DUDLEY, Mass. – Nichols College baseball head coach Nick Puccio – who led the Bison to a pair of 20-win seasons in 2016 and 2017 – announced his resignation today and was named an assistant coach at Northeastern University.
In five years at the helm of the Bison program, Puccio produced 19 all-conference selections – including seven Commonwealth Coast Conference (CCC) First Team picks. This past season, Puccio saw a pair of his recruits and 2018 graduates – Nick Roy and Cam Cook – earn all-conference recognition and break several school records.
“I would first like to thank Mike Stanton, Bill Boffi, Paul Brower, and Charlie Robert for giving me the opportunity to be a head coach five years ago,” said Puccio. “They believed in the vision I had for our program and I couldn’t be more thankful. I would also like to thank Chris Colvin for allowing me to run our program the way I envisioned it. I could not have asked for a better AD to work for. Finally, I would like to thank my assistant coaches, who did everything in their power to help this program reach new heights.”
In 2017, the Bison posted a 23-19 mark and advanced to the CCC Semifinals. The season was highlighted by wins over NCAA Participants Salve Regina and Worcester State, as well as College World Series participant Wheaton (MA). The Bison played one of the toughest schedules in the region, one which featured a total of 17 teams which were regionally ranked during the season. Six Bison received CCC All-Conference honors.
“I would also like to thank the student-athletes, both past and present, who believed in the vision and helped accomplish the goals we set out to achieve,” Puccio added. “We couldn’t have done it without the guys believing in the program. We are proud of the program we have built in Dudley. In my opinion, it’s just getting started.”
The Bison won a program-record 24 games in 2016 and earned the No. 3 seed in the CCC Tournament, giving them the right to host a home playoff contest. Nichols later earned its first-ever berth into the Eastern College Athletic Conference (ECAC) Division III New England Tournament. Puccio – who shared Worcester Area Coach of the Year accolades – saw seven student-athletes earn CCC All-Conference honors.
“I want to thank Nick Puccio for the hard work that he has put into building the Nichols College baseball program,” said Nichols Director of Athletics Chris Colvin. “Nick is a talented baseball coach with a fierce drive to succeed, and I am confident that he will be a superb Division I assistant baseball coach for Northeastern. I believe that his coaching future is very bright. He is a tireless recruiter and is leaving Nichols College baseball in a strong position.”
In 2015, while coaching a squad whose roster was comprised primarily of freshmen (67 percent) and no seniors, Puccio guided the Bison to 11 wins – the program’s highest win total since 2011. The Bison saw a 31-point increase in their team batting average in 2015, giving them their highest mark (.304) since 2005.
In their first season under Puccio in 2014, the Bison increased their batting average by 46 points from the previous campaign (.227 to .273) and won five conference games – four more than the previous campaign. He earned his first win as a collegiate head coach against Southern Vermont on March 20.
Puccio produced a total of 14 all-academic awards, four All-Worcester Area honors, and three all-region accolades during his time at Nichols. His student-athletes have played in the NECBL, Futures Leagues, NYCBL, Hampton’s League, Pecos League, and the Perfect Game League. A pair of Puccio’s former student-athletes are currently playing professional baseball.
A nationwide search for a new head baseball coach will begin immediately.