Niagara University product Bernard making a run toward the majors
Seven years ago, Wynton Bernard was a freshman at Niagara University when his brother broke the news and summoned him home. Their father had suffered a stroke that left him paralyzed on one side of his body. Bernard walked to the most peaceful place on campus, the baseball field, and broke down in tears. Read More
Eckerson Named MAAC Pitcher of the Week
Redshirt sophomore Cody Eckerson has been named MAAC Pitcher of the Week announced on Tuesday. Read More
Rob McCoy enters his ninth season as head coach in 2017 and tenth season overall with Niagara.In 2016, Niagara finished 16-37-1 overall and had a 11-13 conference record.In 2015, Niagara finished with a 13-32-2 overall record and an 8-16 conference record.
The Purple Eagles turned in a 20-31 record in 2014 for the most wins since the 2009 season. On May 18, McCoy earned his 100th win as head coach of Niagara with the team’s 7-2 victory over NJIT. Niagara went 3-1 against North Carolina Central that included a 22-2 win on February 23. The team closed out their season with a four-game win streak. McCoy coached Jordan Schwartz for three years leading up to him being drafted in the fourth round of the 2014 MLB Draft by the Oakland Athletics.
The 2013 season saw NU finish with a 16-38 record. Niagara topped nationally ranked Pittsburgh 7-5 in last season’s Panther Classic. Niagara also put together an impressive streak from late March into mid-April which saw it go 8-3 in an 11-game span. That stretch included a five-game winning streak that included a 7-0 shutout of the Manhattan Jaspers on March 30. The team took 2-of-3 games against Iona and Saint Peter’s during the run.
Assistant Coach/Recruiting Coordinator
Matt Spatafora enters his fifth year as an assistant coach and recruiting coordinator with the Purple Eagles.Spatafora, a native of Toronto, Ontario, comes to NU after a three-year stint as the head coach at Mary Ward High School in Toronto. Prior to coaching at Mary Ward, Spatafora was the student assistant coach at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock (UALR) in 2005.
Before becoming a coach, Spatafora began his collegiate career at Texarkana College. From 2000-02 he helped lead the Bulldogs to two conference championships, one regional championship, and the junior college world series, while being named All-Conference Shortstop both seasons. Spatafora played for the UALR Trojans from 2003-04 where he was named All-Conference Shortstop during his senior season. He also played for the Guelph Royals of the Intercounty Baseball League from 2005-07.
He graduated with a bachelor’s degree in health sciences from the University of Arkansas at Little Rock in 2004.Spatafora currently resides in East Amherst, N.Y. with his wife, Barbara.