Post University head baseball coach A.J. McNamara stepped down from his position on Monday after eight years at the helm. He’s not going far though, as he has been promoted to a newly created position within the athletics department, Athletics Operations Manager. In this role he will assist in all aspects of administration within the department.
Of the 14 schools within the Central Atlantic Collegiate Conference (CACC), Post has the largest athletics department, with 18 NCAA Division II programs, a sprint football team and three equestrian teams. Due to the size of Post’s athletics department, newly appointed Athletic Director Mike Mannetti felt the department could use additional support in some areas. The newly created position will address the areas of contest management and internal management operations in terms of games, schedules, contracts, game day operations and supervision.
It will also free up Mike Brienza, who previously handled some of these responsibilities, as well as several others in the athletics department. Brienza has his plate full as the head women’s volleyball coach, assistant softball coach, and contest manager as well as coordinating all of the work study students within the athletics department.
McNamara was named head baseball coach in 2007 and took over a team that hadn’t posted a winning season since 1995. He quickly turned things around and won a program record 25 games in 2008. In 2010, the Eagles advanced to the CACC Championship game. Over eight seasons, he compiled the most wins in program history with a record of 167-174-2 and mentored 22 All-CACC and five All-Region honorees.
After spending the past seven years as associate head baseball coach, Ray Ricker will take over the top spot and usher in a new chapter of Post baseball. During his tenure at Post, Ricker has worked predominantly with the hitters and helped lead the Eagles to the CACC batting title twice and tallied the most triples in Division II in 2009.
Ricker has also been involved in collegiate summer baseball for many years. In 2013, he was the hitting coach for the Bourne Braves in the prestigious Cape Cod Baseball League. With the Braves, he coached catcher Max Pentecost, the 2013 CCBL MVP and the 11th overall pick in the most recent Major League Baseball draft.
Off the field, Ricker has spearheaded the “Sacrifice Fly” community service campaign. Last year his team painted the teen center at the Waterbury Boys and Girls Club and cooked meals at the Ronald McDonald House in New Haven.
Please join me in congratulating them both on their opportunities and in helping the athletics department move forward as it continues to grow!