Sep. 23—Dylan Boll knew he wanted to coach baseball as early as when he played at Wilson and then Albright.
Now he's getting a chance to run his own program.
Conrad Weiser has hired the 28-year-old Boll to succeed Chad Billingsley as the Scouts baseball coach.
"It's something I've always been interested in doing, even when I was playing," Boll said. "I always felt like I was a pretty good leader. I was a catcher when I played. It's like being a coach on the field. I just enjoy teaching the game. I love the game."
Boll has coached with the West Lawn Owls Legion program for the last six seasons and served as Wilson's junior varsity coach for two seasons under Sal Raccuglia, his former coach, before joining Billingsley's staff at Weiser in 2018.
Boll and Billingsley became friends when Billingsley, a former All-Star pitcher with the Los Angeles Dodgers, began throwing to Boll, then an Albright freshman catcher, in the winter of 2011-12 to prepare for spring training.
Billingsley called on Boll to catch him the next three winters at Albright or the Sinking Spring YMCA.
"He's become one of my good friends," Boll said. "It turned into a better friendship from spending all that time together. I would pick his brain all the time. 'What would you do in this situation? What does a pitcher think about when this happens?'
"I would just try to absorb as much information as I could. His baseball IQ is off the charts compared to a lot of people I've been around."
Despite his success as a player, Billingsley's record in three seasons with the Scouts was 19-38-1, including 8-12 last spring. Weiser hasn't had a winning record since 2013.
Athletic director Billy Harrison said he hopes that Boll, a social studies teacher in the Conrad Weiser Middle School, can turn the program around.
"He's a great guy," Harrison said. "People here love him as a teacher. He's just a baseball guy through and through. The kids seem to really love him."
As a senior at Wilson in 2011, Boll helped lead the Bulldogs to the Berks League playoffs and the District 3 Class 4A quarterfinals. At Albright, he was named twice to the All-MAC Commonwealth second team and was selected the team MVP as a senior in 2015.
He said he plans to lean on two of his mentors, Billingsley and Raccuglia, as a new head coach.
"I already told Sal he should expect some texts and phone calls," Boll said. "Chad would tell me some things last season. I started to realize that maybe it was his last year and that he was grooming me for this.
"I'd certainly go back to him, ask him questions and pick his brain. He's somebody I know I can call and he would be there for me."
Boll hopes he can teach the game to the Scouts as well as lead them back to the postseason.
"I want to try to pass my love of the game on to the younger generation," he said, "and watch them become better baseball players and better people outside baseball as well."