Baseball beat: Derby’s Sochrin relieved of coaching duties

After 11 seasons as head coach of Derby baseball, Sumner Sochrin said he was let go ” a couple days ago.” The coach said the school did not give him much feedback on why he was let go.

“The athletic director said it’s time for a change,” Sochrin said.

Athletic Director Joe Orazietti declined to comment. Sochrin, who is 80, led Derby to its first NVL title in 54 years back in 2012 and  a 13-10 record last season. Sochrin had coaching stints at Bridgeport Central and Law during his 40 years as a baseball coach.

“I’m not happy about (the AD’s decision.)”  he said. “I figure you’d still have a couple of years to do something. But that’s their choice, so I’m not going to argue with them.”

Sohrin said he is pleased with what he accomplished at Derby. He said he is proud of his players and they were very competitive. He said he has not told any of his returning players that he will not be coach next season. He said he is not sure of what to do after baseball at Derby.

“I’m sitting around doing nothing right now,” he said. “If  something pops up and I could help somebody, I’d be more than happy, but I don’t know what’s going to happen.”


  1. crimson crusader says

    Coach Sochrin and his staff did a nice job while he was at Derby, especially when the Red Raiders moved to the Naugatuck Valley League which is a nice fit for a school of Derby’s size (numbers). “Soch” won over 80 games the past eight years and made the CIAC tournament most of those seasons….Good luck and enjoy life. You have nothing to prove to anyone.

  2. pitching wins says

    he was let go because he ruffled the feathers of a few derby fathers who thought their kids should have been drafted by Yankees,years back the derby phonies called sochrin the best thing ever to happen to derby baseball.I could probably name the fathers that started the move to get him out, but I might embarrass their sons

    • Henry ChisholmHenry Chisholm says

      If that is what happened, that’s a damn shame to oust a good coach like that. Coaches need to be able to coach their teams and not worry about that stuff. But then again baseball needs to get rid of the re-entry rule, basketball needs a shot clock, football doesn’t need 27 state champions and a myriad of other things that have really grown to annoy me about CT high school sports.

    • Proud Derby Father says

      To Pitching Wins….Are you serious? Derby Fathers had nothing to do with Coach Sochrin not being asked back, If you know our AD he does not succumb to parent involvement in coaching decisions, I will admit Coach Sochrin was very dedicated to the Derby program from making sure the players did there off season workouts to his “old school” coaching style., early on he was very crafty and made due with very limited talent in a very tough SCC Division. but he is now 80 years old and if you attended any games the last two years you saw a different coach who was very hard on some of his players speaking to them during there at bats, he had to be reminded to call out plays from our catcher during First & Third defensive situations, instead of coaching all he was doing was yelling and he ended up losing the respect of his kids…some of our talented multi-sport kids didn’t even want to come out for the team because of his demeanor….Our AD didn’t need to be told anything the writing was on the wall and it was a tough decision that had to be made. To attack the Derby Fathers who helped coach all these kids through Little League and Babe Ruth and helped bring up the talent that he had to work with the last successful 4 years is just plain stupidity on your part.

  3. crimson crusader says

    Henry…..Baseball may be the toughest sport to get extra players into a game so I would recommend allowing an extra hitter (not a DH) besides the nine starting players to be in the lineup……Pitch counts are also hurting a lot of young arms….Set a limit …..I was told that a pitcher from a Valley team a few years back threw over 170 pitches in one game and that the coach wanted to pull the kid but he was tossing a shutout and begged the coach to allow him to continue…..Also….get rid of the 50-point rule in football….Coaches that run it up should be penalized…….The AD and Principal of the guilty school should discipline the coach themselves…..A coach has no excuse humiliating a team….If he can’t manage the game….don’t renew his contract for the next season.

  4. N.V.L observer says

    Proud Derby Father …Couldnt have been said any better…….it was time for a change…PERIOD…

  5. Baseball Observer says

    Seems not long ago before Sochrin, Derby was winning 5 games a year. As the saying goes, “be careful what you wish for, you just might get it”. I hope thats not the case for Derby…..on a second note to “proud Derby Father” the “issues” you bring up seem to not hold weight. I know many coaches that get reminded from there catchers of 1st and 3rd Situations. Thats common. Theres so much going on during the course of a game from the coaches box. From pinch runners, to warming up arms, to charting hitters and positioning to call game from the bench etc etc. and this all goes on pitch to pitch that this is actually common place. Coaches also speak to players during there at bats too…I mean this stuff is laughable, its part of coaching and correcting. If thats all you got for ousting one of the best coaches at Derby ever, then you got nothing. It sounds like he was yelling alot but again this is a grey area, many coaches yell and get on players, also part of coaching. Its the type that matters. If he was belittling his players and abusing power, then thats one thing, but if he was trying to motivate, then thats something completely different. You dont state which, very vague, not all yelling is bad. All this said it leaves it very unclear why he is gone and does sound like parental involvement gone wrong. I hope not though, like I said, might get what you wish for in all the wrong ways.

  6. Another Derby Dad says

    Baseball Observer……You obviously have not been Observing Derby baseball…..Derby baseball was winning last couple years cause of PLAYERS.(Ray Kreiger).Im surprised that kid still has an arm it was used so much….Have you ever been to a Derby practice?………Parents had NOTHING to do with the Athletic Director decision….NEVER not once spoke with the Athletic Director about the coach..Didnt have to..A.D was at all home games…..I Dont beleive for one second the A.D..made the decision based on parental involvement……Baseball Observer you remind me of coaches that vote for All-state players that arent even the best players on the team…You failed to do your homework on the players you voted for…..Try another sport to observe…Or go see a eye doctor….

  7. Baseball Observer says

    “Another Derby Dad” I NEVER in my entire reply stated I had observed Derby baseball, I cant say I have. I have observed the results in the paper though and those in recent times have been markedly better than in previous years. You say its the players, which I also agree is a big reason and deserve much of the credit, but I also know that good coaching goes a long way i.e. Coppola at Amity over recent times or for longevity DeMayo at North Haven for the last 50+ years, so to say its all about players isnt always true. My point being in my response to the previous Derby Dad wasn’t that there weren’t grounds for dismissal, it was the points brought up didn’t make sense or weren’t clear. Essentially, yelling (not stated in what way), forgetting 1st and 3rd situations, and “talking to hitters during AB’s” were his reasoning and frankly if thats the case then half the coaches in the area deserve to be fired. I guess what I’m saying is there must be MORE and to explain what that more is because based off the responses on this thread it seems like you are all grasping at straws.

  8. Spencer says

    I think it is quite comical the the “derby dads” say there is no parent involvement, however seem very vocal in their comments. Bottom line, derby liked the taste of success and the minute loosing became part of the scene, like always. The coach gets cut. Good luck to coach Soch. Your town you gave back to turned their heads when you needed the support the most.

  9. Scott Bottino says

    The only time a comment was made by a DAD was in Response to on a dumb comment from pitchin wins and now you….other than that No derby dads said ANYTHING…..

  10. Guest says

    Just heard of this news tonight…I won’t say who I am other than to mention that I have been a frequent attendee at DHS baseball games for the past five/six years or so, all during Soch’s tenure. It is true that a lot of Derby’s success in recent years can be attributed to the players – you will notice, for example, that DHS made the Class S finals in 2012, the year of eight seniors, the year the “dream team” was finally upperclassmen. They haven’t been close to that since. So yes, partially it is the players.

    However, Soch definitely deserves the credit he is due. He was a tough coach, and I think that is exactly what Derby needed/needs. This is high school sports, and high school sports in a town that used to be tremendously competitive in several sports and has in recent years become accustomed to coming up short. Thus, the coach not only needs to know his stuff, which plays to run when, etc., but he also needs to lay down the law with his guys and make sure they show up with the right attitude. Soch liked the players who were serious about the game and what they were there to do; he didn’t like the guys who slacked off and didn’t give 110%. As a result, some players didn’t like Soch, didn’t respect him, but most did. I really thought it would be Soch to say when it was time to leave, and I really hoped it would be him telling them and not the other way around.

    Soch to me is a throwback to the old days of Derby sports and the ethic those coaches brought to the game. You think Soch’s tough? Ever heard of Lou DeFilippo?

  11. Derby Sports says

    The problem is when Coach DeFilippo coached two things existed 1. Respect for the coach without parent involvement and 2. They won! The problem the last couple of years with the baseball program is some parents thought their kid was the next Jeter and when it didn’t happen they placed the blame on Soch. Now this comment comes from a 4 year observer.

  12. Proud Derby Father says

    To Baseball Observer…I remember those 5 win seasons…especially that 5 win 2008/09 losing season in the SCC…apparently you don’t because it was with Sochrin in his 3rd year with Derby, I believe his record was 19-41 from 06 to 09 (Most of those wins coming from the inner city New Haven area schools & tech schools)…One of the best coaches that Derby ever had? I don’t think so … he was dedicated to the program and gave his all I will give you that, but if we stayed in the SCC we wouldn’t be having this conversation right now because he would have been ousted long ago along with whoever would have taken over… We were lucky that we got into the NVL where now we are playing with schools our own size plus our talent level got a lot better from the feeder programs that was actually starting to bear fruit that gave him players to work with….we have had two successful seasons under his guidance the 09-10 season where we finished 14-6 and the (loaded Ray Krieger team that my Grandmother could have coached to the finals) 11-12 season 21-4…..take away those two years and you’re looking at 55-68 the other 6 years he coached…not really Hall of Fame numbers if you ask me… The comments I made earlier regarding the reasoning of Coach Soch being let go was just some of the things I saw that probably didn’t help his cause…. sorry I did not go into enough detail for you, I could go into detail on numerous reasons on why I think or what I heard from other people or players (not Dads) but you will just try to find fault with those reasons because you are a Derby hater and I’m done with you …..One finally Comment to “Pitching wins” & “Derby Sport” any Good Father that spends the time playing ball with his sons making them better has the right to thinks his kid should be the “next Jeter” or “be drafted by the Yankees” because thats what the dream is all about to make them the best they can be…But I don’t put the blame on Sochrin he did the best he could with the talent that was given in the end the players need to play …but it was time for a change … for the few Derby Dads (you know who you are) that were with me the last 8 or 9 years thanks for caring we know who was really responsible for helping with “Sochrin’s success”.

  13. Hard Truth says

    Proud Derby Father. As I read your comment the first thing that comes to mind is frustration. I feel your pain. However, you need to remember you are from Derby. Yes Derby. They are not a dominant baseball program. Never have been never will be. Yes the NVL is where you need to be. SCC too much to handle. Derby, not ND, not Amity, not Prep- Derby. If you wanted your son to play for a proven successful team assuming he would make the team.,you should have packed up and headed to one of those towns or schools.

    • Proud Derby Father says

      Hard Truth….your right frustrated “BIG TIME”, I should have packed up and left like so many others did and do every year in this town…but forgive me for caring about my School and trying to help turn a program around….what does this have to do with Coach Sochrin being let go which is the topic?? You want to compare Derby,one of the smallest Class S teams in the State year in year out against the likes of LL/L schools who draw 7 or 8 times more kids?? ….LOL…the Hard Truth is you can go run to another program if you want to… I chose to stay with my kids in my town and make try to make a difference.

      • Hard Truth says

        Read your last line on your comment above. That is exactly what coach Soch was doing, however you were blinded by the lack of W’s! Have you ever thought of the good he did? Alot of bad or ineptness is covered up with average at best coaches when they win. If coach Soch coached at ND or Prep you people would be wondering why he wasn’t coaching in college somewhere. Right?

  14. baseball fan says

    (Hard Truth)…You must not get out and watch much baseball last ten years…..SCC wayyyyyy overrated…. this playoff season,,,,4 or 5 SCC teams KNOCKED out in first round…Playing teams they had NOOOO business loosing to …..People more excited when underdogs like Portland wins….Thats the Truth…..Coach soch will be waiting for your phone call…….Give him a call…you both can go coach ND,Amity ..prep……just show up and the wins will pile up…..

    • SCCDAD says

      5 SCC teams lost in first round this year……1 lost to eventual State Champ,a 21 seed lost to a 12,15 to a 18 and a 16 to a 17 …..I don’t see anything too bad with any of those loses…Do you? The only “bad” loss was an 11 losing to a 22 seed. SCC had 2 State Champions this season so how “overrated” was it? The SCC is one of the best baseball conferences ,not only in the state , but in New England. Forget the N.D. ,Amity and Prep who you mention the conference is loaded with talented players and teams. Wins don’t pile up for anyone in SCC they are earned with tough games day in and day out. I have no idea if the Derby coach was good or bad or needed to go but i do know about SCC baseball

  15. crimson crusader says

    I’ve been a loyal DHS sports fan for decades….and I attend most of the games….
    coach Soch did a nice job with his team but the word around town is …..(1) a number of players did not like him…(2).kids did not like the idea of having Soch tell them to concentrate on baseball and not play other sports…bad move for a Class S school where the top athletes need to play multiple sports….(3) at his age (over 80)….he really did not physically coach ( for example) hit ground balls and flies during practice..his assistant did it all…..his coaching was limited to the verbal and mental aspects of the sport…..Soch worked hard to prepare his kids for games but at times, he annoyed his pitchers and batters by yelling out instructions which ticked them off and after games some were heard telling their parents…”Why doesn’t he just shut up and let us play”…..I heard this comment myself…Remember this, the kids today are not as mentally tough as previous eras…..When I played for Derby, the coaches verbally insulted players all the time but the good ones ignored their shots……Today’s athletes (and some parents) are too sensitive and some think they know the game better than the coach…..Soch knows the game and teaches it old-school…. off the field is a great man to talk to….he has the integrity of blaming himself for things going wrong during games so, even if you don’t care for him….you have to RESPECT him…..Further more, enjoy your retirement Coach and if assistant Eric O’Toole wants the job, the Derby athletic department should appoint him……

    • Proud Derby Father says

      Well said Crimson Crusader…I know better then to retort to any of your comments because you are Derby’s #1 Fan hands down and I have a lot of respect for you and everything you do for Derby Sports….I will miss our conversations/arguements on the ride-ups to the away Football games and I agree it should be Coach O’Toole’s job to lose.

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