Head Coach Nick Puccio
Nick Puccio enters his second season at the helm of the Nichols College baseball program in 2014-15.
In their first season under Puccio in 2014, the Bison increased their batting average by 46 points from the previous campaign 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.
Prior to his arrival at Nichols, Puccio spent three seasons at Wheaton (MA) College and was a key member of a 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 upon his appointment as head coach. “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 added, “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 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.
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.
Assistant Coach Greg Terhune
Greg Terhune begins his first season at Nichols in 2016. He will serve as the pitching coach and recruiting coordinator for the varsity team and be the head coach of the JV squad.
Terhune spent the last two years as the pitching coach at Fairleigh Dickinson College, where he helped the Knights finish second in the Northeast Conference (NEC) in strikeouts and 12th in the nation in strikeouts per nine innings in 2015. In her first season in Madison, Terhune helped FDU to a third-place finish. His primary responsibilities included organizing team practices and making crucial pitching decisions.
Assistant Coach Justin Peluso
Justin Peluso begins his first season as an assistant baseball coach at Nichols College in 2016.
Peluso was a four-year member of the Wheaton College baseball program, helping them reach to the NCAA Division III College World Series National Championship contest in 2012. He was named to the New England Women’s and Men’s Athletic Conference (NEWMAC) All-Conference Second Team as a junior, when he batted .281 with a .352 on-base percentage and 27 RBI.
For his career, Peluso appeared in 140 games and batted .260 with one home run, 63 RBI, 66 runs scored, and a .334 OBP. Wheaton received the NEWMAC Team Sportsmanship Award in 2012 and 2013.
Peluso played for the North Shore Navigators of the Future Collegiate Baseball League (FCBL) in 2013 & 2014.
Assistant Coach Shayne McNally
Shayne McNally begins his second season as an assistant baseball coach at Nichols College in 2016.
A general business major who graduated Nichols in 2014, McNally appeared in 86 games over four season with the baseball team, batting .258 with 31 RBI.