged him to apply for the position.
The sudden passing of Dunmore athletic director Mark Rinaldi this past summer led to former Dunmore head baseball coach Mark Finan being named to replace him.
That led to the opening of the head baseball coach position.
“At first I was not sure if I should apply,” said Hallinan. “But then my wife encouraged me. She gave me the ultimate push. I had her blessing. It was an unfortunate situation, with Mark Rinaldi’s passing.
“I didn’t know if I would ever get this shot again. There were only three baseball coaches in Dunmore in the past 40 years, so the position doesn’t come up a lot.
“And I played for all three of those coaches. I played for Lanny Mascucci, Gino Tempesta and Mark Finan. They were all great coaches.
“It’s incredible that I got the job. In the back of my mind, I always wanted to get back to Dunmore when Mark Finan eventually was done. Now I’m back.”
Michael Hallinan is shown with his wife, Aubrey, and the couple’s three daughters Lainey, Adyson and Reese.
Son of Sheila and Sid Hallinan, Sr., Dunmore, the baseball lifer graduated from Dunmore High School in 1999. He was a second team All League shortstop at Dunmore.
He went on to play baseball at Lackawanna College and Wilkes University eventually graduating with a B.S. in criminal justice administration from the University of Phoenix.
He was the team MVP in his sophomore year at Lackawanna.
Following college, Hallinan immediately went into baseball coaching, but took his time learning.
He started as a volunteer baseball coach at Dunmore for three years. He was assistant baseball coach at Scranton Prep for five years. He became Dunmore junior varsity baseball coach for a year and then served two years as an assistant coach under Finan. He was head baseball coach at Riverside High School from 2014 through 2016.
Hallinan, who played four years of both baseball and football at Dunmore, talked about his goals as the new baseball coach.
“First of all, I want to give 100 percent to the job. Coaches Finan, Tempesta and Mascucci all did a great job at Dunmore. Every one of my coaching jobs have been awesome and I am grateful for all the opportunities. But this one is really special. I am really excited.
“My goal is to get people excited and talking about baseball in Dunmore. I want to see a district title here in the future. Dunmore is a baseball rich town. We want to win, but teach kids the right way.
“We want to enhance the baseball program. The previous coaches here taught the kids life lessons. I know, because three of those coaches coached me. I want to carry on that tradition of teaching life lessons. I want the kids to be able to look up to me. “
Hallinan and his wife Aubrey are the proud parents of three girls: Adyson, 8, Reese, 5, and Lainey, 1. Hallinan also has a sister, Kim Coyle. “My three girls and wife are my life,” he said.
“You know, I have to give credit to my dad for my love of the game. Baseball is the greatest game on earth. I was always around baseball as a kid because of my dad. He had me in the yard throwing the ball and pitching to me. He taught me a lot about the game. Those are great memories. Just being around him and his love of baseball had a big impact on me.”