Chris Turco – Head Coach Contact: Chris.Turco@cobbk12.org
Chris Turco was hired as head baseball coach upon the conclusion of the 2021 baseball season taking the reigns from legendary coach Jeff Rowland upon his retirement. Prior to being named head coach, Turco spent 18 years as an assistant coach with the Hounds starting his high school coaching career with the Greyhounds in the 2004 season.
During Turco’s 18 years with the program, Pope baseball experienced astronomical success capturing 4 state championships and 7 region championships as well as qualifying for the state playoffs 14 of the 18 seasons. During the Hound’s successful run, Pope finished ranked in the top 30 nationally five times with the 2009, 2017, and 2018 all finishing in
the top 10 of the Baseball America poll, the 2013 team finishing 21st, and the 2016 state runner up team finishing ranked 26th in the country.
Turco has varied experience as he filled a variety of roles for Pope baseball throughout his coaching tenure serving mainly as the lead hitting coach for the program, but also serving as the program’s pitching coach, catching coach, outfield coach, and base-running coach throughout time served with Pope baseball. Turco was also able to add to his coaching repertoire with travel ball / summer ball head coaching experience leading the Pope Baseball summer baseball team for 2 years in 2005 and 2006 prior to leading the East Cobb Longhorns and East Cobb Dynasty travel ball teams in the summers of 2007 and 2008.
Turco started his head coaching career on the fastpitch softball diamond with the Pope Fastpitch team serving 2 separate stints with the program totaling 14 years as head coach. During his tenure, Turco amassed over 330 wins while leading the Hounds to 2 state championships, 3 state runner ups, and 5 region championships. Turco led the Hounds to the state playoffs 12 of his 14 seasons at the helm and Turco closed out his softball career qualifying for the state finals tournament in Columbus 8 of the last 9 seasons as head coach taking the team to the state championship game his last 3 seasons. For his efforts with Pope Fastpitch, Turco has been named the State Coach of the year by the Georgia Dugout Club 5 times as well as Cobb County Coach of the year 3 times.
Turco has helped 25 Pope Fastpitch players reach the collegiate ranks and Turco has worked with numerous Pope baseball players that have advanced to play college baseball and beyond including 12 baseball players that have advanced to professional baseball. Turco has also been fortunate enough to work with 2 Gatorade players of the year with Josh Lowe being named POY for the 2016 baseball season and Kelly Barnhill being named POY for the 2014 softball season. Barnhill was also named National Player of the year by USA Today for her record breaking 534 strikeout season she compiled enroute to the 2014 state championship!
Turco is a 1998 graduate of Pope High School where his baseball career earned him a scholarship to Presbyterian College. Upon completing his four year playing career at “PC”, Turco began his coaching career at Presbyterian helping lead the Blue Hose to the South Atlantic Conference championship and a spot in the NCAA national tournament in 2003.
Turco is married to the former Niki Eskew who was a collegiate soccer player at Anderson University and the Turco’s reside in Woodstock with their two children Wyatt and Maggie.
Coach Al Savransky – Assistant Coach (V / JV)
Hailing from Cleveland Ohio, Coach Savransky was a multi-sport high school athlete who capped his prep career by accepting a wrestling scholarship to the University of Toledo. After placing in the MAC conference wrestling tournament his freshman year, Coach Savransky moved on to an athletics career at Ohio State University for the remainder of his collegiate years. Coach Savarnsky ended his collegiate athletic career by assisting his team to a national championship for “THE Ohio State University”.
Coach Savransky has a long and distinguished coaching career that has taken him to both Pebblebrook High School and East Cobb Baseball prior to arriving at Pope. In 2004, Coach Savransky was named East Cobb Baseball “Coach of the year”, which is the highest award a coach in that organization can be granted.
Coach Savransky has led the junior varsity Pope Baseball team to 3 consecutive region championships (2008, 2009, 2010), and also assisted the 2009, 2011, 2013, 2016, 2017, and 2018 varsity Pope baseball teams to region championships as well as national rankings in 2009, 2013, 2016, 2017, and 2018. The 2009, 2013, 2017 & 2018 baseball teams captured state championships for Pope while the 2016 and 2019 teams finished runner up. Coach Savransky has also assisted in leading Greyhound baseball to back to back quarterfinal appearances in 2011 and 2012 (Elite 8) and a semi-final appearance in 2015.
Coach Savransky has made quite an impact on the mat as well helping to lead the Pope Varsity wrestlers to 7 consecutive region championships, 3 runner up finishes in the GHSA AAAAA wrestling tourney (2008-2010) and 5 State Championships with a traditional championship in 2011 and both the traditional and team state championships in 2012 and 2013. For his efforts with the 2012 team, Coach Savransky was named Cobb County wrestling Coach of the year. During Savrvanky’s 9 year tenure with the wrestling team, he has helped to increase the number of individual wrestlers placing in the state tournament from 10 in the history of the program (1987 – 2003) to 57 (47 state placers in 9 years)!
In 2013, The Marietta Daily Journal did a story about Coach Savarnsky’s coaching successes: The Marietta Daily Journal - Success follows Savransky around Pope programs
As the article points out, Savransky also coached Fastpitch softball where he aided the Hounds in capturing the 2014 State fastpitch softball championship as well as 3 region championships and 2 state runner up finishes. Savransky was named the Georgia Dugout Club assistant coach of the year twice in softball (2010 & 2014).
Coach Savransky teaches video production at Pope High School where he is the pioneer of Pope High School’s “video design” class which broadcasts the bi-weekly “Greyhound News Network”. Coach Savransky resides in Marietta Georgia with his wife Ceci and is father to Michael and Ally Savransky.
Michael Nelson – Varsity Assistant Coach (Infield)
Mike began his relationship with Pope High School in 2011 assisting the baseball staff as junior varsity assistant and infield coordinator for the 2012 season. With Mike’s assistance, the Pope baseball captured 2 state championships in 2013 and 2017 finishing the season ranked 21st and 5th in the nation! Mike has also assisted in 2 other state championship appearances in 2016 and 2019 with the 2016 season seeing the Hounds finish as the #28 ranked team in the country.
“Nellie” (as he is affectionately known) has also assisted with the Pope fastpitch program since 2012 where he has helped to win 2 state championships (2014 & 2019) and 3 state runner ups (2012, 2018, 2020).
Mike’s Pope Fastpitch career has known nothing but dominance as the program has qualified for the state playoffs each year of his career finishing in the state championship tournament held in Columbus 8 of the 9 years he has coached. For Mike’s efforts with the 2014 State Championship team, Mike has been awarded the high honor of being an Assistant coach of the Year by the Georgia Dugout Club.
Coach Nelson has polished his coaching skills on the summer circuit coaching teams in both the East Cobb Baseball program and the 6-4-3 baseball program. In 2001, Coach Nelson assisted the 15u East Cobb Astros in winning the AAU national championship while coaching under highly successful former Lassiter head softball / baseball coach Scott Kelly.
Mike Nelson is a 1998 graduate of Lassiter High School. During his time as a baseball player at Lassiter, Mike was part of 2 state runner-up teams in 1995 and 1997 while playing for Hall of Fame coaching legend Mickey McMurtry. Mike earned a scholarship to play baseball at Georgia State University and was a 4 year letterman for the Panthers spending three of the four years as the Panthers starting 2nd baseman. In 2000, Mike’s stellar play earned him a spot on the All-conference tournament team.
After capping off his collegiate playing career, Coach Nelson began his successful baseball coaching career with the Georgia State University baseball staff. Coach Nelson spent 2 years at Georgia State helping the team to back to back conference tournament appearances for the first time in school history.
Mike resides in Acworth with his wife Carla and daughter Avery.
Matt Liedberg – Pitching Coordinator
Coach Liedberg is a 2009 graduate of Pope High School where he was a key member of the 2009 Pope Baseball state championship team that finished ranked 10th in the country. As a fire-balling pitcher, Coach Liedberg continued his pitching career at Gardner Webb University in Shelby North Carolina for the Running Bulldogs.
Liedberg joined the Pope coaching staff in 2018 after choosing to leave the corporate world to pursue a career in education. As part of the baseball staff, Liedberg has been instrumental in our back to back state championship game appearances in 2018 and 2019 by assisting with the Pope pitching staff and redesigning their offseason conditioning and development. Liedberg took over the reigns as head pitching coach for the Greyhounds in 2020 was a key reason why the Greyhounds advanced to the final four during the 2021 season with his signature win coming in extra inning shutout fashion over the #1 ranked team in the country in the 2nd round of the 2021 playoffs.
Coach Liedberg also works as an assistant coach with the Pope Fastpitch program where he has helped lead the program to the state championship game in each of his 3 seasons with the program. Coach Liedberg played an essential role in the 2019 state championship heading up the Greyhounds scouting and team preparation. During the 2019 season, the team ended the season on a 23 game winning streak due in large part to Coach Liedberg’s advance scouting. Coach Liedberg has also helped to secure 3 region championships for the Pope Fastpitch program and Coach Liedberg has been named as a positive coach by Positive Athlete Georgia each of the past 3 seasons.
After completing his playing career, Coach Liedberg worked multiple jobs in the baseball field working as operations manager for 6-4-3 baseball and serving a short stint as an intern with the Atlanta Braves. It was during his stint with the Braves that Coach Liedberg realized his true calling was the education field, and Coach Liedberg went back to school to earn his education degree so he could become a teacher.
Coach Liedberg resides in Atlanta.
Kenny Lotz – JV coordinator / Varsity Assistant
Coach Lotz was born and raised in Marietta, Georgia. He is a graduate of Pope High School and played four years of baseball for the Greyhounds. He was a part of the 2009 State Championship team that was also ranked 10th in the Nation. After graduating from Pope he attended Georgia Perimeter College where he received his Associates Degree. In 2016 he graduated from Kennesaw State University earning his Bachelors in Health and Physical Education and a Minor in Coaching. Coach Lotz spent his first two years in the school system working in the Special Education Department at Pope before being hired at an Elementary school in Fulton County where he currently works in physical education.
Coach Lotz was instrumental in helping Pope to back to back state championships in 2017 and 2018 working with Pope’s outfielders and hitters. Coach Lotz has also been on the coaching staff for a state runner up finish as well as two final four finishes.
Outside of baseball, Coach Lotz loves being in the outdoors, camping, and backpacking. He spends most of his free time with his Golden Retriever, Sadie. In 2008 he achieved the rank of Eagle Scout.
Coach Lotz is in his eighth season as an Assistant Coach at Pope.
Ryan Khan - Assistant Coach
Coach Ryan Khan was born in Overland Park, Kansas, but was raised in Marietta, GA. Coach Khan attended Pope High School where he lettered in basketball (2 years) and baseball (3 years). Khan was a three year starter at catcher for the Greyhounds, and was part of the 2009 State Championship team that was ranked 10th nationally. He also was awarded two Coach’s Awards under Coach Rowland.
Upon graduation from Pope, Khan attended Augusta University (formerly Augusta State University) to play baseball, and majored in Business Administration and Marketing. Khan lettered for the Jaguars all four years, and was awarded with a Coach’s Award and Most Improved during his tenure. He was also named to the Peach Belt Conference All-Academic Team in 2014, and received the D2ADA Academic Achievement Award for D2 athletes in 2013 and 2014.
Coach Khan currently resides in Cumming and is married to Danielle Khan. He joined the staff in 2018.