The 2020 season will be the third season in the dugout as the Head Baseball Coach of the Anna Maria College AMCATS for Dan Briand. 2019 was another step in the right direction with Coach Briand at the helm. Not only did the AMCATS win more games than they did in 2018, they also improved again for the second consecutive year in almost every offensive and pitching statistical category in 2019. Once again, Briand’s recruits received numerous weekly GNAC conference awards as well as the 2019 GNAC Pitcher of The Year in Jack Marzec (Northbridge, MA) and 2019 GNAC Rookie of the year in Kosta Drosidis (Holden, MA). Both Marzec and Drosidis were also named First Team All-GNAC. Adam Twitchell (Shrewsbury, MA) was named Second Team All-GNAC. Greg Gehring (Southold, NY) was named Third Team All-GNAC, in addition he was also recognized as the GNAC All Defensive Team catcher. In addition to the improvement the program has shown on the field since Briand’s arrival in Paxton, what is equally as impressive is the impact in the classroom. Seven members of the baseball program were named to the GNAC Academic All-Conference Team. The program also participated in their annual community service event at the St. John’s Soup Kitchen in Worcester, MA.
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. That was evident with his first class, bringing in almost an entirely new roster, including 2018 GNAC Rookie of the Year Nick Genatossio (Sutton, MA); as well as GNAC All-Conference selection Noah Holland (Sandwich, Mass.) and GNAC All-Defensive Team- 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.
Prior to AMC, Briand served as the top assistant coach at Fitchburg State University under 2016 MASCAC Coach of the Year Kevin Barnaby. While at Fitchburg State, Coach Briand helped lead the Falcons to back-to-back MASCAC Tournament appearances as the third seed. Before arriving at Fitchburg State, Coach Briand spent two 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, MA., 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. During this 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.
Coach Briand was also an assistant with the Northbridge American Legion Baseball team from 2006-2017. He was promoted to assistant manager of the ball club in 2009. He helped lead the team to Multiple Zone 4 Titles and a trip to the 2015 American Legion State Tournament.
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 strong turnaround seasons in 2018 and 2019, under Briand bringing back a strong core and adding another excellent recruiting class for the 2020 season.