Justin Konnick’s resume certainly is heavy on baseball.
A former coach of the Penn State Berks baseball team and current manager of the Boyertown Bears American Legion program, it wouldn’t be hard to label him a ‘baseball guy.’
But if you ask Konnick, he’s always held football close to his heart and mind.
“I’ve always been a football-minded guy, even coaching baseball, which gave our teams at Penn State-Berks a lot of success because of the way that we prepared to play baseball,” Konnick said. “It’s very different very unorthodox, but it worked for us.”
Konnick, a 1997 Boyertown High School grad, will now have the opportunity to bring that mindset to both the diamond and gridiron after he was recently named the head coach of the Bears’ football team, replacing fifth-year coach T.J. Miller, who resigned in January.
“Being able to coach football in the same town that I’m coaching baseball in his very flattering,” said Konnick, who was an assistant for the Bears’ football for the last five seasons. “To be the head coach of the Boyertown American Legion baseball program, which has been second to none for years and now to take a football program that has some great history with some great coaches in the past and being that guy to lead them on a Friday night is just flattering.”
Konnick was the head baseball coach at Penn State Berks from 2012-20, guiding the Nittany Lions to four Northeastern Athletic Conference titles and five NCAA Division III Tournament appearances and also spent time coaching with the Boyertown high school baseball team and Boyertown Grizzlies Junior Legion program.
His football coaching background includes stints at the former St. Pius X High School from 2002-04 (offensive coordinator/defensive backs) and Oley Valley High School from 2009-11 (offensive coordinator).
Konnick first coached at Boyertown as an assistant from 2007-09 and rejoined the program as an assistant for Miller in 2017, serving as offensive assistant, defensive backs coach, linebackers coach and special teams coordinator during his time with the Bears’ football program.
“When T.J. got the job five years ago I was really close with T.J.,” Konnick said. “I wish he would have never left to be honest with you because I really appreciated what he has done for the community of Boyertown, making football important again in this community.”
Konnick takes over a program that went 4-7 in 2021. In five seasons, Miller led the Bears to a 15-34 mark.
“What I can bring to the program is not only being physically tough, but mentally tough,” Konnick said. “Not just on the football field but as young student-athletes and preparing them for the next steps in their lives.”
“That being said, that doesn’t mean we don’t want to win football games either,” he added. “Winning has always been a big part of my life, but that in losing, if you don’t learn from your losses, you’ll never be a better winner.”
What Konnick is most looking forward to is coaching in the school and town he grew up in.
He played quarterback and defensive back for the Bears before going to Keystone College and West Chester University, where he played baseball.
Now, he will walk onto the field on Friday night’s as the head football coach in Boyertown.
“What excited me the most was coming back to where I played and having the opportunity to coach in the community that I was brought up in,” Konnick said. “I’ve been a Boyertown guy my whole life and I’m just excited about being able to work with the kids in the community and walking on the fields on Friday nights with them.”