South Deerfield native Bryan Adamski named Trinity College baseball head coach
Bryan Adamski will never forget his 29th birthday, the one when he became a head baseball coach.
It was July 1 when Adamski received a phone call from Trinity College athletic director Mike Renwick to officially offer the job coaching the Bantams.
“It was pretty cool how it worked out that way,” Adamski said. “I’m thankful that Mike and the search committee has the faith in me to get the job done. I’m replacing guys like Mike Decker, who won a national championship, and Mark Lambert, who did a great job filling in last season.”
The former Frontier Regional and University of Massachusetts star has spent the last five years as an assistant coach at Amherst College under head coaches Bill Thurston and Brian Hamm.
“I’m obviously very excited and understand what a great opportunity this is for me,” Adamski said. “I have to thank Bill Thurston for hiring me and giving me my start in coaching. And learning under Brian Hamm about how to run a program has been extremely valuable.
“Both Bill and Brian bring such energy, time and effort into the program. Brian went above and beyond on a daily basis, which is the biggest thing I’ll take from coaching there.”
The Jeffs went 112-57 over the course of Adamski’s five seasons, which included a NESCAC title last season and an NCAA Division III Tournament berth, the program’s fourth straight.
“Amherst is a place where people come to learn the game and develop themselves as players and people,” Hamm said in a press release Tuesday. “This is why so many of our baseball alumni find success in the front office of MLB organizations and why I have confidence that Bryan will be successful at Trinity.
“In addition to his tremendous baseball knowledge and ability to teach skill development, Bryan is a great person and he leaves Amherst College and the baseball program in a better place than when he arrived. His friendship and knowledge will be missed.”
After serving as the hitting coach the first three years and helping lead the team to a .349 batting average in 2010, Adamski took over the pitching staff in 2012 and guided the squad to a program-record 3.17 team ERA in 2013.
“Being able to relate to all aspects of baseball is a benefit,” he said. “I don’t think it’s necessary to have been a successful player to be a good coach, but I can try to relate my experiences to help my players.”
As a relief pitcher for the Minutemen in 2007, Adamski posted a 2.67 earned run average with a 3-1 record in 16 appearances.
He graduated as the program’s all-time saves leader, and as a senior led the squad in home runs and slugging percentage.
During his time at UMass, he played summer ball with the Chatham A’s and Hyannis Mets of the Cape Cod League as well as the Holyoke Giants of the New England College Baseball League.
His first head coaching experience proved highly successful, as he led the West team to a gold medal at the Bay State Games.
Stints followed with the Dream Bat Bombers of the Tri-County League in 2011 and the North Adams Steeplecats of the NECBL in 2012.
While playing at UMass, coaching at a high level wasn’t a goal for Adamski. Starting as a secondary education major, he wanted to get an accelerated degree to teach and coach in high school or prep school. He decided not to pursue that to continue his baseball career.
Adamski graduated with bachelor’s degrees in English and journalism. He then earned a master’s from Springfield College in sport management.
After working out with a few clubs in the Frontier League, Adamski returned and took a job at a gym in Amherst. That’s when legendary Amherst coach Bill Thurston gave him a call prior to the 2009 season.
“I kind of fell into the situation at Amherst, and I gave up my full-time job to pursue coaching,” Adamski said. “At the time, coaching didn’t pay well, so it was a pretty big gamble that’s worked out. Prior to me getting the call from Bill, I know he called a number of people who didn’t get the job because he didn’t see what he wanted in a candidate. Thankfully he saw something in me.”
Thurston retired one year later, but he and Adamski have remained close.
“Bill was one of the first people I called when I heard from the people at Trinity,” Adamski said. “Bill was really excited for me.”
Trinity and Amherst are in different divisions in the NESCAC, so they will not play each other during the regular season. But they could meet in the NESCAC tournament.
“If that does line up, it will certainly be an honor to look across to the other dugout and see Coach Hamm,” Adamski said. “I’m excited to remain in the NESCAC, because the players are great students and more open to learning than other players.”
The Bantams have reached the NCAA Division III World Series four times in 11 years and won the 2008 national championship.
In 2013, they went 21-19 and tied for first in the NESCAC East.
“Coach Adamski will be a great leader and mentor for the young men on their journey as a Trinity College student-athlete,” Renwick said in a Tuesday press release. “We are confident he will continue the great tradition of success within the Trinity baseball program well into the future.”
Taking over such a successful program, Adamski will institute small goals for himself and his team.
“First and foremost, I want to be a coach that’s there for my players, good or bad,” Adamski said. “Hopefully, I can outwork the other coaches in the league and have high-character players who can gel into a successful team.”
Michael Wilkinson can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.