Aug. 30, 2004
AMHERST, Mass. -- University of Massachusetts head baseball coach Mike Stone has announced the hiring of Michael Sweeney as the first full-time pitching coach in 17 years. Sweeney has most recently served as head coach for the Keene Swampbats of the NECBL for the past two years and pitching coach at Amherst College for the last five seasons.
"We are very excited to be able to add someone of Michael's caliber to our staff," said Stone. "He is going to bring a wealth of experience to us. He has worked under one of the best coaches in the game [Bill Thurston, head baseball coach at Amherst College] and will be a huge asset for our pitching staff."
Sweeney has been the pitching coach at Amherst College the last five years where he has worked closely under world-renowned pitching coach Bill Thurston. At Amherst, he instructed pitchers on mechanics and fundamentals and was responsible for recruiting, scouting and ordering equipment. He also organized and implemented instructional clinics as well as designing in-season/off-season strength and conditioning programs for pitchers. He also assisted with organizing game and practice facility maintenance and management.
For the past two summers, Sweeney has been the manager of the Keene (N.H.) Swampcats of the NECBL. His team won the NECBL Championship and Sweeney was named Manager/Coach of the Year in 2003. He also has coaching experience as the pitching coach for the North Adams (Mass.) Steeplecats of the NECBL.
Sweeney played three years of professional baseball with two of them coming in the New York Mets organization. He also played one year for the New Jersey Jackals of the Northern League. He helped lead the Jackals to their first-ever Northern League championship.
Sweeney graduated from Amherst College in 1999 with a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Economics. Sweeney was a two-sport standout at Amherst, helping quarterback the football team to a pair of Little Three and NESCAC co-championships. He also pitched the baseball team to a trio of Little Three titles, three NCAA postseason berths and an appearance in the 1999 NCAA Regional final. Sweeney finished his collegiate career with a 21-3 pitching record, was a two-time All-New England and All-NESCAC selection and was voted Team MVP as a senior.