The 2018-2019 season will be the second season in the dugout as the Head Baseball Coach with the AMCATS for Dan Briand. In his first season at the helm, the AMCATS more than doubled their win total from the previous season. In addition; the AMCATS qualified for the GNAC Baseball Tournament for the first time since 2012. The AMCTS also had the most wins for the program in a single season since 2013, and were the only GNAC team to beat four-time defending GNAC Baseball Champion Suffolk University in 2018 conference play. One of the biggest strengths Coach Briand possesses is recruiting, and that was evident with his first class, bringing in almost an entirely new roster, including 2018 GNAC Rookie of the Year Nick Genatossio (Sutton, Mass.) as well as GNAC All-Conference selection Noah Holland (Sandwich, Mass.) and GNAC Gold Glove-Pitcher Jack Marzec (Northbridge, Mass.). Year one also saw an improvement in nearly every offensive statistical category, as well as every pitching statistical category. Coach Briand’s recruits were also honored numerous times by the GNAC in the conference’s weekly awards. Adam Twitchell (Shrewsbury, Mass.) was GNAC Player of the Week twice, Jack Marzec was Pitcher of the Week once, Jason Shell (Sandwich, Mass.) was Rookie of the Week twice, as well as numerous players receiving weekly recognition on the GNAC Honorable Mention Team. The program not only had great success on the field, but in the classroom as well, placing seven members of the baseball team on the GNAC Academic All Conference Team. The team also participated in multiple community service projects during the academic year including volunteering at the St. Johns soup kitchen in Worcester, Mass.
Coach Briand comes to AMC after previously serving as the top assistant coach at Fitchburg State University under 2016 MASCAC Coach of the Year Kevin Barnaby for the previous two seasons. While at Fitchburg State, Coach Briand helped lead the Falcons to back-to-back MASCAC Tournament appearances as the third seed. Before Fitchburg , Coach Briand spent 2 seasons as the top assistant at Roger Williams University in Bristol, R.I., under four-time CCC coach of the year Derek Carlson. While at Roger Williams University, Coach Briand was instrumental in all aspects of the Hawks program. In 2014 coach Briand helped guide the Hawks to their second highest win total in program history, as well as a trip to the ECAC New England Regional Finals. During the 2014 season, Coach Briand also coached the first two All-American’s in the RWU Baseball program history. During the 2015 season, Coach Briand helped guide the Hawks to the CCC Championship game and was named Interim Head Baseball Coach in August of 2015, serving in that role for the fall season.
Coach Briand attended Becker College in Worcester, Mass, earning a Bachelor’s Degree in Criminal Justice in 2009. He played four years on the baseball team from 2005-2009. He was named team captain during his junior and senior seasons.
As a player he helped lead Becker to their first New England Collegiate Conference Championship in program history in 2009. He was selected to the All-NECC First Team and was also selected to the NECC All-Tournament Team for the 2009 season. During the 2009 season, he also received the Coaches’ Award for outstanding leadership and was a Conference Player of the Year nominee.
After his playing career, he joined the Becker College Baseball coaching staff for two seasons, serving as an assistant coach and recruiting coordinator. In his time, he helped Becker achieve the highest winning percentage in program history in 2011. Briand also recruited and coached the First Academic All-American in school history.
In addition, Coach Briand has been an assistant with the Northbridge American Legion Baseball team since 2006. He was promoted to assistant manager of the ball club in 2009 and last summer completed his 12th season with the program. In August of 2017 he was named Head Coach of Worcester’s Grafton Hill Legion Baseball Post 323. This summer he just completed his first season in the dugout leading Post 323. Coach Briand took over Grafton Hill who had not qualified for the playoffs in 2 years prior to his arrival. In year one he lead them to a 17-7 record and the four seed in the Zone 4 Playoffs.
Coach Briand also served as the Head Coach of the GSBA Fall Showcase League-Worcester Area All-Stars in 2012 and 2013. During his time there he helped numerous high school athletes go on to play collegiate baseball.
The AMCATS will look to build off a strong turnaround season in 2018, bringing back a strong core and adding another excellent recruiting class for 2019.