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Sacred Heart Baseball Wins Second Straight NEC Championship

The Sacred Heart University Baseball team repeated as Northeast Conference Baseball champions, as the Pioneers defended their title with a 5-1 win over the Monmouth Hawks Saturday afternoon in the NEC Baseball Championship. Continued.....

Nick Giaquinto


Head Coach: Sacred Heart University

After a successful 33 years at Division II, the Pioneers made the step up to Division I when they joined the Northeast Conference in 2000. After a difficult 12-38 (6-16, NEC) inaugural season, the Pioneers re-grouped and were one of the surprises in the NEC in 2001. The team improved to 22-23 overall (12-10, NEC) and battled for a NEC Tournament slot into the last weekend.

Giaquinto has played a significant role in building a rich tradition at the University. He guided the Pioneers to the NCAA Regional Tournament three times - finishing eighth in the country at the Division II College World Series in Montgomery, Ala., in 1992. Sacred Heart also won back-to-back ECAC championships in 1990-91 under his tutelage.

The 1999 season saw Giaquinto pass the 200-win plateau with an 11-7 victory over St. Francis (NY) during the team's annual southern trip to Homestead, Fla. He passed the 300-win mark with a 5-1 over St. Francis during the 2005 seasons.

In his 17 years on the job, Giaquinto has compiled a record of 313-393-1.

Last season after a slow start, the Pioneers qualified for the Northeast Conference playoffs for the first time in school history.

During Giaquinto's tenure, he has coached two All-America's, seen three players sign professional contracts and has been honored as the Northeast Region and New England Collegiate Conference "Coach of the Year" by the New Haven Diamond Club.

Wayne Mazzoni


Assistant Coach: Sacred Heart University

Mazzoni comes to the Pioneers after working as pitching coach at the College of Holy Cross.

A 1991 graduate of Gettysburg College, Mazzoni spent the six seasons prior to Holy Cross as the head baseball coach and assistant athletic director at Post University in Waterbury. Prior to that Mazzoni was the pitching coach at Fairfield University and also served as an assistant at Nova Southeastern University in Florida.

Mazzoni, who earned a master's degree in Sports Marketing from St. Thomas University, is also an established author and speaker. He has published articles in the ABCA Coaching Digest, NCAA News, Scholastic Coach, Baseball Digest, and Junior Baseball. He is the author of The Athletic Recruiting and Scholarship Guide, which helps high school athletes and parents with the recruiting process and is a frequent speaker at high schools regarding that topic. In addition, he was a recruiting speaker at the 2005 World Baseball Coaches Convention. He has appeared on ABC, Fox, and most sports radio stations around the country. He has a pitching video titled The Left-Handed Pick Off Move, which he presented at the national ABCA Convention in 2004

Tyler Kavanaugh


Assistant Coach: Sacred Heart University

Sacred Heart head baseball coach Nick Giaquinto has named Tyler Kavanaugh an assistant on his staff for the 2011 season. He will be responsible for working with the Pioneers' hitters and catchers as well as assisting with recruiting.

Kavanaugh joins the Pioneer Program from DeSales University were he served as the top assistant for two years (2009-10). Kavanaugh's duties included working with the hitters and catchers, coaching 3rd base on game day, and running the recruiting efforts. While at Desales, Coach Kavanaugh saw eleven players named All-Conference and four players were awarded All-Region honors, including the Pitcher and Newcomer of the year in 2010. That same year, DeSales posted a .358 team batting average and were regular season Freedom Conference champions under Kavanaugh's tutelage.

Prior to DeSales, he was the top assistant at Purchase College SUNY for two years (2007-08), where he assisted in all facets of the Panther baseball program. Kavanaugh has also gained valuable coaching experience while working with the prestigious Team Connecticut Blue Jays travel program.

Kavanaugh graduated with a Bachelor's in History from Kenyon College in Ohio in 2006, where we was a four-year starting catcher. He was named to the All-North Coast Athletic Conference team three years and served two seasons as team captain. His senior season, he helped lead Kenyon to a school-record 27 wins and the Lords' first-ever NCAC Tournament appearance.

After Kenyon, Kavanaugh served as a player-coach for the Olympia Blansko team in the Czech Republic during summer 2006. He also earned a Master's in Health and Physical Education from Virginia Tech.

A native of Greenwich, CT Kavanaugh played high school baseball for both Archbishop Stepinac in White Plains, NY and St. Lukes High School in New Canaan, where he graduated.

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