UMass Lowell

A Look at the New Head Baseball Coach of UMass Lowell

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A lot has changed inside the UMass Lowell baseball program since the season ended back on May 26 in Binghamton at the America East Baseball Tournament. Chief among them is the hiring of Nick Barese as the interim head coach. He takes over a program that went 20-35 last spring and in many ways underachieved. For now, his tenure as head coach could be only one year. How fall ball and next spring play out will have a lot to say about whether or not he is the long-range answer for this program. 

So who is Nick Barese? He is a guy who will be getting his second opportunity to run a college baseball program. For seven years he was the head coach of the Merrimack College program. He had an overall record of 153-129 as he guided the program through its final years in the NE-10 conference in Division II and the early stages of its Division I journey in the Northeast Conference. He reached 100 wins faster than any coach in program history. His 153 wins rank him second on the all-time wins list.

He was named the NEIBA Coach of the Year. He coached 30 All-Conference players, 19 All-Region selections, one Conference Player of the Year, and six Academy All-District recipients which speaks to what these players did in the classroom. The team would win the league title in 2018 and take the automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament. The conference championship was the first since 1996. In 2018, the Warriors won 31 games which is still a school record. It was the third 30-win season in school history.  

The classroom is where Barese’s players really excel.  The team had a 3.0 GPA in every semester while he was the head coach. Seven of his players earned postseason recognition for their work in the classroom. The team as a whole won the Team GPA award with a 3.214, which was the highest average of any NE10 baseball program. MLB drafted two of his players. In 2013, Joe Mantoni was selected by the Cincinnati Reds in the 18th round. In 2015, Frank Crinella was taken in the 39th round by the Baltimore Orioles. Before taking the job as head coach, Barese served in several other capacities at Merrimack College. 

Barese was also the head coach of the Wachusett Dirt Dawgs of the Futures Collegiate Baseball League for two summers in 2012 and 2013. He is a graduate of St. Anselm College where he was a two-sports star in both football and baseball. He was the team captain in both sports. He takes over a River Hawks team that lost several key members to graduation. The good news is he has had a chance to be around these players and this program for the past two seasons as the pitching coach. In 2022, the pitching staff recorded 444 strikeouts and 509.2 innings pitched; both are River Hawks school records. 

However, he will start his first season as the River Hawks headman with a big hole to fill. Leadoff hitter and INF/OF Jacob Humphries has left the program and will be joining the Vanderbilt Commodores in the Southeastern Conference. Finding his replacement will be priority one during fall ball as well as getting the team to buy into the way he wants to run things both on and off the field.

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