Rob McCoy – Head Coach – Baseball Coaches
McCoy became the most successful coach in baseball history in Niagara after the Purple Eagles defeated Crosstown rival Canisius in a 6-5 victory at Sal Maglie Stadium on April 30, 2019. He starts the match. season 2021 with 198 career victories.
Prior to the cancellation of the 2020 season due to COVID-19, the Purple Eagles were on track for a stellar season. The team started the season with a surprise 3-1 victory over nationally ranked Florida State on February 14. It was Niagara’s first all-time victory over the Seminoles and the second victory over a ranked opponent in the past four seasons. The Purple Eagles went 6-10 in their shortened season, also claiming wins over North Carolina Central, Cornell and Boise State. Niagara landed 14 student-athletes on the MAAC All-Star Team and senior first baseman Peter Battaglia took home the 2020 CoSIDA Academic District First-Team All-Star honors.
In 2019, the Purple Eagles went 15-33 in aggregate and 9-15 in the MAAC game, behind a young team that continued to develop and play bigger roles throughout the season. Matthew Brash was named MAAC Pitcher of the Year, as well as All-MAAC First Team, ABCA / Rawlings All-Region Second Team, and 2019 Google Cloud First Academic Team. Brash broke the MAAC and NU strikeouts with 121. He was drafted by the San Diego Padres in the fourth round of the 2019 MLB Draft, becoming the second-most drafted player in baseball history. of the NU. Freshman Max Giordano was named to the MAAC Rookie All-Star Team and 12 Purple Eagles were named to the MAAC All-Star Team.
The Purple Eagles finished the 2018 season 24-27, tied for the sixth-most wins in program history. After beating Manhattan in two of three games to close out the regular season. Niagara has qualified for the MAAC Championships for the first time since 2006. Shortstop Greg Cullen, who led the nation in hitting and had the second best percentage on base, was named player of the year MAAC and was named to the first All-MAAC Team. He landed on four All-America teams (All-America College Baseball Second Team, NCBWA All-America Second Team, ABCA / Rawlings All-America First Team, College Sports Madness All-America Fourth Team) and was named an NCBWA player. District 2 of the year. Outfielder Trevor McCauley and third baseman Owen Dziados were both selected to the All-MAAC second team. Cullen was selected by the Atlanta Braves in the 15th round of the 2018 MLB Draft and left-handed pitcher Cody Eckerson has signed a free agent contract with the Los Angeles Angels.
In 2017, McCoy led the Purple Eagles to the sixth-best overall record in program history, 24-24, and a MAAC record of 12-12. Under McCoy’s leadership, Niagara defeated No. 12 Virginia, 8-5, on March 4. The Cavaliers are the highest ranked opponent the Purple Eagles have ever defeated. In addition to team success, McCoy has helped many players achieve individual successes. Four players were named to the MAAC Conference All-Star teams and Matthew Brash was named MAAC Baseball Rookie of the Year and was also Niagara’s first-ever Freshman All-American selection. Two players (Daniel Procopio and Tanner Kiirwer) were selected in the MLB Draft, the first time multiple Purple Eagles have been selected in the Draft since 2005.
In 2016, Niagara finished 16-37-1 overall and had a conference record of 11-13. Tanner Kirwer was selected in the All-MAAC second team.
In 2015, Niagara finished with an overall record of 13-32-2 and a conference record of 8-16. Tanner Kirwer, Thomas Rodrigues and Michael Fuhrman have been named to the All-MAAC second team.
The Purple Eagles recorded a 20-31 record in 2014 for the most wins since the 2009 season. On May 18, McCoy got his 100e win as Niagara’s head coach with the team’s 7-2 victory over NJIT. Niagara went 3-1 over North Carolina Central which included a 22-2 win on February 23. The team ended their season with a four-game winning streak. Anthony Firenzi, Taylor Hackett and Jordan Schwartz have all been selected to the All-MAAC second team. McCoy coached Jordan Schwartz for three years before 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 the nationally-ranked Pittsburgh 7-5 in last season’s Panther Classic. Niagara also put together an impressive streak from late March to mid-April that saw him go 8-3 in 11 games. That streak featured a five-game winning streak that included a 7-0 shutout from the Manhattan Jaspers on March 30. The team won 2 of 3 matches against Iona and Saint Peter’s during the race. Ryan McCauley, Christian Vangeison and Jordan Schwartz have all been named to the All-MAAC second team.
The 2012 season was a big year for the Purple Eagles as they led the MAAC in three offensive categories: batting average (0.290), home runs (30) and stroke percentage (0.413). This season was the first time the McCoy-led Purple Eagles beat four-rival big university Buffalo as the team was 4-0 against the Bulls, sweeping both doubles programs by a combined score of 30- 15. The Purple Eagles led the MAAC in three offensive categories in 2012: batting average (0.290), home runs (30) and slugging percentage (0.413) and finished the season with a 19-29 record.
The 2012 squad had three players (seniors Eric Hink and Wynton Bernard, as well as junior Ryan McCauley) named to the All-MAAC first team while Joel Klock was named to the All-MAAC second team. McCauley was also named to the American Baseball Coaches Association (ABCA) All-Region First Team, the first time in six seasons that a Purple Eagle has won the honor. Bernard was drafted by the San Diego Padres in the MLB Draft. The center was the second Purple Eagle drafted by the MLB in the past six years as he joined Jeff Vincent who was drafted by the Boston Red Sox in 2006. Niagara was more successful in the classroom leading the MAAC for the third consecutive year among the All-Academic winners, placing ten players on the All-Academic squad.