Courtesy of the Nichols College sports information department, here’s yesterday’s release about Nick Puccio being named the new head coach of the Bison baseball team:
DUDLEY, Mass. – Nichols College Director of Athletics Charlie Robert has announced the hiring of Nick Puccio as head baseball coach.
Puccio spent the last three seasons at Wheaton (MA) College and was a key member of the coaching staff which guided the team to three NCAA Tournament appearances – including the College World Series National Championship game in 2012. During his time in Norton, Puccio coached 13 student-athletes who earned All-New England Honors, another 13 who garnered All-New England Women’s and Men’s Athletic Conference (NEWMAC) honors, and one All-America selection.
“I’m ecstatic to have the opportunity to be the head baseball coach at Nichols College,” said Puccio, who will relocate to Dudley later this summer. “I am very grateful for the opportunity that Charlie Robert has given me. I see nothing but great things in the future of the program.”
Puccio – the lead hitting coach as well as the third base coach for longtime Wheaton head coach Eric Podbelski – saw the Lyons receive the NEWMAC Team Sportsmanship Award on two occasions. Responsible for recruiting the northeast region, Puccio also assisted Podbelski with all day-to-day operations of the program. Puccio is currently the hitting coach and camp director for the Hyannis Harbor Hawks of the Cape Cod Baseball League.
“Working for Eric Podbelski has been one of the greatest experiences in my coaching career,” explained Puccio. “He is one of the best, if not the best, baseball coach I have been around. I have learned so much from him as far as how to maintain a roster and how to go about your job every single day. I couldn’t have asked for a better mentor.”
Puccio began his collegiate coaching career in 2008 at Dean College, where he was the top assistant coach and recruiting coordinator for two years. He helped the Bulldogs win a school-record 27 games in 2009 and saw four student-athletes selected to the all-region team. Puccio returned to his alma mater, Fitchburg State, in 2010 and spent one year as an assistant coach and camp coordinator with the Falcons before he moved on to work as an assistant coach at Southeastern Iowa Community College in 2011.
While in Iowa, Puccio helped the Blackhawks win a program-record 44 games and post the seventh-highest winning pct. in the country (44-16; 733). Puccio – who was also the recruiting coordinator and community advisor – saw nine student-athletes earn All-Iowa Community College Athletic Conference (ICCAC) honors, two student-athletes garner All-America accolades, and two selected in the Major League Baseball (MLB) Draft. The Blackhawks climbed as high as No. 14 in the national rankings during the season.
“I am very excited to have Nick at the helm of our baseball program,” said Robert. “He is well-known and respected throughout the New England baseball community. His passion for the game, along with his high energy, is a great fit for Nichols College, the athletics department and the baseball program.”
Puccio takes over a Bison team which won just five games in 2013 and missed the Commonwealth Coast Conference (CCC) playoffs. “It’s no secret that we won with pitching and defense at Wheaton, as well as a very systematic offense,” said Puccio. “I plan on bringing all three with me to Nichols. We will go after guys who can defend, guys that can throw strikes and be front line arms, and guys who will bring a team mentality. Everyone needs to be pulling the ship in the same direction, and we are going to recruit student-athletes that want to be part of a championship program.”
Puccio received his associate of arts in education from Dean College in 2007 and his bachelor of science in interdisciplinary studies from Fitchburg State in 2010. He is currently working towards a Master’s degree in sports management at American Public University.