Southern Miss baseball coach Scott Berry announced the appointment of Nick Ammirati as assistant coach for the 2021 season.
“We are excited to have Nick join our program as one of our assistant coaches,” said Berry. “He brings a wealth of experience from both the playing and coaching sides and has a pedigree of being a winner. His career has afforded him the opportunity to work with some great programs and coaches during both his playing and coaching days. We look forward to him assisting with our hitters, as well as our catchers and working as our first-base coach.”
Ammirati comes to Southern Miss after working four seasons as an assistant coach at Hinds Community College, where he also worked as the program’s recruiting coordinator and as the school’s Sports Information Director.
In his first season at the helm of the offense, the Eagles hitters thrived. Ammirati's hitters recorded a stellar .340 batting average, placing them 6th in the nation via the NJCAA, as well as a .553 slugging percentage, which ranked 6th nationally.
In his first three seasons, he served as the Eagles pitching and catching coach. Ammirati led the Eagles pitching staff to back-to-back Regional appearances in 2017 and 2018, including a Region 23 Championship (2017) and a World Series appearance (2017).
Ammirati took on some new coaching duties in 2020 as he was be responsible for the hitters, infielders, and coaching third base.
All of Ammirati’s pitching staffs finished nationally ranked in earned run average. In 2017, the Hinds staff finished sixth in the nation with a 3.43 ERA, which currently ranks as the lowest team ERA in the school’s history. In 2018, his staff finished seventh nationally with a 3.67 ERA, while the 2019 squad posted a No. 20 ranking with a 4.22 ERA.
Ammirati had 51 players during his time at Hinds continue their baseball careers at the next level, including 34 NCAA Division I signees. Of those 51 players that have moved on, 31 of them pitched and six were catchers who worked directly under his tutelage.
Prior to Hinds, Ammirati served as an assistant coach and camp coordinator at Northwestern State under current Louisiana Tech Head Coach Lane Burroughs. During his two years at NSU, the Demon baseball team had back to back 30-plus win seasons. Six players that he coached at NSU were taken in the MLB First-Year Player Draft.
Prior to coaching, Ammirati was the starting catcher for the 2013 Mississippi State Bulldogs, where he helped guide the pitching staff to a 2.79 ERA and the finals of the College World Series.
During his two-year career in Starkville, Ammirati caught 12 pitchers who eventually signed contracts to play professional baseball. Six of those pitchers have already reached the Major League level. Ammirati was also a member of the 2012 SEC tournament championship Bulldogs and was named SEC Player of the Week on April 23, 2013.
Following his career at Mississippi State, Ammirati played for the Saint Paul Saints of the American Association Independent League and went on to sign a free-agent contract with the Seattle Mariners organization.
Ammirati attended high school at Seton Hall Prep in West Orange, N.J., where he was the starting catcher on the 2007 state and national championship team that finished 33-1. While there, Ammirati was the battery-mate of another first-round pick and current Boston Red Sox starting pitcher, Rick Porcello, who was named the 2016 American League Cy Young winner. Ammirati was drafted out of High School in 2009 in the 46th round by the Miami Marlins.
Ammirati was a two-time SEC academic honor roll selection and received his Bachelor’s in Public Relations from MSU and his Master’s in Health and Human Performance at NSU.
Ammirati, along with his wife Caroline, joins the Golden Eagle staff after the departure of Ladd Rhodes for a similar position.