Fairleigh Dickinson announced today that it has hired Gary Puccio as its new head coach, replacing Jerry DeFabbia, who went 78-224 in six seasons. Puccio has served as the head coach at Briarcliffe (N.Y.) of the USCAA since 2005. He has 17 years of coaching experience—including five years in Division I at Manhattan in the 1990s—and 12 years of experience as an associate scout for the Mariners. He'll have plenty of work to do at FDU, which has not won more than 16 games in a season in the last decade, but he had some success rejuvenating Manhattan's program. His 1998 Jaspers team reached the 20-win plateau for the first time since 1903.
Elsewhere, Texas Tech hired Jim Horner as an assistant coach, replacing Ed Gustafson. Horner, a Washington State product who played nine seasons as a catcher in the Mariners system, spent the last four seasons as a minor league manager in the Seattle organization. Though he replaces Gustafson—the pitching coach—on the staff, Horner will work primarily with the hitters and catchers.
And Murray State hired Chris Cole away from Tennessee Tech to serve as pitching coach and recruiting coordinator. Cole spent four seasons at Tennessee Tech, where his pitching staff ranked 12th nationally in strikeouts in 2010. Cole started his collegiate playing career at Florida State in 2001 before transfering to Stetson for his next two seasons.
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